November 17, 1991.
What was it about the air that day? Sharp and bright, laced with the scent of burnt amber leaves. The sweet promise of decay and death infused my senses, yet a bitter taste lingered on my tongue. Something wondrous and beautiful tugged at the frayed edges of my mind. Those worn gossamer threads were unraveling, and it chilled me to the bone.
Although 3,000 miles away, I already knew you were gone from this world. The moon and stars whispered to me as I crossed the dark field alone. Your universe has shifted, Dear One. I paused and looked up at the sky.
So much magic within that pause!
Standing over your grave, this air continued to fill my lungs, forcing me to breathe in spite of my urge to jump into the cold ground with you.
Why was the day we buried you so lovely? Why was the sun still there? How dare it burst through the clouds, igniting the caked soil on our feet with its dappled brilliance as we stood huddled and abandoned at the edge?
It was a fitting departure for you, Dad.
November was your favorite month. It meant football games blaring in the background, turkey roasting in the oven, icy mittens melting on the radiator.
Now every year when November comes, the old familiar ache of dread begins again. First, it was a twisted knot of fear boring a hole deep into my gut. Then for years only tired sadness would creep, casting heavy shadows in my eyes.
Finally, it gave way to something bigger than I ever imagined:
For your luminance has roosted, nestled permanent and deep within my wounded heart. Keeping these bones of mine warm with the hope you’ll carry me through the many pauses yet to come.
72 thoughts on “A Starry Night in November”
This was a beautiful loveletter to your dad. Thank you for sharing it. All the best to you.
Thanks for reading it. It’s important to me to keep my dad’s memory alive by writing about how much he meant to me.
You’re so welcome. I’m sure he is very proud of you.
Truly beautiful. I miss my Dad too and did a post on him this past week. Sometimes I feel he’s there watching over me. We have no grave to tend, though I have my memories on the wall with his marquetry, photographs and poetry, his love in my heart and his cardigan once more wraps its magic around me.
Your comment is beautiful. My dad does watch over me, just like yours watches over you.
Your whole heart shines here.
Thanks so much for saying so, Honie!
That was really beautiful, Denise Darla. 🙂 I do love this sort of weather…I think of it as Football Weather and Maine is really great for it. Happy Sunday!
This has been the best fall ever too, the weather has been perfect.
Did my blog post about The Walking Dead filming a live episode in Maine make the rounds to your part of the state? 🙂
This was really beautiful.
Beautifully written! My mama P just passed away in October, and I can resonate with these feelings. What a wonderful way to keep his memory alive.
So sorry about your mom. For me writing about him is very healing and I just want people to know about him.
This is gorgeous writing Darla! What beautiful prose and tribute. We always feel the hole in our heart when a loved one passes. Filling it with happy memories and the passing of time helps!
Thanks, Susie, that means a lot to me. Time does heal all wounds, it’s true.
Very good, beautifully written. So many of us can relate to this. But your final thought there, “peace” is such a milestone when mourning the loss of someone. Sometimes that can take years, decades even. It’s not really an acceptance that they’re gone, it’s just an acceptance that you are going to be okay without them.
Steve, such wise words in your comment. You are right, it can take decades, maybe even a lifetime to accept. But when that moment comes, it’s like a breakthrough. You can start enjoying life and remembering that person with only positive thoughts.
I hope I can be this for my daughters.
I’m certain you will.
There is always a special bond between Dads and Daughters. Thanx for sharing this moment with us.
Very true, Coop. I will always be Daddy’s little girl. My daughter has her dad wrapped around her little finger already.
Hauntingly beautiful. And so promising. Love it Darla.
Having that hope, that promise of peace is the best we can ever hope for in this life, isn’t it? (I meant to ask you about a post you linked to on your other blog. It was fantastic, probably the most insightful thing I’ve read in awhile, can I link to it on this blog?)
You bet! Have you had a chance to read any of the other entries there? Just curious.
Not yet, but I loved the one I had a chance to read.
It’s obvious that your father was the brightest star in your life and he’s still there shining. Thinking of you today, D!
