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The Week in Review: Putting Honey Badger to Shame

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Awww, how cute, honey badger is trying to be me.





In reading over this blog before posting it, I can tell it has a pretty different tone from what I usually write. I wrote most of it while I was really pissed off. I also wish that SparkPeople allowed swear words. But as they say: Honey badger don't care.

I am not normally an angry person. Of course I get upset, I GET angry, but I don't usually have this underlying tone of anger almost all the time. I can usually recognize that I'm angry and decide to cool off before taking any immediate action with that emotion. Not stifling the anger, but walking away from the situation, reflecting on it, and not taking impulsive actions while I am still upset. I think I kind of started that "anger" phase of grief a couple of weeks ago and just didn't realize it until it started getting out of hand. In any case, almost no one has been immune to me lashing out to them over the past week or so. Since my dad died February 11th, I have had waves of the most deep-seated anger I have ever experienced. Not only do I feel deeply angry, my brain has apparently decided to have no filter for what comes out of my mouth. I will start mulling over how someone has wronged me in the slightest, and I have just laid into them. Even when I know I'm about to be an as$h0le, I just think, "Nope, it's fine, I won't regret acting like this AT ALL later....RAAAAAHHH!"





I have been in honey badger mode. I make a honey badger in attack stance look like a napping kitten. Normally I pick my battles...over the past few weeks, I have been creating them. I have been spouting off and laying into people. I feel like I am burning bridges left and right. The littlest things seem disastrous, yet I am unconcerned about things like, say...slacking at work and possibly getting reprimanded. At least I have had some self-control. As much as I would like to scream, "WHY DO YOU THINK I GIVE A SH!T!" to every caller I talk to at work, I don't. See what a professional I am? I am just barely able to pull it together to handle one frantic phone call after another for 8 hours straight, and work has made everything much worse since my dad died. Work has become much worse in and of itself. I believe it is permeating into the other areas of my life. I can just never wind down. I get mad while I'm driving. The slightest annoyance when I'm out in public makes my blood boil. But as much as I would like to do a Jiu Jitsu take down and then yell, "F**k you, HAHA!" as I walk past people on the street, I don't.










Okay, so maybe I don't actually have the desire to assault people. But, I have had this very angry dialogue muttering through my head for weeks. It's like that guy who walks down the street muttering to himself and gesturing wildly--you know, the one you avoid eye contact with and stay way over on the sidewalk to avoid--is pacing in my head. Well, that guy seems to be expressing himself through my mouth over the past week. I marched into my boss's (as in our company's president) office and told him EXACTLY what I think of my job, how the company is run, and how I feel about my supervisor. I told him how a lot of the staff feels there is blatant favoritism going on and that a lot of talent is being wasted amongst the staff because of it. I felt free to point out that I am not the only one who feels this way. At least I wasn't swearing, so that's something...I guess.







Me talking to my boss earlier this week.



In any case, even before I started flipping out on everyone, I definitely felt alienated at my gym. Jiu Jitsu is my primary source of sanity, so I tried to keep going to the gym consistently. Since my dad's death didn't really sink in right away, I probably seemed pretty normal the first couple of days after he died. But then my eyes became puffy and I had dark circles under them from crying. I became a little more quiet and joked around less. The guys started to act like they didn't know how to act around me, so they avoided eye contact with me and ignored me instead. I think this alienation played into the feelings of anger. NOBODY messes with my Jiu Jitsu, and I felt so unwelcome and awkward stepping into the gym that I was not going. I felt uncomfortable when I did go. My favorite place on the planet was becoming a source of stress. I needed Jiu Jitsu, I needed my workouts, and I needed my team...and I wasn't getting much of any of those.

