One Year Since My Father’s Death

March 20, 2018: I could barely stand to write the date of my father’s death (or Yartzeit, as I like to say from Hebrew). The first day of spring will forever be entwined with his passing; the same as day and night, cold and hot, dark and light. It is the natural order of things I suppose, for opposites to pair, for polarities form balance and wholeness.

As the sun rose Tuesday I lit a candle for my Dad and placed it on a prominent table in the corner of our family room. A swirl of emotions poured through me. So much has changed in this one year. Tears streamed as I recalled a dream I had about him the night before:

We are sitting on a train together, apparently on vacation, and I tell him in French how I’m studying this beautiful language. After I’ve spoken, he pulls out three pictures from his pocket and fans them out for me. The first one is of him; the second is of me and the third is of my mother. He points to how the one of me is sandwiched in-between him and Mum; forever sealed in their hearts, as they are in mine. 

This was the first dream I’ve had about my Dad since he died. The presence of both my parents felt reassuring even though they are no longer in bodily form.

If birth and death are two strands of wholeness, dreams are the third, interweaving between the two in the braid of life.


Have you noticed your dreams lately? What are they saying to you?


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26 Responses to One Year Since My Father’s Death

  1. Moses says:

    Hey Eileen,

    I follow your blog and I i really find it very reflective. I think that dreams are a gateway to our inner thoughts perhaps maybe something more spiritual. In my dreams sometimes I see myself in a classroom perhaps it has to do with some of my inner struggles and insecurities and perhaps there are lessons in life I am overlooking. I dont know. Keep writing Im enjoying this from the other part of the world- Africa!

    • Hi Moses. What an honor to have you as one of my readers, from one of may favorite continents! What country do you live in? I had a dream at the age of 5 that I would visit Africa and I’ve traveled there several times since the age of 20. Dreams are the beginning of realization and action. I wish you well in your dreaming and actualizing, in whatever you do.

      • Moses says:

        Thank you for your kind words Eileen. Indeed we must act upon our dreams. I am from Zimbabwe a small and beautiful country in Southern Africa. I am glad to hear that you came to the continent before and I hope you found the trips exciting. Should you consider travelling again, I invite you to consider passing through the breathtaking and majestic Victoria Falls (Musi-oa-Tunya). I am looking forward to your next blog 🙂

  2. Diane Fiedler says:

    A beautiful and powerful dream, memory, and love. They speak, we hear. Wishing you the joy of our continuing conversations with those we love.

  3. Phyll says:

    Wow, I am in awe. Your writing is so beautiful, your expressions so poignant, sensitive and touching. Inspiring. Especially to me, since I relate to gentleness & meaning, and, since I lost my dear Mom just before Christmas. I share your observations of light and dark, hot and cold, birth and death and, agree, that dreams meld and fuse our inner emotions, our unconscious revelations and true feelings in a way that “thinking” about them cannot.

    To lose a parent is to turn another corner in life. Like “coming of age” in our 20’s, learning about ourselves in our 30’s, coming to grips with losses & mysteries in our 40’s, realizing that life is short in our 50’s, and appreciating each and every moment, gifts like true friendship, spiritual awakenings, and wonder at the marvels and miracles of life–in our 60’s (where we are, now) we rejoice and say, thank you, Dear God!

    And, Know that our parents (and all loved one, yes pets included!) shall be with us, in our hearts forever (and fur-ever) and that we shall feel secure, happy and peaceful because we knew them, loved them, and they loved us. For, love NEVER dies.

    Thank you for this beautiful journal.

    • Dear Phyll, thanks for your beautiful words. I know you understand the meaning of loss. You have had more than your fair share in the past few years. May the memories keep close inside, warming you as a soft shawl or hot water bottle! The more we open to the more we can feel the mystery of love from across the border, and everywhere.

  4. Yvonne says:

    Thank you. Very moving and appreciated.

  5. Laurie Davies Adams says:

    Dear Eileen,
    How touching and intimate the messages from your armchair are. They are always worth reading. You are so open to your pain, and you invite your readers and friends to do the same. This is simply a lovely and loving gift. Thank you. Your dream of your father and his giving you a place in the middle- enveloped by your parents is a great insight and a core value. What a wonderful place to be.

    • How nice to hear from you Laurie. Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad to know that my words may have been helpful in your own life experience. You have given so much of your life to the cause of pollinators. I hope your are letting yourself experience some stillness now to integrate all that you have given the world. Take care.

  6. Damon Vickers says:

    he is still with you…

  7. Elaine Naddaff says:

    May you find peace of mind, as you remember, give and form meaningful relationships.

    • Thank you for your good wishes Elaine. Somehow, I do feel peace of mind since the marking of his anniversary. I hope you are finding ways to feel peace as well. Blessings.

  8. Elaine Naddaff says:

    May you find peace of mind, as you remember loved ones, give and form meaningful relationships.

  9. Dr Kerry Crofton says:

    Appreciate, Eileen, how you speak straight from the heart with such love.

    And as you describe this auspicious dream being with your dear Dad, it reminds me of deep dreams that I have had about – or seemingly, being in the presence of – my own Mum and Dad – who passed away many years ago.

    How fortunate we are to have had, and to keep, this close connection with our parents that carries on after the death of their physical bodies.

    My mother, who was loving and compassionate much like how you describe your grandmother, once told me that I would never know how much she loved me until I was a mother myself. She was right.

    And just before my big-hearted and sentimental Irish father passed away he whispered to me, “I will always be with you, even when I am gone.”

    Never met your father but from everything I have heard he was a remarkable man who brought much goodness to this world and it is wonderful that you remember and honour him as you do.

    with gratitude for your posts, Eileen, which always bring warmth to my heart,

    from Kerry Crofton, in Nova Scotia

    • Dear Kerry, it warms my heart to hear from you, way up north in Nova Scotia. Thank you for sharing about your own parents and the ways you still remember and feel them. Love is the connector across many divides, including the ultimate one. Thank you for writing.

  10. susan goldstein says:

    How incredibly beautiful that this dream came to you, as the first dream after your Dad passed, but intertwined with the beauty of their hearts and yours. Engenders so many feelings of deep love for those not here but forever sealed in our hearts. thank you for sharing so deeply with all of us.

  11. Paul Binder says:

    Keep writing dear Eileen. I love being a reader.

  12. Diana Rowan Rockefeller says:

    What a deeply moving dream & essay, Eileen. Brought tears, but the sadness is mingled with deep gratitude, too. For our parents’ long lives & all that they gave us. Love these blogs, am glad you are writing them. I’m ordering your book of poetry today. Diana

    • Hi Diana. Thanks so much for your warm comment. I am thrilled you are buying my poetry book. Let me know which ones speak to you, if you feel so inclined. Happy Easter! xox, Eileen

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