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A Bright New Future for My Father Published: Sunday, June 29, 2008 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel (Coco) Morales

This past week my father, Manuel Ángel (Piculín) Morales, passed away.  So, I have been immersed in a kind of profound psychology of tears, sorrow, anguish, dread and light anger.  At the same time, I have been experimenting with feelings of peace, gratitude, healing, newness and eternity.  I am a practicing (struggling) Christian, and all of those feelings apply to the reality of facing the death of a loved one.  Even the Lord Jesus Christ wept at the death of a loved one.

In solitude, I have sorrowed the quick departure of my father, (85 years is a very short time) and I am already missing him.  However, this deep sorrow is accompanied by a conviction of a profound sense of hope.  Along with the tears and sorrow, as a believer, I know that death is only the end of life on earth and the beginning of life in heaven.  Of course, death is difficult because is a loss. It momentarily creates a huge pain because a real loved one is gone, and psychologically is life loosing innocence, acknowledging sin and confronting punishment.

So to the faithful reader of this column that once urged me to write something about the dynamics of death, I say now, about a year later, that indeed death is a painful reality, faced by all human beings.  I have lost my beloved father (in my own ways and terms), and I will one day die myself.  Though, I don’t deny that this is a distasteful and dreaded experience, and that few would say they look forward to it, this condition is viewed very different from God’s perspective… For typical humans death is something to be avoided and for God it is something to be anticipated.  For some death may be a gloomy day and for God is a glorious new day. 

Humans see death as the end of a journey, and God sees it at the beginning of the best and perfect journey of all.

To my readers, I say that your perspective on death affects your ability to manage it.  For me, as a Christian, the approach of death is a time of positive anticipation because I love God and long to be with Him forever.  Like Abraham, we are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.  Then death of my father, even though it hurts, is not a time to be feared, it is time to anticipate hearing our Lord saying to him, well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your Lord…

Death is not the end of everything for my father, who was always a man of God, but is the door to a bright new future.  It is a matter of transition from the closing of one phase of life to opening up an eternal life that is for better than we can ever imagine.

My father is finally home with his mother Ramonita and his father Nicolas, all enjoying heaven.  With him, I have an album of good memories and personal sacrifices that made him one of the greatest of all the generations of the Morales.  He was modest, very intelligent, enjoying always the solitude around his small family, his books, papers, notes, and with the limited presence of one or two friends.  He was always proud of what the Morales family achieved individually and collectively, by working hard, very hard and by never giving up when facing problems and challenges.  His life as a reader, a researcher, an intellectual, and a never complaining but looking for solutions as a family man, gave a profound meaning to my life.  He loved all his grandchildren, and was especially linked to my son Guillermo Morales Rubert, the dean of love of all the Morales.  He was always looking for Dalismar Morales, my daughter. 

Today, with tears, I celebrate his life, preserving the good memories, forgiving the sad stories, and feeling always very privileged and proud to be his son.  Dear father, I will catch up…


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