Friday, August 24, 2012

Sing A Happy Song

To my son Tommy,

The sun has risen yet again and here we are...we made it through to today even though at times it felt like we wouldn't.  So how do you survive a day like yesterday filled with sorrow and grief and sadness?  Just like you survive any other day.  But let me give you some tips on how to do it easier.

Embrace.  Embrace your sorrow and sadness.  Do not shy away from it or hide it in a corner.  When warranted, real men cry my son.  Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.  If a tear is genuine never be ashamed of it. 

Share.  Share your grief and pain.  Give others the opportunity to share their support and comfort in exchange.  People will be there with words of beauty, or loving sentiments, or a great big hug.  All of this because they love you and feel for you.

Forgive.  Forgive yourself for living.  Forgive yourself for not grieving every moment of the day.  Forgive yourself for moving on and forgive yourself for being happy.  Trust me, the dead don't want you to wallow in their loss.  They are happy when you move on and feel happiness and joy.  Yet somewhere we still feel this guilt and blame and negativity.  Let it go.

Pray.  Pray for the strength to go on.  Pray for the souls of the lost.  Pray to accept God's will.  Pray for a sign that everything will be ok, that rainbow after the flood. Yesterday morning at church, I prayed for exactly that and as I was praying a small beam of sunshine entered through the stain glass window from my left.  It was nothing special, just the sun rising at the right time.  But it was comforting none the less.  Miracles are often nothing special and have a lot to do with perception.  That is why so many miss them.

Love.  Love extra hard.  Give every hug that little extra umph.  Search your heart for the most sincere words and let someone else know that you love them.  Bask in the love of your loved ones and radiate your love deep inside to everyone you meet.

Be Thankful.  Be thankful for all you do have and for the gifts in your life at this moment.  Be grateful for what you did have and the time, albeit short, that you had to enjoy it.  Leave your regret behind and look at the present, look at all those around you helping you and offering their support.  Count yourself blessed.

Have a son like you.  A son who can pick wild flowers and weeds and lay them on his brothers grave.  A son who offers up his Big Red Dog Clifford stuffed animal to his brother (we told you that Sal said it was ok and wanted you to keep it at home.)  A son who can turn and sing "La la la la la la...sing a happy song" in his best Smurf impersonation at just the right moment to make his mother smile through her tears.  A son whose excitement is contagious as he meets his pre-k teacher for the first time at the St. Agnes Ice Cream Social.

That is how I got through yesterday, and how I will get through today, and tomorrow, and after.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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