When I look up in the sky, I see him and can feel him. It’s very comforting. Thanks, RP.
Twenty years ago the 6th of November, my Dad passed away… I still miss him, still think of calling him, this was beautiful. Thank you, my heart goes out to you.
I’m so sorry you lost your dad too. My brother said to me last week, “Remember when we used to go downstairs and just sit with Dad and talk about life? I miss that.” It’s those simple things I still miss even though he’s been gone longer than I had him in my life.
that is how it is with my Mom. Our parents are always a part of us somehow.
Just barely into this post, I knew it was to your Dad. Hugs!
Aw, thanks so much, Georgette!
A beautiful tribute to your Dad, Darla. May each time you think of him be filled with the wonderful times you shared. Blessings.
The older I get, the more the beautiful memories seep in to my mind. Thanks, Judy.
What a beautiful letter to your father! I was right there with you. *squeezes your hand* Thank you for sharing this with us. I bet he loves it!
Yup, after I hit publish I thought, “there you go, Dad, I know you’ll love this one!” Thanks so much, Jess.
We’ve spoken so many times, you and I, about these empty spaces. I love that you can now fill them with peace and stars — both as boundless as your love. Hugs.
The older I get, the more I appreciate those pauses in life. It’s where the truth lies and I think it’s peaceful and amazing.
Reading this made my heart ache and soar at the same time, Darla. Happy Anniversary to your Dad on this, his 22nd year of existence on the Other Plane. I hope today has been more peaceful than upsetting, more happy than sad, and more warm than cold.
It really was a day full of peace and love and warmth, Weebs. How could it not be when I had such a great dad? You and I are blessed in so many ways.
Tears rolling, heart bursting for you. Such a lovely thing. I feel sure your dad is smiling through tears, too.
It’s incredible how having such a deep loss can transform how a person sees life, all in good positive ways. I know my dad is proud of me.
Your love for your dad so clearly shines in you, DP. This was beautiful.
Thanks, JD. He’s still a big part of my life.
Thank you, this struck a chord with me.
Thank you for reading it, that means a lot people understand what I’m feeling.
Sending you so much love! ❤
Thanks! Love is all you need, according to the Beatles (and me)
Darla, I got goosebumps reading this. While I’ve made peace with my dad’s death (I was only 4 when he died), I regret not knowing he died, how he died, or being there to honor his death. I had to grieve ten years late, which is a lot tougher because no one is there to go through it with you.
I can imagine it was very painful for you, Lorna. The not knowing has got to be hard. Making peace with his death had to be a huge milestone for you.
It was. And it wasn’t just a one-time event. It took years. I suppose that’s true for lots of people and their grieving processes, though.
So true, years is probably more the norm. Sometimes it takes an entire lifetime.
Both the writing and your unabashed love are stunningly beautiful.
Thanks, I struggled to get the right words out, but was happy I did.
Such a lovely letter to your father. I have goosebumps!
Thank you. I cried a lot while writing it. Good tears, though.
Beautiful expression of love. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for reading it.
so beautifully written from the heart….makes me think of my dad who has left this world one October day…You write so wonderfully…I will keep coming for more..
Sorry you lost your dad, too.
I usually write more humorous stuff, so this was a nice change for me.
I feel like you broke my heart and put it back together all at the same time. Really lovely writing.
Oh, thank you so much, Jen! Your comment perfectly sums up how I felt after he died, like my heart was broken. It’s finally being mended now.
Very beautiful. A loving contribute to him. 🙂
such a nice way of remembering your dad. Beautiful!
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I really think that this post is beautiful. I appreciate your sharing it.
Achingly beautiful post, Darla. (Sorry it took me so long to get to it!). Peace be with you in your heart. xo
Aw, never apologize, Dana! I can’t keep up with blog reading anymore at all. Thanks for reading it. I really am in a peaceful place now about my dad and it feels good.
Such a beautiful description of the journey through grief to the other side. I had a rough one, I lost a son. Life isn;t supposed to do that. It was 1988 and only in the past few years can I remember him with a huge smile which followed his jokes and antics. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, it is poignant and beautiful when we can smile in remembrance again.
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