11:11 – what love means to me 2 years after loss
I’ve talked about this before. Castel St Angelo in Rome. It’s one of several places I visited in Italy that I connected with viscerally. Like punch-in-the-gut connection. I FELT that place. Felt like it would play a greater role in my life. I had no idea how. I still don’t really know, but I am a bit surer that I am right.
Italy was also the last holiday we took with my parents. Things like that are rarely accidents in my world.
Today makes two years since my dad died. And while our coping with that as a family has taken different forms, from crying every time we say his name to stoic plodding on, I speak for myself (and my mom and sis a little) when I say, the single biggest emotion that plagues me, even today, is ‘I wish he’d been here to see how much better my life is’. (He died at a point when we had made a massive life change and were struggling to get a footing. A saga he heard all about and fought through alongside us.)
He IS here, some might say. And I believe that.
But I mean in the flesh. With his big, happy smile and his inability to stand still when he’s excited. With pride gleaming in his eyes. (Don’t think I saw a lot of men of his generation give less of a shit that he ‘only had two daughters’. Big ‘girl power’ enabler, my dad.) With his bone-crushing hugs, that had actual restorative powers.
A year ago, I wrote this other piece in his honour, in which I said my commitment was to be kinder to myself. To see myself through my father’s eyes. I have to say I’ve done OK. I’ve resisted the urge to go straight to the negative many, many times. I’ve taken leaps of faith. I’ve put myself out there. I’ve gone up to strangers and told them why they should hire me for a project…
I’ve worked desperately hard on becoming a better person. And I’ve wished more than once that he could be here with his so-proud-of-you hugs. A longing that intensified till 11:11.
Some of you might know it as the ‘Angel Number’. It certainly is mine. (For those who don’t know, I’m talking about the time, as you’d see it on a digital clock. Look it up, it’s a thing.)
In the last year, he makes sure I know he’s got my back at least once a day with that number. Sounds freaky, I know. But reality is what you believe it is, isn’t it? On my hardest days, the days my spirit is so fucked up I don’t even want to get out of bed, I see 11:11 over and over. On every clock and appliance in the house. On my phone. On my computer. Morning and night. Talk about a parent showing up and being there for you! That role never ends, it appears. It takes on a warrior like fierceness when you’re on the other side.
Just like those angels in Castel St Angelo. No cherubs there. Just badass warrior angels. With swords and fierce faces.
Ariel. Uriel. Gabriel. Raphael. Michael. Badass warrior Archangels. Watching as you cross that bridge.
Protectors? Maybe. Symbols of power? Definitely. Reminders that you’ve got this, if not, they’ve got it for you.
I very rarely discuss my spirituality. But my battles with some of it, I occasionally describe, in a safe space. And one thing I know I sometimes wonder, when whatever version of prayer is on my mind… is anyone really listening. Does the divine power-that-is have time for my frivolous, first-world drama?
I go back to that angel line up. Now, to my mind, in there is my dad. Letting me know ‘yes, someone hears’. Someone’s got my back. Someone who showed me that love lives in different dimensions. Not just in this small earthly one.
Sleep well, Appa. I got this. You can take occasional breaks now😢♥
Image from Creative Commons