My father passed away four years ago today.
I don’t need condolences, though, because I feel him with me. I feel his laughter, his joy, his arms of protection. I feel his pride, his approval, his love. I feel him with me when I stop to admire a caterpillar, when I am greeted unexpectedly by a butterfly, when I freeze in awe of a wild buck standing before me, when I breathe in the “clean fresh air” as he used to say.
And on a day like today, the anniversary of his “death”, when more than a dozen hummingbirds fly within centimeters of my gaze for the first amazing time in my life; on a day like today, when a hawk sweeps over me with its unmistakable call, louder than ever before; on a day like today, when I can unexplainably smell his musky cologne and the fennel seed on his breath …
I know without a doubt that he has not died; he has merely changed form.
I can no longer wrap my arms around him or hear his thick accent, but he exists nonetheless. He was not his body, he was not his mind, he was not his personality. He was his soul.
And his soul is still very much alive.