I had actually been considering switching to my new gym last year when they brought in a black belt instructor. I knew that the instruction was probably superior to what I was getting. I liked my teachers at my old gym just fine, and still planned on training there sometimes, but the teachers were purple belts, 2 levels below a black belt. But I stayed because I loved my team so much. I noticed the dynamics starting to change a bit; my good pals were training less and the newer guys that were starting were not very respectful and immediately formed cliques. I was watching my beloved team of guys dissipate. I started toying with going to my new gym towards the end of last year. Then, after feeling completely alienated after my dad died, I decided to make the switch official. Without my team, I had no reason to stay and I would not grow as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner. I second-guessed the decision many times, but the more I trained with my new instructor, the more I felt I was making a smart decision. I am also doing kickboxing again, and that will help me get into better shape. Despite finally feeling good about the switch, I knew that I couldn't live without ever working with my old team and still planned on training there a lot of Saturdays.

I was chatting with my old teacher via e-mail about an upcoming seminar and we got to talking about why I switched gyms. Then my teacher told me he had heard from several people that I had left the gym because I had been turned down by a guy there. I was insulted that the assumption was that because I'm a woman, I MUST have left because of a romantic situation at the gym. Needless to say, that pushed me over the edge. I laid into my Jiu Jitsu teacher via e-mail (a first, as I never like to have serious talks via e-mail), I posted a nasty Facebook post aimed towards the guys at the gym (another first), and I texted the guy who I figured must have started the rumor. I asked him if he was telling people that I left the gym because of him. He told me no, it wasn't him, but that he had heard that, too. I could have replied with something classy, but why go that route when you can say something like, "You've been acting like a jerk, so I figured you said it. The person who told me about it did not tell me who they thought I left the gym over...but grown women do not make major life decisions over a boy." I would like to point out that I genuinely thought that response was a good idea. So there I was, 34 years old, picking my first fight via text message. I impulsively unfriended the guy on Facebook. Thaaaaaat's right...I REALLY stuck it to him.

Apparently, grief causes you to revert to a 15-year-old who has just gone through a break-up. All that was missing was the Taylor Swift songs.

In any case, a very unconstructive conversation via text messaging ensued. At one point he asked me, "Where is this coming from?" Of course, the correct answer was, "I am insanely pissed because my favorite man in the world dropped dead 5 weeks ago and is now buried in the ground just a few feet away from my dead brother, and now I have to start being a damn grown-up all by myself," but instead I continued to tell him what a jerk I think he is.



Well, I used to be very sweet:




The problem is, the more pissed off someone is acting while they're grieving, the more they probably just need a hug and a good listener. Even if it seems like a grieving person is attacking you personally, it is unlikely that their anger has much to do with you. I have made a point to not fight any of the emotions that have come with losing my dad, as I know they are a part of the healing process. However, I have no right to lash out at others. My behavior over the past couple of weeks has been very uncharacteristic for me, but I did not recognize what an ass I was being until I laid into my teacher and my teammate. Then I just felt ridiculous. I mean, the way I acted towards them was so absurd that it's almost comical.

I realized why I am so pissed. Yes, anger is a normal part of grieving. But the more specific reason is that I want to talk to my dad so badly going through this career change. I have never made a major life decision without at least some of his guidance. I have especially sought his guidance when it comes to work, as he was an experienced manager and was so good at helping me weigh the pros and cons of a decision. He never made a decision for me, I am my own person, but he was my sounding board and almost always some advice that helped me make the decision in the wisest way possible. On Friday, as I was working of the career change blog I posted, I realized how badly I wanted to be able to talk to my dad. How much I felt like I NEED him in going through this life change.

I had already been fighting back tears for two days...and then the flood came. Uncontrollable, honking, trembling, blinding sobbing. I couldn't get a word out and could barely catch my breath. I hadn't cried like that since the first couple of days after my dad died five weeks ago. Actually, it is possible that I had never cried harder in my whole life. I felt significantly better afterwards; I guess it's all part of the healing process. Damn though, sometimes healing really hurts.

The anger has subsided significantly. After cooling down for a couple of days, I apologized to my friend/teammate for attacking him via text, which he accepted. I apologized to my teacher, and he said he wasn't mad anyways. I did not apologize to my boss; while some of my words may have been frank and harsh, I meant every one of them. Somebody had to say it to him; I guess it needed to be someone who felt at the moment that they had nothing to lose.

