Daddy's Eyes

During my teenage years, my first experience with death was a friend. He wrecked his motorcycle. He was at most functions we had as teens. A true gentle soul. It was hard to understand and difficult to deal with the emotions abound at the school. We always say until we meet again. But that really hit me in my early twenties. Loss can be devastating and leave you searching. I lost my brother to cancer, my mother a year later to cancer, my father had a massive stroke 3 years after my mother passed. He become bedridden for 14 years unable to speak or walk.

It was hard watching my brother

deteriorate. It left me with many emotions I've never experienced but now I had them each day. A flood of panic trying to get as much time as I could with him not knowing if he would be cured or gone soon. Looking back I wish I had the insight I do now to advocate for him in his diseased state. Another strong emotion that came with it was guilt; did I do enough, say enough and love enough? This was so true with my mother and father as well. You get ridden with negative emotions of guilt for no good reason. With death comes grieving. I found with my brother's death that I became numb functioning without emotion, hiding my emotions and not dealing with them. I got to where I didn't cry, seem to care about tender issues and quite callous in ways. I did not understand or want to deal with the extreme pain of this loss and at the same time I wanted to be strong for my parents. What they went through was more painful, how could I let myself be selfish, they lost a child. Little did I know but soon came to realize we all need to let ourselves grieve. It is different for everyone but if you fight it, it will keep resurfacing in a very negative way.

I found you have to let yourself cry, be mad, sad but you have to remind yourself it is going to be okay. You can do this, pick yourself up and carry on. I didn't say it would be easy, no way. My brother was a free spirit, always laughing and he was the life of the party. He had a contagious laugh and the kindest soul. He left us at the young age of 29. He had many nieces and nephews that adored him, my daughter included. Sometimes people don't really understand the whole impact of death on a person. You grieve but also grieve for your loved ones as you watch them grieve. When you lose a parent you feel lost, you may even feel orphaned for a while. No place to go back to visit called "home”. But home is just a thing; it's the memories that hold the real home in your heart. We lose things but memories are embedded in our souls. Making us who we have become.

I believe in heaven, I know we only have a short time here on earth and never really know how short. So until we meet again Thomas Hamilton, Georgia Rose and Harold Hamilton (Mom and Dad), my heart feels you close and my soul carries a piece of your spirit.

My Father gave me a sprig from his Lilac bush not long before he had his stroke and it is now a huge blossom of love. Each spring when it blooms, I feel his love and I know I will always be in my Daddy's Eyes.

Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them often. Also, Remember to keep on keeping on and just be you.

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