After the Storm: thoughts on death, loss and fatherhood

I attended a memorial service on Friday for my wife’s uncle. My son was fussy at first but eventually settled down and fell asleep as I was holding him in my lap. And as the pastor began to recount the stories and memories of the man we were there to both celebrate and mourn my mind began to meditate on death and what it means to be a father. Holding my son close, and breathing in the slightly sweaty and sweet smell of a small boy, I was struck by the power of the love I felt for him in that moment. I knew that I would do anything – that I would gladly give my life – to protect him from harm. I have never been good at “dealing” with death and so instead focused on this fierce devotion.

And I felt a surge of emotion at the joy that my family has brought to me. How much having kids has changed me as a person; how having children has been the most challenging and fulfilling thing that has ever happened to me. How amazed I am – every single day – at the wonderful wife and children I have. And I wondered about, and wrestled with, the travails and struggles of my extended family and the pain and joy that has brought to my mom, dad, sister, myself, etc. through the years.

And of course, it was then that I began to feel the loss of the family who had lost their husband, their father, their uncle, their friend. And as I had these thoughts, a chorus from a Mumford & Sons song came into my head:

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And when the service was over and we returned to our car I had to listen to the song (over the complaints of my children) and struggled to hide my tears.

You can listen to the song – and read the lyrics – below. I know it may seem a dark song to some, but I think it is both powerful and insightful; a reflection of the present and a hope for the future.

After The Storm

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won’t rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

I will die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

 

Tags: , , , ,

 

More Posts in family

 
 

Share this Post



 
 
 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>