Since my Dad died I have experienced a variety of emotions. Certainly there has been grief, sadness and loss. There has also been a measure of peace. While Dad loved life to the very end, his last few weeks were not easy. Living far away, I jumped every time the phone rang. While I didn't necessarily recognize it at the time, much of my emotional energy went into worrying. I worried that he would catch a virus or sustain an injury. I worried that he wouldn't be able to stay home like he wished. Much of his situation was out my ~ or anyone's ~ control.
There is peace in knowing that he is no longer suffering. There is also peace in knowing, as St. John Chrysoston affirms, he is now wherever I am. I laughed the other day when something funny happened that I know he would appreciate. I felt him laughing with me. I see his face when I close my eyes to go to sleep at night. Often when I see him in this way he is smiling. This tells me that wherever he is, whatever he is experiencing, there is joy.
I would trade all of this in a minute to have him back ~ healthy and robust. Yet, I know this is not possible. So I give thanks. Even though he is no longer where he was before, he is now wherever I am.