I would like to rewind about two months, before my world was facked. Two months ago, I felt like everything was possible and I was experiencing deep happiness. Sure, I still didn't like my job, but at least I didn't feel like I was going to snap. I know deep down that I will feel happiness again, but at this point I feel like "happy" could be a ways off. That does not mean I can't enjoy ANYTHING, but I am certainly far from being the light and vibrant person I was a few months ago. As a matter of fact, I have taken advantage of the strong emotions I have been experiencing to delve deep down inside to try to figure out what I REALLY want, and need.

I know that positive change is on the way; I am still excited about the career change I am making and I am enjoying my new gym. The positive person who has worked so hard to learn to take care of and love herself is still within me. She has made it so I don't eat my way through these horrible feelings. As a matter of fact, I think it is because of her that I am allowing myself to grieve and not be apologetic about being sad. I will just need to be more cognizant of any angry feelings bubbling up and find more constructive ways to handle them...you know, ways that don't involve text-message fighting, attacking Jiu Jitsu teachers via e-mail, impulsively ripping your company's president a new one, etc. The anger had gotten a little out of hand.

Sorry, honey badger, but you need to retreat back into your den. You're in the way.










Okay, fine, I can't resist ending my blog like I usually do with some inspirational quote, so here you go:


"What is responsibility?
Ah--might as well ask, what is self?
It's your responsibility and your self, and no book and no person
can tell you anything about it.

Don't try to find out what your responsibility is.
It isn't a what.
It's a relationship.
It isn't something you know, it's something you do.
Try to get closer to it.
Try to become more yourself."

-From "Das Energi" by Paul Williams

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 3/26/2013 7:43PM

    I applaud you for using your anger in a constructive way by talking to head of the company and giving him some information which, whether he chooses to use it constructively or not, he should at least have knowledge of. I am glad to hear you honored your dad by sitting still with your grief and expressing it. I am not surprised to hear that your former instructor and the teammate were willing to forgive you and I am glad you cleaned up your side of the street with them, by making amends. The fact that your beloved father and brother died all too soon just STINKS. I have no silver lining to point out. Actually, speaking of silver linings, if you haven't seen the movie "Silver Linings Playbook" or read the novel, you should. As a writer, I think you will appreciate both the movie and the book. As an angry woman who has had to deal with SH!TE raining down, I know you will appreciate the perspective of the book. I think you described your anger and grief so well - I can relate to both states (which are often intertwined). Better to deal with it now than suppress it and have it hunt you down and kick your @$$ a couple years from now. I know from anger and grief, honey, and I wish you well. I know you will come through this even wiser than you already are, though I wish your additional wisdom was not acquired at such astronomical emotional costs. Take care, Miss Honey Badger.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/25/2013 10:18PM

    Give yourself time to grieve. It takes a long time to get over losing a parent - one to two years. I still struggle at times. I was helped by reading about grief from people like Elizabeth Kulber Ross.

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THOMS1 3/25/2013 6:15PM

    Keep working through those steps. It will get better in time. emoticon

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SUSIEMT 3/25/2013 5:25PM

    Well, I'm glad you are going through the steps! Keep up the good work!

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HIPPICHICK1 3/25/2013 10:55AM

    I think you are doing a great job of recognizing y our grief and going through it. No matter what happens I have a feeling, because of your insight and maturity, that you will get through it just fine. As for missing talking to your dad, why not talk to him anyway? He might not answer like he used to, but I think he will answer you inside of yourself.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NSTARSMITH 3/25/2013 9:24AM

    I have soooo been there and really know the process. Although I think it helps as time goes along to "apologize" for the more inappropriate ranges of rage expressed to people, it is ultimately good to just SAY what you are angry about. It may change many relationships for ever, but it is often for GOOD as well. The folks you blasted really needed to be challenged on their judgement and misinterpretation of your behavior. I seriously doubt anyone has "hurt feelings" over your anger. Anyone who is 100% unaware of the stages of grieving is either not reading the magazines in the doctor's waiting room or in denial themselves. You keep your Spark bright!

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TRAVELGRRL 3/25/2013 7:52AM

    Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Have you thought about seeing a counselor? It may help you and preserve some of your relationships!

