A Caregiver’s Loving Tribute To a Father Who Passed Away
Submitted by Rhonda Long
In the last years of my dad’s life, with his mobility growing more limited, and his body failing him, he felt that he had no purpose.
Just an old man sitting in his chair, looking out the window everyday.
Yes, I was his caregiver, his helper.
What he did not realize, he was my caregiver as well.
He helped me turn my frustrations into compassion.
My weakness of spirit into strength.
My fatigue into determination.
No purpose, he thought, for an old man like me.
He could not have been further from the truth.
You see, my father was an instrument of God.
His suffering brought my dear brother and I closer than we had ever been.
His ever increasing daily needs taught me about compassion, dignity, gentleness and grace.
He challenged me to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
The Lord used my dad to teach us and mold us into better human beings. To bring our family together, ensuring that after the death of his physical body, we would remain together and strong.
Together, we experienced his last days, his last hours and his last breath.
He taught us through his living and he taught us through his dying.
I cannot think of a higher purpose than that.
I will always love you, Dad.
When Rhonda Long spoke at her father’s funeral, the premise was that she would share funny anecdotes and stories about him. Instead, she read this beautiful statement, which she wrote in his honor. We are honored that she agreed to share it with us.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.