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Home / Articles / Columnists / Chicken Soup for the Soul /  One Rainbow wasn't enough
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Tuesday, February 5,2013

One Rainbow wasn't enough

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger  

Think of him still as the same, I say, He is not dead; he is just—away.

-James Whitcomb Riley

The day that Grandpa came to school to pick me up, I knew something was wrong because Mom was supposed to be there. We were all supposed to go out to dinner that night to celebrate our friend Sherry’s birthday. When Grandpa told me that you had a heart attack, I thought he was just kidding. When I could see that he was serious, I thought I was going to die. I was too shocked even to cry. I felt so numb and helpless. I just sat there, thinking, Why? You were so big, strong and healthy. You worked out every day. I thought you would be the last person, ever, to have a heart attack.

 

Being in the hospital was terrifying. You were in a coma. You had so many tubes and machines all around you. You didn’t look at all like yourself. I could feel myself shaking. I just wanted you to wake up from this horrible nightmare and take me home. The whole hospital was filled with many people who came to see you. They treated me very nicely. I never knew you had so many kind friends. Sherry was there, too, but we didn’t celebrate her birthday.

That first day was followed by a couple of days of restless sorrow, sleepless nights, and lots and lots of praying. None of it worked. On February 26, the most tragic thing of my entire 10 years of life, and for probably the rest of my life, happened to me. The one person I looked up to more than anyone else in this world died. I don’t even know if you heard me tell you good-bye.

I had never been to a funeral before. I was astonished to see that more than a thousand people came. All our family and friends were there, and a lot of people I didn’t even know. I figured out afterward that you must have treated them the same special way you treated me. That’s why they all loved you. Of course, I always knew you were so special, but you were my dad. On that day, I found out how special you were to so many other people.

Even though it has been more than a year, I still think about you all the time and miss you very much. Some nights I cry myself to sleep, but I try not to get too downhearted. I know I still have a lot to be thankful for. You gave me more love in 10 years than a lot of kids probably ever get in their whole lives. Sure, I know you can’t play ball with me anymore on the weekends, take me to Denny’s for breakfast, tell your corny jokes or sneak me doughnuts. But I also know that you are still with me. You’re in my heart and in my bones. I hear your voice inside my head, helping to guide me through life. When I don’t know what to do, I try to think about what you would tell me. You are still here, giving me advice and helping me figure things out. I know that whatever I do, I will always love you and remember you.

I’ve heard that whenever someone dies, God sends a rainbow to take the person to heaven. The day you died, a double rainbow appeared in the sky.

You were six foot four. I guess one rainbow wasn’t enough to carry you all the way to heaven.

I love you, Daddy.

Matt Sharpe, age 12

 

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