I also would try to explain to the people you've scorched -- I know I take it REALLY PERSONALLY when someone unloads on me because I DO try to be a kind and sensitive person.

You WILL get through this. Your dad's guidance is still with you, you just have to be still and listen for it. Take care of yourself!!!

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JILLYBEAN25 3/25/2013 3:12AM

    Hey, not actually assaulting people is a win in my book. Sounds healthy and normal to me. Especially the apologizing part.

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PHOENIX1949 3/25/2013 12:46AM

    emoticon emoticon Thank you for the poignant description of your grieving process.

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SMILINGTREE 3/24/2013 11:17PM

    So. You didn't eat three gallons of ice cream and 6 pizza? You didn't spend most of your time when you weren't working asleep or on the couch? You realized what was happening and apologized?

I'd say you are handling each horrible and uncomfortable phase of grieving in a healthy and sane-human way. I started - and continued - reading your posts because you come across so very honestly. You talk about what is happening in your life and how it impacts your health - all the aspects of it. We talk about fitness and nutrition here all the time, but there's much more to good health.

Thank you for sharing this difficult part of your life with us.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/24/2013 10:27PM

    I feel your grief, anger, rage, pain! It does hurt! I am grieving the loss of what I knew as my life, and feel many of the things you do, too! You are in my thoughts and I send you hugs and an ear anytime you need one!
Love,
Mary
P.S. I loved the quote ;-)

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Office Space: Creating a New Work Life

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now."
-Chinese Proverb





My career goal when I was a child was to be an astronomer. Astronomy was my hobby and passion. I started to pursue a degree in astrophysics by taking basic science and astronomy courses in college. I did okay in basic astronomy courses and got good grades in math courses until I got to calculus. I just didn't get it. I could not grasp chemistry and physics. My dad, who was an electrical engineer, tutored me in calculus and physics, both which I failed and tried retaking several times. While he admired my tenacity, he finally encouraged me to pursue another career path. I simply did not have my dad's extreme talent for math and physical sciences. I had taken a psychology course and found biological psychology to be interesting, thus the beginnings of my interest in psychology as a career path.

Sometimes our dreams get dashed despite our best efforts. I was very disappointed that I did not have the brain to become an astronomer. But the more I delved into biological psychology, the more it became a passion. I came to realize that there is not really a wrong path, just a different one. Had I focused solely on the disappointment of not being able to look at the stars for my job, I may never have uncovered new passions. I have uncovered numerous interests over the years, including massage, psychology, neuroscience, exercise science, and veterinary medicine.

My education and career paths have been a little messy. I started and left massage school, moving to Portland, Oregon and then back to Minneapolis. I was in and out of the University of Minnesota, mainly because I was stubborn in giving up my dream to be an astronomer. In the mean time, I was working in the field of mental health. I finally settled on psychology as a major and was working towards that. I was especially interested in the brain.

After several years of working in mental health, it became apparent how much the work was wearing on me. I started looking into other fields, and working with animals was the first thing that popped into my head. I looked into attending school to be a veterinary technician. I have an interest in the science of medicine and, of course, am a total sucker for animals. I had some issues with my jobs in veterinary medicine from the get-go. I just figured I needed to find a good niche. I jumped right into emergency medicine right out of school, as working in a day practice was unappealing.

I stuck with emergency medicine for 3 years, hating the low pay and hospital politics the whole time. I enjoyed some parts of practicing medicine and of course, saving animals. But my hours were awful and I had no life. I finally jumped on the opportunity to take an overnight position at my current workplace, doing poison control. I was not looking forward to working all overnights, but at least the pay was good, the hours were set in stone, and the job seemed interesting.

My current job has had its ups and downs. I adored my company when I first started. I had a great supervisor and the place seemed mostly devoid of typical office politics. We were encouraged to speak our minds. Then the supervisor I really liked left, and a my current "supervisor" took over. It was immediately clear that she was not smart enough to handle the job. They also brought in a new head veterinarian, whose primary concern was advancing herself, not our company. It has just gone continuously downhill from there.







