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Mourning a Loved-One's Passing

Updated on January 11, 2011
DeVerl Heber Anderson-- Born September 6, 1929- Died January 9, 2011
DeVerl Heber Anderson-- Born September 6, 1929- Died January 9, 2011

Touched by Death

Death isn't a stranger to me. I've felt its touch on more than one occasion with the death of family and friends. I'm not alone in that, I know, and yet when someone I love passes on, it does create a lonely feeling. I can't help but think of the times I won't get to see, or have a conversation with that person I cared for, or wrap my arms around them again.

I've found myself back in that same position now, with the passing of my stepfather. "Stepfather." That word sounds so cold when I think of all that he really was to me. Had he come into my life at an earlier age than 11, no doubt he'd have been "Dad." But that's not the way life worked out. So instead, I called him by his nickname, as he'd asked me to. I quite liked his nickname anyway. I called him "Stub," and the name fit him well, for he was quite stubborn.

He'd married my mother, who was more than a little younger, in an effort to help her regain custody of my sister and me. We were, at the time, in a foster home and she had little hope of getting us back, as it wasn't the first time we'd been wards of the state. He made it his duty to bring us home and give us a stable life. He did that without ever once saying that it wasn't his responsibility to raise another man's offspring, even when in a fit of anger I'd told him a time or two that he wasn't my father. But the fact is, he was. In all the ways that matter, Stub was my father.

Moving Forward

Now I find myself in a position I both asked for, and yet fear. I get to speak at his funeral. When asked if I wanted to, I said yes without hesitation, but now, thinking on it, I'm so afraid that I won't do him justice. He wasn't perfect, and I don't want to make him sound like he was. But he was a good man who has much to do with where I am now in my life. And let me assure you that I am happy with where I am in my life.

It seems I am now a woman without a father. I never realized before how much I'd counted on him being here, year-after-year. He was a fixture that maybe I took for granted. When I called, he answered. When I needed him, he ran. He won't be doing that anymore, but I know he's in a better place.

His last few months on this Earth were painful and I'm sure, at times, humiliating to him. He had to have hated not being able to do as he pleased. He certainly resisted having others take things over for him at times. While his body grew weak, his spirit stayed strong.

So I have to let him go. Not that I had much choice. But I know that I will see him again. I know that I will talk with him again. I know that I will get to throw my arms around him again and feel that reassurance that only a father can give.

Gone, but Not Forgotten

The best gift I can give him, besides overcoming my stage-fright and keeping those tears back long enough while in front of all those people at his funeral, is to repay him by living my life in a way that he would have been proud of. For I know he'll be watching. I hope that he will see that he had a great influence on my life. He made me want to be better. He helped me to believe that I was worth the effort he put forth in helping to raise me to womanhood.

So I will stand and tell all those who knew and loved him that I loved him too. I will do my best to confirm what most of them already know. Stub was a good man whose presence will be missed more than words can express.

He may be gone for a time, but he will never be forgotten. He's earned his place in my heart, and there he will stay. He is my family. He is my Dad.


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    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      this is a lovely tribute to a lovely gentleman. I think you mde him proud. What a loving hub. I am honoured to have read it.

    • nell79 profile image

      nell79 7 years ago from United States

      I put it off until the very last minute, as I knew it would be draining. I only just finished--and I was right, I am exhausted now. But I'm sure I'll get through it. He didn't raise a weakling! :)

      Thanks for your comment, Nell. Sounds funny to say that--that's what people call me, too! You be sure to take care too :D

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, you will be fine, if you say the words as you have written them here, then it will be a fine tribute. whatever you write will come from the heart, take care

    • nell79 profile image

      nell79 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you all for your support and kind words. I've been working at writing what I want to say in my head and hope that by tomorrow I'll be ready to get it written out on paper. I'll pray the lord gives me the right words and the strength to get through this and do it right.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Nell, You have really written a nice tribute here on this Hub for Stub and I have no doubt your love and experience will shine forth when you do the eulogy. Of course you might be emotional, but people understand and they want to hear what you have to say. God bless you.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      Looking at what you have written here I can only say that the eulogy will be a fine tribute. When it is time to read it, have someone close to you have a second copy and then if you are unable to read on because of tears they can read it for you. I think you will do a wonderful job, and that he would be proud of you. This is voted up and beautiful too.

    • profile image

      Ross Cunningham 7 years ago

      My sister and I were adopted by our mother's 2nd husband, a man that always treated me like his son. He is Dad, whereas my biological father is Father.....but I've come understand the difference....

    • Hugh Williamson profile image

      Hugh Williamson 7 years ago from Northeast USA

      This is a great story -- you told the story of Stub and your relationship with him to perfection.

      I'm sure Stub's eulogy will be just as good. Best wishes.