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The Live Oak Underneath Which My Father’s Ashes Were Scattered.

It was just before my father’s death in February that I last wrote on my blog. Four months have passed and life keeps blazing on. With him and without him. He is here. Aren’t you, Daddy? It’s like with Poppy, my dearly departed firstborn. And every other loved one you held dear. They are all here — when we call upon them the spirit awakens.

As soon as we all decided to fly home to see Daddy one last time, I scoured my old letters box and found multiple hand-written letters from him to me.

He wrote on white, unlined printer paper. Whenever he had a moment at work, he would pour out his heart a little bit and remind me how much he loved me, how proud he was of me, and how he missed me. Thank you for doing that, Daddy.

I’ll miss never getting another letter in your unique ALL CAPS handwriting. You had a beautiful signature too. Unlike Mom’s, I could never forge it to get out of high school.

Dammit, this is hard. Remembering Daddy. I grieved so hard and for so long when Poppy died. To survive, I dove into myself and uncovered a truth about life I didn’t know before. My grief for Daddy’s death has been so different. My perception of death transformed…the veil between life and death is thinner than I once thought.

When I last wrote about my father being sick, I’d hope to see him alive one last time. He didn’t make it. We, his three children, arrived at his side one day too late. His lips were cold when I kissed them. His eyes were closed, arms folded onto his chest. He was so thin. His grey beard neatly trimmed. His baby soft hair combed back. Why must I remember him so?

I don’t cry much about Poppy’s death anymore. But writing about my dad really brings the emotions up for me. Tissues my close companion, I pluck on, one word at a time.

Facing death is an opportunity. I am more connected and forgiving of my imperfections than ever before. I make mistakes. I say things I don’t mean. I regret. Humbled by mortality, I connect deeply with others, feel deeply, and go to places that scare me and places that make my heart sore. I am building something — my inner life. And it’s a process.

I can’t hide from this experience. Sometimes I want to. I ignore the mission and divert from the path, but I find myself pulled back to the keyboard where I share my life with you.

What’s pulling at your heart? Is there something you long for that you’re ignoring? The world needs your creation, if not for the greater good, then certainly for your own peace and joy.

As scary as my thoughts can be and how intimidating the process is of writing and exposing myself, I choose to embrace it. Does your essence, your soul, long for more? What is it? What would it take for you to embrace that and make it come true? I’m here if you want to talk. XO — Katie

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