“After my father died, the grief was just almost unbearable. I had been his little girl. Everyone saw me as the most connected to him. 18 months later, my mother died.”
My father died when I was 31 as the result of a car accident. It was very difficult to lose him at an early age. He was very active, still worked in construction, and was injured on his way home from work. There was the trauma of this car accident, in addition to his death, and seeing him in an ICU with broken bones and on a ventilator. He was too young to die. He was 69. Now that I’m almost 69, it seems really young.
Through my twenties, I was not a regular church attender. I went back to Minnesota for the funeral with my faithful church-going family. We had a traditional Lutheran service. My father died on October 31st, so we had an All Saints’ Service, which was meaningful to me. It brought me back to my roots. We had always attended a Lutheran church that was traditional and had wonderful music, a few blocks from St. Olaf College.
The grief was just almost unbearable. I’d been my father’s little girl. There were five of us, and everyone saw me as the most connected to him, and I think I was. I took a day off in December, came downtown, and just kind of wandered around. I saw this church, and debated whether to go in. But I didn’t. I knew I couldn’t talk to anybody without falling apart. It took until the following summer till I came back. It brought me back to church ever since. It was a turning point for me, getting back to the church, my faith, and my roots.
18 months later, my mother died. She dropped dead on Easter morning. That brought us to an Easter funeral, which was amazing. It was different than when my father died. I was singing in the choir on Easter morning, and found out that afternoon. It was hard that she died so suddenly, but having come back to faith made it easier. I remember saying to my sister as we drove to the cemetery, “We’ll never have to go through losing a parent again.” But then you become a senior generation, once they’re gone.