Tuesday, June 9, 2015


I've been with my husband for fourteen years, and during that time his family became my family too.  I love them as if they were my own blood and I am invested in their lives and think of them often (despite how far away we've always lived from each other).  When I met my father in-law I remember being so intimidated.  He was a man of few words and he didn't even acknowledge I was even in the room.  To be fair, he didn't acknowledge anyone else in the room, but still.  He was a tad socially awkward; unsure of how to communicate with others.  He always came off as someone who just didn't really know what to say.  Sometimes I could almost see the want in him to connect with his son and daughter but then he'd withdraw back in himself and continue in his own solitude.  

It took me a good year or two to get past my ridiculous fear of him and to build my own relationship with him.  I learned quickly that the way to make him smile was to crack jokes of any kind.  I'd make fun of him (in a kind hearted way), poke fun of my husband, and even of myself.  That moment when he'd turn to look at me and laugh was always such a relief.  I thought, maybe he does like me after all. Fourteen years of being in that family and I have never stopped forcing my father in-law to acknowledge me.  I'm sure I drove him crazy.  

I was lucky enough to have had the chance to spend time with him last summer before moving to Germany.  He helped me move some furniture, he laughed and played with my son, and he even accompanied his wife when she wanted to surprise us where we were staying to visit for a while.  Even then I remember placing myself right in front of him and demanding a little of his attention.  It was my way to show him that I cared and wanted to have a moment with just him for a second.  

When Jim passed away unexpectedly last week of a heart attack I cried a great deal.  I cried for my husband, his mom, and his sister.  I cried for my son because his grandpa was no longer there.  And I cried for myself because I was going to miss him very much.  Somewhere along the way we had developed a relationship that worked for us.  Our dynamic was nothing I had ever had but I adored him and loved him because he was who he was, flaws and all.  To think that he will no longer be sitting in his recliner watching tv or playing card games on the computer when I walk into his house hurt, still hurts, and it will take a lot of getting used to.

Oddly enough, I actually had an encounter with him two nights before he died.  His spirit visited me while I was sleeping.  He showed up and I noticed he was alone.  I thought that my mother in-law had died because I knew he was no longer with her.  He smiled radiantly, seemed so at peace, and told me "I am going to be fine.  Just you wait.  I've got this.  You don't have to worry."  I always worried what would happen to him if my mother in-law passed before him because he relied so heavily on her.  I cried a little over the loss of his wife and he sat down on the couch and patted the cushion next to him.  I sat down and he put his arm around me and hugged me.  He comforted me and then we sat in silence for awhile.  He clicked the tv on and we sat for a while longer; completely at ease.  He then turned to me and held my face in his hands so I would look at him.  He said "I am happy.  I am fine.  I am going to be ok.  Tell my son not to worry."  I nodded and said I would tell him and then I woke up.  

I had enough sense to tell my husband the next morning that I saw his dad in a dream.  Then when I had a text from my husband's sister the next day saying "Call me NOW" I thought "Oh my gosh, my mother in-law died."  When I found out I had it mixed up and that it was Jim that passed away I stopped to think about that dream.  I realized that his spirit knew in advance that he was going to be leaving his body.  He knew and he warned me in advance.  I feel so blessed and honored that he came to me before he moved on.  I was able to give my husband (and myself) some closure and we can deal with our grief more easily knowing that he's doing just fine.  

I will always miss Jim, but knowing that he's in a beautiful place living this new incredible life brings me peace.  I also know that we will all be together as a family again, eventually, which eases the pain even more.  

Thank you for reading my blog.

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