Daniel Nuzum's audioboos

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Remembering Dad as light perfuses mist...

On this day, 10 June 2011 I gathered with my mum, siblings and our families around the bedside of my Dad as he journeyed through his final earthly hours. These final hours were spent in hospital. The evening before we were on a journey of interrupted recovery, still holding hope that he might recover, that treatment was still possible. However between the darkness hours of 01:00 and 03:30 it became painfully real to us that recovery in earthly terms was not possible. In hindsight I am only beginning to appreciate the depth and distance of that journey from one future to another. This was telescoped into a very short period of linear time and yet its consequence is for ever.

I have journeyed with so many families at a time such as this and yet only now do I realise what it is to be in that lonely place where we can be presented with options when in effect there are no real options. The only option is to be a companion with the one we love. The mists of life and death, of reality and disbelief come down like a thick fog veiling and numbing past, present and future. In this fog past, present and future become as one. We live in a misty 'now' and stay there for whatever length it takes. Somedays the fog lifts, and on others it descends again -often when least expected.

I am so grateful that our last two hours or so were spent loving my Dad form this world to the next in a tender and gentle way. Each of us played our part as we saw our worlds changing in front of us, in the presence of the one, who with our mum had supported us for all the years that had gone before. She of course misses his presence more than any of us. Now in a timeless metamorphosis everything was changing for each of us during those few hours, the impact of which will unfold for each of us in different ways in the time ahead. There in an Intensive Care Unit where the rising sun lit up my Dad's bedspace as its beams flooded through the fan-light above his bed. The sun rising above the Irish Sea just after 5am that Friday morning brought a hopeful radiance and strength into what was for those few hours our little world.

Today a year later I am pained to be away from my family, my mother, my brothers and sisters, my wife and children as they gather to honour my dad. In the quietness of a wildlife park in the Netherlands it is strangely apt to think of Dad as this place, like him is close to the rhythm of nature and the land. I will remember him and my family at the eucharist here.

So now a year later, a new journey is beginning with so much still to unfold. However the sunlight that filled Dad's bedspace that morning continues to pierce through the mist with light and hope, warmth and strength.

So while separated by distance I am delighted to post this photo from yesterday of my three youngest who play in the grass at home on the farm this weekend. It evokes so many memories of a treasured and carefree childhood on the land (coupled with very hard work too!)

The other is a special memory of dad accompanied by one of his grandchildren and a dog as he went about his work...

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