The Cold and Painful Visit

cemetery snow

The Cold and Painful Visit

The phone call finally came one day,

A call that was expected;

My younger brother was calling me,

With pain and grief detected.

 

Our father finally died, he said,

After a long battle of pain;

But when the end finally arrived,

I grieved, but could not explain.

 

Within a day I arrived in town

And asked the driver to leave.

I entered the familiar funeral home

Where I alone could grieve.

 

The snow and ice pierced my body through,

When outside was deepest cold.

But I was now alone in this quiet place,

A place where I could behold.

 

I found the room where dear Dad lay,

And approached the sacred spot;

Could this really be my father dear,

Could this have been his lot?

 

I gazed into the face of this one

Whom I loved since I was born;

I lifted my heart to God above,

In this place where I could mourn.

 

Tears filled my eyes when I pondered

Of days and years now gone;

I thought of sunset years and then

I thought of earliest dawn.

 

I knew this dear and rare man

When I was a little child;

He loved me and protected me,

This man so gentle and mild.

 

Everyone seemed to love my dad,

And for my mother he tenderly cared;

He was sincere, kind and considerate–

This man, so frail and silver-haired.

 

The body was still, no movement made–

I studied him in my grief;

How could my dear dad now be dead,

I thought in disbelief.

 

Those happy years of childhood came,

Those turbulent times of youth. . .

My dad sought to instill in me

Lessons of love and truth.

 

I felt so empty now inside,

He could never laugh and talk;

We could never again have companionship

And could never take a walk.

 

I felt so wretched deep within,

For this my father was dead.

We never could have fellowship,

This earthly road to tread.

 

A long, long time I lingered there,

Deep in sorrow and pain;

For this my own flesh now was gone–

My tears I could not refrain.

 

Outside the weather was deepest cold–

Winter prevailed that day.

And coldness seemed to fill that room

And would not go away.

 

I lifted my heart to my loving God,

For He alone could understand;

He would take me home one day

And receive me in a Better Land.

 

This heavenly home knows no death,

For life and joy and peace

Are things that fill that blessed place,

But pain and sorrow will cease.

 

The raw and bitter cold continued

And we barely could drive our car;

Yet the family gathered for the day

Traveling from afar.

 

The burial day came and went

And I left my family there.

I traveled south to a warmer place

And skies so blue and clear.

 

I am now reminded of this time

Of death, of cold, of tear–

And then I think of present times

Without my father near.

Just as I left the cold and death

And found a warm place,

So I will leave this world of death

By God’s redeeming grace.

 

I one day will find a Home

Where God’s own warmth and love

Surround His children eternally

In that kingdom from above.

 

The things I learned when dear Dad died

Linger within my heart,

For God in wisdom taught me much–

A wisdom that death can impart.

 

Richard Hollerman

 

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