My Goodbye to my Dad

To say this year has been a journey would be an understatement. Let’s say more like a roller coaster ride, that often resulted in leaving me in mid air longer than I’d prefer to be. Today marks one year since my father took his last breath.

It’s been about a month since I’ve last blogged. Honestly today is difficult. I still struggle with consistently sharing my thoughts and feelings but it’s necessary that I push through. At times I’ve questioned if I bring any value to anyone else through my testimonies. However, I am going to continue to walk in obedience as much as possible. If just one person can relate, I am grateful!

This last year has been a transitional one. I moved into the position I desired at work, I was in an accident at work and shortly after my father passed away. Months passed and I begin to struggle personally as well as at work. I recently made the decision to leave the company I’d been working at and was granted the opportunity most recently to work with Veterans. This is a career advancement for me that couldn’t have come at better timing. I found the transition very coincidental being that my father served in the military. God has a way!!! 😊 Many of the obstacles I faced were very hard to cope with.

Let’s start with the passing of my father. I never imagined that his death would impact me the way that it has. The man that at times I hated to love. Wow!! 😳 I can attest God’s love mending any broken situation, because if you’d ask me as a child if I cared if he passed my answer may have been “No”. 🤷🏽‍♀️ As an adult, I never thought I would be able to withstand the task related to his death. God equipped and prepared me even when I didn’t recognize this.

I had the opportunity to sit with my father for several days as he lay in a coma like state prior to his death. It was just my God, myself and my father. As the days drew, his quality of life declined. I had a gut feeling at the minute we received news that he was in the hospital that I would never see him the same. I begun to prepare myself in that very moment. As days led up to tough decisions, God began to speak to me and I knew this would be my opportunity to say anything that I needed to say to my father before it was too late. It was really tough but somehow I mustered up the strength to speak what God shared with me. Although my Dad and I had a very good relationship we still had some unresolved issues. God had informed me on my last day at his bed side that, if I did not speak I would NEVER get the opportunity again.

My Dad had been unresponsive and unable to speak a word for a few weeks. I had the opportunity to speak with many physicians who informed me that there was nothing further that can be done to keep him alive. His wife and I ultimately made the decision to try and keep him comfortable at this point until the unthinkable happened. I had been back and forth from NC to VA about 10 times alone at this point. Most days just sitting beside my dad as he rested. We never got the chance to hold a conversation. 🥲 The last day I was there he began to mumble slightly, move his head very little and gaze. Every time I would try to leave he would mumble or stare at me. I finally mustered up enough strength to put how I felt aside and listen to God’s voice. As directed by God, my final statement to my Dad was in reference to me forgiving him and asking him to forgive me. I laid my hand on his chest and assured him that God had forgiven him also. 🙏🏽 I said to my dad “you can rest Dad you no longer have to be tough. God will wrap his arms around you.“

My final question to my father was Dad are you tired? Very clearly he mumbled “uh huh”. In this moment. This is the clearest I’d heard anything spoken from him in over a month. 😳😩 He hadn’t even been responsive to touch. I knew in my heart that anything I’ve ever done in-spite of didn’t matter! I felt as though I had no control over my lips. It had to be God speaking through me. I didn’t shed a tear or feel nervous at all. (Not that I didn’t want to) I couldn’t believe the words that had been delivered from my lips. It was simple but I had no idea on that day I would speak anything of this sort. 😳 God brought us closer than we could have ever been in my entire life in my dad’s final hours on this earth. I felt a sense of peace on that day that I’ve never experienced before. I headed back to NC after our encounter. Less than 2 days later my dad transitioned. I couldn’t imagine how I’d felt if I were not given the opportunity to set myself completely free. It felt AMAZING!!!! ❤️🙌🏽

If you can hear the voice of God speak to you regarding forgiveness, PLEASE LISTEN. It’s an unexplainable feeling when you know it’s God’s voice giving you direction. You may never get the opportunity to resolve or forgive someone. I’m grateful I did.

Grieving does not look and feel the same for everyone. For months I felt that I had control over my thoughts and feelings regarding my father passing. Unfortunately, I did not have things in control. There are different variations of strength. I remained strong for those around me but deep down inside I was loosing every ounce of internal control I thought I had. I went through crying spells alone, anger, defeat and many other emotions. I say this quite often, never judge a book by its cover. You never know what someone is going through!! I am at peace with my dad but I really miss my him a lot!!!

Death can bring forth many emotions that we do not truly understand. Every day is different for me and I’m just coping as best as possible. ❤️

You are truly missed DAD!!

Anthony Earl Hilliard Sr. ❤️

8-28- 1955 12-18-2019

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