My Dad died on December 30, 2013 from complications of COPD; this was the day my heart shattered into pieces. My dad is one of the closest people to me that I have lost in my life. His death affected me deeply because I always felt a bond with my dad. In his life, there were ups and downs but during those times my love never wavered for him. I have heard so many stories about my dad growing up and he was an impactful person in the lives of other people. The stories that I heard of him being a child were of him being bold and outspoken. He had a strong love for his immediate family (from birth) that superseded even his own happiness at times.
He could walk into a room and get the party started with his Chi-town stepping and his melodic humming of a song. The lights would be bright and the night would be young as he would enjoy his time out on the town. He knew people from the west side, south side, east side, north side, and the surrounding suburbs of Chicago. Marcell is what they would yell out as he smiled and waved. The swag that he possessed was undeniable to anyone who came in contact with him. Some would call him a ladies man because the women would look trying to find out who he was. As he grew into adulthood and created his own nuclear family (wife, children) he took on bigger responsibilities that added to the pressures that he already felt as he tried his best to maneuver and step up to the challenges before him, as guilt followed the decisions and choices he made to hide the pain, fear and not being enough to fill the shoes he was given.
My dad was in my life throughout my formative years of life. I can still remember as a young child looking up to my dad and viewing him as my protector. The love that he had for me was shown in many different ways. From him calling me his baby girl to the moments when he expressed how proud he was of me. My face has features of his from the dimples on the side of my face, my broad nose, and that glow that forms my face when I smile.
Growing up I was always proud to have the last name Ferguson because it represented my father and the gentle strength that he carried inside of him every day. There were times that people mistook his quiet and humble demeanor as weak but in retrospect, there was a kind spirit that loved and wanted peace within the world he lived in. As I remember the last moments of me staring into my dad's face as he held my hand tightly and looked so lovingly into my eyes as his spirit ascended to the creator; with tears streaming down my face I told my dad how much I loved him as his eyes closed for the last time on this earth. My heart had broken at that moment as I cried in my husband's arms and collapsed on that cold December day. That's when my world changed and the grieving process started. I went through all five stages of the grieving process:
- Denial - A fog of shock overtook me as I was in disbelief that my Dad would not be here in my life
- Anger - The feeling of how did this happen, could the doctors have done more, why now
- Bargaining - The guilt started to overcome me as I replayed the night that he went to the hospital. When he called I should have woke up out of my sleep and answered the call, I should have demanded he come to my house on Christmas Eve and maybe this wouldn't have happened.
- Depression - That's when I felt a sense of gloom every year around November, December and January not knowing not wanting to be bothered and to isolate myself from others
- Acceptance - I am now only understanding my grieving process and trying to arrange my life in a way that the pain doesn't affect my way of living on this Earth without my Dad.
Since the passing of my dad, I reflect heavily on the memories that we formed over the years while he was here. There are times that I laugh and cry because there were fun times and rough times but through it all his laid-back demeanor kept me knowing that eventually, things would turn for the better. My dad always was able to work with his hands to create magnificent things from his art drawings, construction projects and his entrepreneur ideas that were before his time. The choices that he made in his life such as putting his immediate family first, to jobs that he lost, to the decline in the upkeep of his health and well-being are what derailed him from being the best version of himself in this life but in the end, I want to believe that he finally was able to rest in peace, love and have true happiness.
Until we meet again dad you are in my heart always and forever!
If you have lost a parent I encourage you to write and speak about your feelings. Also, having a good support system that understands your grieving process is important as well. The process is not easy but necessary!
With all this being said "Dig deeper than you ever have before"
Thank you for your comments!