Grieving, Part IV – The Beauty

The strangest thing that has come from losing my dad to depression has been the shift in perspective I’ve been given. I am so sad so much of the time (for example, this past Thursday was another seemingly random night spent sobbing over the devastation of this tragedy) but I’ve been shocked at my newfound ability to see so much beauty around me.

Sometimes this is the root of my sadness. I’ve cried seeing the contrast between orange-leaved maple trees and a bright blue sky on a warm day in autumn. I’ve cried driving through the first, soft and serene snowfall of the year. So much of my tears are because I look at the beauty and magic of the world all around me and I can’t help but think that my dad will never see these moments again. He couldn’t hold on to see these moments.

Yesterday we planned to scatter my dad’s ashes around his property, his sacred place where he spent so much time watching life grow. We stood in front of a bonfire in the yard, watching the flames dance and flicker, and I couldn’t help but cry as I remembered the way his jackets always smelled slightly of campfire smoke. And then, as if he was letting us know he was there, a flurry of snowflakes descended down upon us. Not light and gentle, but an absolute flurry, leaving large, white flakes in our hair and coating the ground. And as fast as this snowfall came on, it just as quickly stopped.

I don’t believe in the afterlife. I don’t believe in heaven, or hell, or reincarnation. Typically, I’m not at all a very spiritual person But since his death, I feel my dad all around me in these simple events. Sure, it’s December in Ontario and snow is not uncommon, but it’s comforting to believe he still has something to say to me.

For years to come I hope that I can continue to take pause and appreciate the beauty all around me, and be his eyes in this world. I want to continue to see the beauty he failed to notice at the end of his days.

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