A Final Lesson From My Dad

“I’m an Evangelist” he says as he approaches your bed. “May I speak to you about Faith, Faith brings healing . . .”

I look at you and I ask if you want to listen, and you nod your head. The man proceeds to look at me, and then averts his attention to you as he fills you in about Jesus and the cross and something to do with illness.

You listen with intent, adjust your hearing aid and listen some more. He speaks of how faith can cure illness. I wonder how is it possible that a hospital can allow religious people to enter wards and approach those who are ill with an unrealistic hope of getting “better”. Surely some may not even be in a position to protest and indicate that they do not want to listen?

You however, my dear father, you were eager to listen because I know that even though you are a man of great faith and belief, your faith and belief is not attached to this life. Your faith and belief is in the knowledge that you’ve lived, continues to live, a life of integrity and honesty. You believe in humanity and that there is greatness in each one of us. This is where you find God, you find him in the actions of others.

This stranger, now standing next to your bed, turns to me and asks, “Do you believe in the cross” – I have no idea what he is referring to, and I respond, “No”. He nods and continues to speak to you dad. I know that there is no need for me to pretend in your presence because I’ve always been very open to you when it comes to my spirituality and that I am not one to dwell on the teaching of any specific religion or denomination. You know my thoughts and you understand that my spirituality cannot be measured in the manner of mere mortal beings as they cling to prescriptive words . . .

I listened to you the other day when you spoke to someone, and they mentioned something about life. Your response was encouraging and it empowered me. You said that whether you continue to live in your present body or in the spirit, you are at peace with the knowledge that you will continue to live in spirit even after your body gives in.

You did the same thing today – this man asked you if he could pray for you, and what you were suffering from. Your response was beautiful! “The name of my illness is one given by man, it is irrelevant when speaking about my spirituality and faith, because healing does not require a name.”

I may have seemed distant while sitting next to your bed as this man prayed – goodness I don’t even know what he said during his very short prayer – you asked that he keep it short. And even though this is not my “thing” – I am grateful for the few minutes that he shared with you, speaking to you about God and Jesus and the cross, because these are the kind of conversations that you may yearn for, and this is the one thing that I cannot give to you. The bible has always remained a foreign concept to me.

Thank you for allowing me the space to explore my own belief systems and my own spirituality and for not trying to enforce yours on me. This dear dad, this is one of the many great lessons that you’ve taught me – that it is okay to not be the same.

Your final lesson to me on 27 May 2017.

You were set free at 05:30 – 28/05/2017 – forever in my heart . . .

Forever in our hearts Dad – xoxo

My father was diagnosed, unexpectedly, with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on 16th May 2017. He died 12 days later, there was no battle, only dignified acceptance.

12 Days Later . . . Pancreatic Cancer

I Saw You In His Pain

Killing The Pain

Keeping It Real Dad

Finding My Voice, A Father’s Love

No Healing. Only Acceptance

Dad, Higher Ground . . .

I Blossom and Die

Dad’s Poem

The Slow Death of Relationships

Yellow the Colour of His Death