Monday, May 25, 2009

One Final Act of Kindness

This is a very personal post.
I'm sorry I have not been updated my blog in the last few weeks.
As many of you have heard, on Saturday, May 9th, around noon, my father Daniel Charles Hennessey passed away. He died of sudden cardiac death while driving to dialysis on a beautiful day just 1/2 a mile from home. Though he had been very sick over the last 10 years, it was very sudden and unexpected, and shocking to us all. But in the wake of his death, I, and my family, have come to see so much beauty and a multitude of blessings that we would have never ever expected to accompany such a tragedy.

Though not easy, there was a lot of wonderful moments we experienced that following week as we prepared for his funeral. On Thursday, May 14th at 11am, we sang his favorite hims, recounted the funny, sometimes wonderfully irreverant stories of his youth, read his profound poetry, and shared the grief over the moments we would not get to share with him. But through it all, it was evident that he was not far away. I know he is in a better place. I am certain that I will see him again.

I want to share with you a very personal excerpt from a journal entry I wrote shortly after his funeral:

I believe in Christ...
I know it, though it may not always be in the forefront of my mind. It becomes an involuntary part of my daily life like breathing or blinking. But there are distinct and profound moments in my life that I have been so overwhelmed by this knowledge that I can never deny it...

One moment was my first time at the temple when recieving my own endowment,

and the feeling I felt as I entered the celestial room.
Another was when i was a teenager, reading the scriptures, worried for the well-being of my sister Mary who just that night told me that she could never be forgiven for her sins... I read King Benjamin's words and knew with such certainty that not only would she be forgiven, but that she would be made totally whole and new...

And she has.
Just a week ago, I experienced it again at my fathers funeral. I was emotional throughout the service, cherishing his humor, his love and spirit, but at the close we sang one of dad's favorite hymns...

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives."
I could hardly move my mouth as I was flooded with the greatest awakening of knowing that I (me!) i truly know that MY redeemer lives. That is my testimony. And what an incredible gift for my earthly father to give me. . . a final reminder that the plan of salvation is real, that we will be together again with our Heavenly Father.

I am so grateful for those moments, and so, as I continue breathing and blinking, I will also be believing.
Thank you, Daddy.

I am so lucky to have had such an incredible father, who I know was proud of me. I am so blessed to have had so much kindness shown to me and my family as we dealt with his loss. To those people I wish to express my utmost gratitude! And as I was not able to finish my own Act of Kindness Challenge, I dedicate the kindness that was shown to my family as the final gift, and to bring that project to a close. I hope to show kindness to those around me every day of my life, and I aspire to bring the warmth and life to a room that my father always did. I will love him and miss him til the end of my days, and I look forward to being with him again.
Families can be together forever.


Mama Winter said...

this was so touching :) You have a talent for saying what you feel so beautifully :) Very thoughtful and sweet. Well put :)
I know my redeemer lives :)
Isnt that such a wonderful fealing ??
Truly it is :) xo

Ashley said...

I just now saw this but it just about moved me to tears! Your testimony is beautiful and I'm so grateful you shared it with everyone because reading it definitely strengthens my own. You are such an amazing and strong person and completely inspiring to me! Thank you for your friendship and for always being such a source of positivity in my life!

On a different note, when are you going to do a show in LA?! I want to see you perform in one!