I realized I probably did not want to be a veterinary technician forever and went back to school to complete my Bachelor's in psychology and kinesiology, as exercise and healthy living had become a passion. I planned on pursuing a Master's of Public Health in community health education. I did all the preparations for grad school and got application materials together. After getting through my Bachelor's working full-time and nearly losing my house in the process, I just could not face the stress and debt of grad school. So, I have stayed at my job for another 2 years.

Well, this job has officially overstayed its welcome. I have been passed over again and again for additional responsibilities. I have asked about doing writing for them, such as writing articles, and they have less qualified people doing it. They never ask me to help with projects. It is because they strongly reward extroverts, and I am an unapologetic introvert. That's funny, too, because you would think they would want the extroverts on the phones all the time, and have the smart and quiet introvert doing the research and writing. But, most of the decisions they make do not make actual sense, like so many businesses.







I was talking to my mother a few days ago and discussing the career change I will be making over the next couple of years. She is very nervous about it, just as she has been any time I have changed careers or jobs. I pointed out that I have never regretted a job that I have quit and the career change I made from being in the field of mental health to being a veterinary technician ended up being a smart move. I have indeed found much of my career as a veterinary technician to be fulfilling, but after 10 years, it is not going anywhere. I am not growing as a veterinary professional and most certainly not as a person. I told her that I think work should help you grow as a person and because we spend so much time working, it should be something we love. "Well, you're lucky if you can find that," was her response.

But luck has nothing to do with it. My mother has been a nurse for 40 years. She did love being an emergency room nurse years ago. Her current job as a phone triage nurse has been less fulfilling, but she has stuck with it for the past 15 years for the sake of stability. She has talked about doing other things, mainly pursuing a dream of being an organic farmer. While I admire her perseverance, I have always wished for her that she had made a career change when she started to feel dispassionate about her work. I think she was too afraid to take the risk, so she has stuck with a job that makes her miserable just to avoid the chance that something could go wrong in taking a risk.

Much to my mother's chagrin, I am my father's daughter in that I have never stopped searching for work that helps me grow as a person. He changed jobs several times throughout his career as an engineer, and the most fulfilling job he had was his last one, where he designed pacemaker circuitry at Medtronic. He loved it so much that he read books outside of work about the heart and how it worked. Like my dad, I don't want work that I just coast through. My dad loved his work so much that he said if money weren't an issue, he would do it for free. THAT is the type of work that I seek. I believe that our careers should be an extension of who we are deep down inside, and that work should help foster growth in other areas of our lives. Moreover, life is just too damn short to be doing work that we hate.

The other argument my mother has made is that it is important to have a plan for retirement. I agree with this...but only up to a point. I don't want to have a job I despise and that sucks the life out of me just for the sake for a retirement that I may or may not be able to have or enjoy. Just look at my father--he died at age 61, just a few years away from retirement. But, he loved his career and worked with joy. I would rather actually live my life in the meantime and have work that is meaningful. I would rather do work that I love up until the day I die than be a slave to a horrible job just for the sake of a 401K. Needless to say, I am working on my exit plan.







As some may have heard, I have been admitted to massage school and will start in the fall. Massage is something I have always enjoyed doing, and I have a talent for it. When I am giving a massage, I zone out and my hands practically melt into the person I am working on. I love the deep and healing connection that happens during a massage. I have had some training, but will be starting the program from scratch. I plan on specializing in deep tissue, sports, medical/hospital, hot stone, and infant/pediatric massage. I would like to end up working primarily in a medical and/or rehabilitation facility. I would also like to teach infant massage and to work with NICU babies.

In the meantime, I am going to finally complete my personal trainer certification. I have been hitting the books and plan to take the test in July. Having this certification would open a lot of doors and complement my massage training/career.

And finally, I have heard throughout my life that I have a talent for writing. It is also my longest-standing hobby (I have been writing stories since I was 6) and has always stirred a passion within me. It was not until my good SparkFriend Dava (SMILINGTREE) suggested that I pursue freelance writing that I considered it a viable career option. She is not the first professional writer to suggest that I pursue writing, but maybe I was just ready to really hear it this time. I am looking into this and working with Dava to delve more seriously into writing. I have been enjoying making an effort to write more.

