Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Father's Suicide: Searching For a Sign

I've never considered myself an overtly religious person. It's not that I begrudge other people of their beliefs; it's just that I've never really had a clear sense of what my own beliefs actually were. I have a pretty strong moral compass, sure, but things like God and prayer have never really come easily to me.

That's not to say that I don't wonder about it all. Because I do. It's something I've wondered about a lot since my father died.

I'm always hearing these stories about people who receive all these sorts of signs from their departed loved ones. Eerie coincidences. Ghostly occurrences. Even, in extreme cases, visions. It was all so comforting to them and seemed to bring them so much peace. They weren't frightened or scared; they truly felt their loved one's presence at the exact time they needed it.

But I haven't really felt my father's presence at all. Not in any sort of way that matters, at least. There have been a few times where the lights have flickered, but that's it. It's never been anything more than that. For all intents and purposes, it's like he's disappeared from my life. And that hurts more than I probably want to admit. Where is he? Where did he go? I want to feel like he's with me and that there's still that connection there because sometimes, it starts to feel like there's nothing left at all. It would be unbelievably comforting to get some sort of sign from him.

It's not like I haven't been looking because I have been -- all over the place, actually. I look for him in that way you look for someone that you desperately miss -- you look for any sign of them, even in the most random of places. I know looking probably won't turn up anything, but that doesn't stop me from keeping my eyes peeled all the time. And honestly, my eyes are growing very tired. They need to rest.

Or maybe I need to rest. It can be hard to tell the difference between the two sometimes. All I know is that I miss my father. And I wish I felt him with me more than I do right now.

[Photo via We Heart It]


  1. Melissa,I am(or at least try to be) a religious person and I think an awesome person like your father must be in Heaven. I do understand your feelings though.After my mom died,my sister said she felt a comforting hug from her.My aunt had a plant my mother had given her bloom out of season. I was pretty angry about it at the time.She loved to watch birds when she was alive,especially cardinals. In the last few years,I have come to feel that whenever I see a cardinal at my bird feeder it is Mom stopping by to say hi.Since she died in 1995,it did take me awhile to come to this realization.So please do not give up!You are a wonderful person and I hope it happens for you and you get your rest.Marguerite Warren

  2. I'm still waiting too. It's like he did disappear.

  3. I was at a church retreat once and the pastor was doing a guided meditation. She told us to picture a wise woman. I pictured my great grandmother who had died a few years before. I pictured her with me in a garden with pink rose petals raining down on me. She loved growing roses. Her presence was so strong I just started crying. I had to leave the room I was so overwhelmed with tears of love. You never know when a loved one will touch your soul. I pray that you feel your dad's presence and it gives you peace.

  4. I am sorry for the loss of your father. My advice? Be busy! Move forward with your lives. Don't sit and wallow in the pain. Don't obsess as to why it happened or how it happened. It just did. Cultivate new relationships. Travel to a new destination. Expand your knowledge or advance your career aspirations. Volunteer somewhere your father would have supported. Plant a tree/garden in his honor. Host a fund raiser to benefit suicide awareness. Celebrate his life by making his favorite recipes and invite his siblings over to share the meal. Donate to his favorite charity. But please don't waste your days waiting for him to walk back through the front door or obsess over looking for some divine "sign" that he is with you. You need look no further than your heart, as that is where he resides now. And I believe he would want you all to continue living, growing, evolving, loving and creating meaningful lives that bring YOU peace and joy.

  5. Same here. I've lost many people close to me over the years - my "twin cousin" (born on the same day in the same hospital), my mom, my brother, my sister, and most recently my husband, and I had no idea that any of them had passed (well, except my husband, since I was sitting next to him at the time), nor have I had anything I would consider a "message" from any of them. There are certainly things that make me think of them - my mother loved roses, and it was many years after her death before I could look at roses and not think I should get her some - and just the other day I was wishing Frank were here to tell me what kind of birds I was looking at. But I don't feel their presence - quite the opposite, I miss them all terribly. But as "anonymous" said, all we can do is honor them by living our lives the best we can, and I try to do that.

  6. It's all quite understandable. And I do consider myself a religious person that believes in God. My mother passed away four months ago. I miss her something terrible and wish I could have a sign from her. But I know she is residing eternally in Heaven, and someday I will see her again. I will pray for peace and comfort for you.


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