When Superman Dies (Grieving My Dad’s Loss)

I remember hearing the words… “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible. Every week when watching Superman there was a threat! Yet Superman was always willing to sacrifice his well being for the well being of others. However, in each episode Superman won! He could not lose. I think that is why it was such a shocker when seeing the ending scene of Batman V. Superman. Superman was not just defeated he was dead… and buried!  I remember walking out of the theater dejected! Hurt! I can’t really explain why… until the last day of Summer this year… my dad died.

Superman was not supposed to die… and neither should my dad! As a boy, I remember seeing dad as a super man. Perhaps one reason was that he said Superman was his brother and they were separated at birth (I think I believed that until I was 12 years old… don’t judge me he was a REALLY good storyteller)! Perhaps it was because my dad is who I saw everyday being… well… a man. I watched how he interacted with my mother, with me, with my brother, how he worked at the house, how he laughed and wove a story. I marveled at who he was and held on to every word, every tickle, every moment. To me dad was Superman! Not saving the world (or even Lois Lane) but rather he was the picture of how a man should be and he seemed super! He was the pinnacle of who I could be. So when my dad died… I didn’t know what to do!

If I’m telling the truth (and I am), I have to say that I still don’t know what to do with the loss of my dad but I am learning to point up and move forward. As I process my dad’s death here is what I am reminded of…

Everyone has influence

My dad worked in shipping and receiving over 30 years. He thought he did not have much influence but his life lessons and stories have influenced me and many others. His “life celebration” service was full (we thought it was lame to call it a “memorial service”! We thought about saying “Funeral” but decided against it even though dad thought we should put the “fun” back in “funeral” [I’m telling you he just looked at stuff a little different than most people])! He would often say things like “I’m satisfied with not leading.” But that is the paradox of life we can’t not lead. John Maxwell says that influence is leadership and everyone influences. So dad was very influential in his own way! I am reminded that everyone has influence.

Everyone dies

I hate this one! I catch myself reflecting on Genesis 1-3 and think… “what if Adam and Eve wouldn’t have messed it all up for all of us?!?!”We would have lived together… FOREVER! However, sin has infected all of us! Hebrews 9:27 – says “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” Lest we think we are immortal on this side of eternity we need to live in the reality that one day even the super-est of men and women will die.  

We will meet again

I hate that we die but I am thankful that we don’t just go back to the earth. We have been given great hope in 2 Cor 5:6-8… “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” For those who have surrendered to Christ (who is even better than Superman), they have been given eternal life and we will spend it together! Though my heart grieves I can say with gratitude that “it is not goodbye, just, I will see you later!” So… Dad, I’ll see you later! 

Christ is the ultimate example

As I alluded to earlier, Christ is our ultimate example. My dad was great but he had his flaws (just like every person before him and every person after him). Therefore, Paul’s words are especially meaningful as I consider my dad, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” So as I consider the life of my dad and remember his legacy I will imitate those things that reflect Christ (less I unwittingly worship him which sometimes happens after someone passes).

Closing thoughts:

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible… I thought. However, even Superman dies. Like Superman, but in different ways, my dad made sacrifices but the ultimate sacrifice was made by Christ on the cross. On the last day of Summer this year! … my dad died. I will miss him, hurt for him and I will also celebrate his life and the lessons he taught me! Dad was a super man!

These are the things I am learning. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. Please post your thoughts in the comments below.


Remembering my dad, Kenneth Lee White – My Superman

March 8, 1954 – September 21, 2017


14 Replies to “When Superman Dies (Grieving My Dad’s Loss)”

  1. Beautiful words brother! You are truly a man after God’s own heart. Keep your faith strong and your family close!

  2. So beautifully written Kenny! A beautiful reminder of our influence in life, while also reminding us of the promise that Christ gave us when he rose from the grave, we will meet again! Even knowing that, loss is hard, we are human. I enjoyed learning just a bit about your dad, I didn’t know him, but I can tell you that I would have loved his sense of humor! Always praying for you…

  3. it leaves a hole that shouldn’t be filled, in my opinion.
    I think God comforts us, and gives us hope that we will be reunited, and over time sweet starts to take place of bitter.
    It’s taken me a couple years to start moving from bitter loss to joy and feeling lucky in what I had. Long long way to go yet.
    Now I pick up the baton. Every time I tell my kids “you’re my favorite guy”, I still hear my dad saying it to me. And I make sure they hear it as much as I did.
    So keep his traditions alive and say I love you until your kids roll their eyes.

  4. Beautiful words for your father. I lost my dad 8 years ago and it still feels like yesterday. When I catch myself feeling the blues from his loss, I ask myself ‘Is God enough?’. We are so caught up in earthly things, but my God and his promises are enough and carry me through my days. With or without my parents He reminds me that He is more than enough. And I know I will be with them again. My heart to all of you while you work thru the pain of his loss. You were so very blessed to call him Dad.

    1. Thank you, Faught! You have always been a blessing and an encouragement. I know you are speaking life into those you work with now and serve with. Thank you for speaking life into me! Blessings to you, amigo!

  5. Thanks for these words about your father. I remember the first time I met your dad. We were in Minnesota and he tried to convince us all that the ice fishing houses on the lake were studio apartments you could rent. The first thing I thought was, “Now I know where Kenny gets it.” Then we got him to start telling stories when Kenny was a kid. “Hey Kenny, remember when we would drive in the rain and I would ask you why it was raining on the front windshield, but not on the back window?” (I don’t think Kenny solved that puzzle until he was 12.) His legacy and influence will endure.

    1. Lance, thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I appreciate you sharing your memories of my dad. However, I need to correct you… I was not 12 years old when I figured out “why the rain hits the front of the windshield and not the back”… I still don’t know!!! It is a complete mystery!!! Also, I am happy to rent one of those studio apartments out to you. I can give you a great deal right now… before the ice comes! 🙂 Thank you, Lance!!!

  6. I have very different feeling regarding the passing of my father. If I’m being honest, which I am, I probably go too far and come close to deifying my father. He was the best man I knew, and the foundation of everything I am. Not because he was perfect, but because he owned everything- right or wrong.
    My father’s passing has never gotten better. At times it is easier, but never better.
    I am glad and proud of you Kenny for your positive spin, and enlightened approach. You have always had that gift, and it is an incredible testimony and light that you shine. Continue to do so, and when it gets hard, the best words I received during that time were this: Remember to Breathe.

    1. Friede, thank you for your insight and wisdom! I am sorry for your loss and I am thankful for what your dad gave you! You are a huge blessing and I know you impact the lives you touch… I am one of those!!! Thank you!

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