Personal Thoughts

Permission to Grieve

It’s been a beautiful weekend. We’ve spent it at home with Justin, his dad, and our neighbor working on roofing our new porch. I’ve felt an ache this weekend though I haven’t given into it fully. The song says “Sometimes I wonder who you’d be today.” It’s a beautiful song. I relate that song to Kolby as I wonder who he would be now 4 years after his death. Age 16 to 20 is a huge change. He would be turning 21 soon. It’s different with my dad- I don’t have to wonder who he would be today. I know exactly who he would be and I know that I would have spent at least part of this weekend with him. Not just because it was a holiday weekend but because I spent every weekend with him. And most weekdays. He would have helped out with the building of our porch. He would have pushed my kids on the swings.

Two years ago in May 2014 we received the diagnosis that would change our entire lives. Nothing is the same without him. Two years ago today, I shared my dad’s diagnosis. He gave me permission to post on Facebook. When I read back over the words I wrote on May 30, 2014, I still feel them deep in my soul. I still mean everything I said. Even though it turned out the way it did, even though the worst happened, I still fully trust God and accept that His ways are higher than any I could imagine. I knew from the beginning that I was going to lose my dad and that it was going to be soon.

I read these words this morning when I looked back at my “On This Day” on Facebook. Then I moved on with my day.

dad me boat

Whitney Baugh with Roger Mars.
May 30, 2014 ·

My dad has finally given the “okay” to post on Facebook. His official diagnosis is extensive small cell carcinoma (cancer) metastasized to the liver. Because the cancer has already spread, surgery and radiation are not options. He will begin his first round of chemotherapy on Tuesday. The type of cancer he has is one of the most aggressive cancers, but it also responds well to chemotherapy because of it’s aggressiveness. Our earthly term for his cancer is “terminal” but because my dad is washed in the blood- terminal means nothing. Whether we have 2 months or 2 years together left on this earth, I know that one day we will live together for ETERNITY with Christ. We covet your prayers along this journey. His oncologist expects him to do well with treatment because of his young age and otherwise good health. Anyone who has spoken to me recently has already heard this, but I will repeat once again- This is going to work out exactly as God has planned. I am not concerned with healing, because I know that we have the great physician and the ultimate healer on our side. He has never left us and He never will. His ways are not our ways and I certainly would have never chosen this path for our family, but I trust in Him fully. He has carried us through the many valleys our family has faced and he will continue to do so. On the day I was born, God knew exactly how long I would have my dad around and while I will always wish for more time, I know that God gave me the best father, best friend, adviser, confidant, and Pop to my children in this world. My dad was chosen for me and I for him. There is no one I would rather have at my side than my dad. One day, he may not physically be at my side but I know that he will always be with me- no matter what the future holds. Please pray for our family during this time. Please pray for peace, comfort, and emotional well-being all around. Please pray that he responds well to treatment and can continue to hold his head high. Thank you all.

I came back to those words tonight and they hit differently.  As this long weekend wraps up, I know what I missed with him.  He would have been freaking out that we allowed our big kids on the roof.  He would have been talking through the building process, making the cuts, and helping however he could.

So when I read them tonight and I felt the knot form in the back of my throat, I reminded myself, “It is okay to miss him.  It is okay to cry.”  I gave myself permission to grieve.  I can do that now- and then I can move forward.  I don’t believe in “moving on” because I carry him with me at all times and I don’t want to move on and leave him behind.  That would not do justice to the relationship we had.  So I move forward.  I allow myself to miss him, to feel that gaping hole in my heart, to mourn the friend, the dad, the Pop, the amazing man that he was.. and then I wipe my face and I move forward.  For him, because that is what he would want.

EKR-quote grief


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