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Brad Stark

Brad Stark's fatherMy brother, Craig, phoned late one night and said: “Dad’s very ill. You better drive down first thing tomorrow.”

So early next morning I hit the road with a suitcase full of memories and apprehensions. Six hours later when I got to his ward at Mountainside Hospital, there was no one about, not even at the nurses’ station. Then an orderly came out.

“Leland Stark?” I asked. The young man looked down and said, “He’s in 6A. He died about an hour ago. The family has gone home. Want me to go in with you?”

I said, “No thanks, just give me a few minutes.”

If you’ve ever seen Death in the raw, you know it’s not some mortician’s graceful tableau. Death is cold. Brutal. Walking into 6A, I looked upon the face of my beloved, very dead Father. His mouth was open, his eyes rolled back, white.

I sat awhile in shocked silence, in the depths. Then gently closed his eyes.

And now here it is – the wonderful thing that happened on that terrible day.

Suddenly I experienced his spirit, right there beside me, touching me, alive, warm, whole, enfolding, loving. Suddenly we were connected! Everything we wanted – and needed – to say came alive like springtime! It was totally beyond understanding, and irrationally, absolutely, undeniably real.

“Thanks for waiting, Dad. I love you.”

This was his farewell gift to me, and now perhaps to you, and yours, and theirs.
Life is good.

Brad Stark

The day my Father died illuminated that far horizon we all