Grieving is hard to do.  The hardest thing is not to get side tracked and get upset about other things.  All that upset is easily diverted to other issues–it almost seems that it wants a distraction.  But I’ve tried to keep my eye on the real loss, the loss of my dad.
     Many, many incoherent and seemingly random thoughts have flowed through my mind.  Then, I’ll start crying about the strangest among them.
     The two most helpful things have been being able to pray–I go to Adoration or pray silently in my room–and talking with Ron.  God has been so consoling and powerfully healing; and Ron is amazingly wise, clearheaded and understanding.  Talking through these seemingly random thoughts (and raw emotions) with God and then with the person who has pledge to be “as Christ” to me has helped me break through the negativity and find so many positive ways to interpret, reprocess and analyze the way things are left, now that he’s died.
     The shocking thing to me is that I keep seeing the ugly, fallen, wayward, miserable parts of his life–and then seeing his love for me, Kim and Melia.  The love for us shines through so purely, so unmarred.  But it is shining through all sorts of grit and grime.
     My best example of this is the last picture Melia took of him.  He was obese, pale, and miserable.  He was so sick looking, that it is not surprising to me that this is the last picture of him ever taken–he looked like death.  But he was down on two knees, stretching his arms out, professing his undying love for her.  She photographed the moment, and it was a little joke between them that she shared with me the weekend of the funeral.
     This is my dad in a nutshell–his love peeking out through the clouds of darkness.
     As St. John of the Cross says, “In the eve of life, we will be judged on love.”  If I were my Dad’s advocate before Christ the judge, I would bring this photo.  What an amazing testament to the real Randall A. Kreiling.