The next 2 years or so will prove challenging as I make this career transition. I am excited for the change. Just I have finally learned that I deserve to live a healthy life through eating right and working out, I have finally developed enough respect for myself to pursue my career dreams.

Facing this major life change has made me desperately miss my dad. This would have been right up his alley, and he would have been the person I would have gone to for guidance. I had officially decided I was going back to massage school the week before my dad died. I don't know why it was important to me, but I asked my stepmom if my dad knew that I was going back to massage school, as I had a chance to tell her but hadn't told him yet. She said that yes, she had told him. I feel a little better knowing that he knew about it. I hope I make a life change that would have made him proud, although my dad always told me he admired my work ethic and passion for learning. He never thought pursuing a goal or interest was a wasted effort as long as it was something I thought would make me happy. It leaves a big hole in my heart, though, that I can't share this journey with my dad. He was always the one to say, "If that it what you want, then go make it happen, no matter what." I will need to be that voice for myself from now on.





"The Prophet" "On Work":

"You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret."

-From "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran







  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JORDANSMITHSG1 6/24/2014 3:19AM

  This article reminded me of my own life. There seems to be so many twists and turns.

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JORDASMITHSG 6/17/2014 12:49AM

  I have explain so many article of this site in which some of them were very interesting and inspiring.This article has good title with good description.

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DOODIE59 3/23/2013 5:05PM

    I am a firm believer in chasing what you love. When you do that, you will do well, and doing well will benefit you inside and out -- in spirit and in pocket book. AND doing a job well will also serve the community you work for, so, ALL GOOD. Good luck, and have fun learning.
Deirdre


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SUSIEMT 3/23/2013 1:28PM

    I wish you every success in whatever field you choose. You deserve much happiness! Remember, your dad is with you every step of the way and he is very happy for you. There is no doubt in my mind about that. Your mother and mine sound like they came from the same clan. LOL! But she is also right about the retirement. Put aside what you can while you can. It will all work out in the end.

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CANNIE50 3/23/2013 12:55PM

    Oh, Erin, as always....SUCH a beautifully written, thought-provoking blog. Your blogs are such a gift. Some people spend their lives chasing their parent's approval (hmmm, I know something about this) and never, ever get it. Your dad obviously approved, encouraged, applauded, and appreciated you whole-heartedly. I am so glad you experienced this, and so sorry you lost him much too soon. I like your description of your career path as messy but I think adventurous might better describe it. I am so happy you are leaving a job where, quite frankly, they are too foolish to appreciate the gem right under their silly noses. Your future clients will be the recipients of your wonderful gifts and I have a feeling you are going to be VERY appreciated. PS I loved your comments on my "game" blog. I always love to read what you have to say.

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THOMS1 3/23/2013 12:07PM

    My daughter is a Massage Therapist and is trying to get things in order to be able to quit her full time job and just concentrate on her massage business. She however is the major bread winner in her family. I guess it just comes down to changing your lifestyle to fit your circumstances. Whatever you decide to do I wish you success but, keep working on that retirement plan. My husband and I are in our mid 60's and although we had good jobs and planned for retirement you still need a good sized cushion when things go wrong and that will happen. I cannot stress enough about saving every penny you can do without. I wish you much happiness in your new endeavor.

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JSALERNO 3/23/2013 7:03AM

    GOOD LUCK IN FINDING TRUE HAPPINESS.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/23/2013 6:32AM

    P.S. I loved "Office Space" and own it!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/23/2013 6:31AM

    Erin,
This was such an excellent blog! You so have a talent for writing...how fantastic you have this outlet and those of us who read it get the benefit!
Your Father's answer and support is yours "If that is what you want, then go make it happen, no matter what"! Print that up and post it where you will see it each day!
He was proud of you...and he will be proud of whatever you want and set your mind to do! You have a great outlook on work, and the courage to follow through!
Wishing you the best!
Love,
Mary

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JILLYBEAN25 3/23/2013 4:13AM

    This blog sounds a lot like me in the pursuit of careers and schooling and whatnot. I'm not going to lie, I was very comforted by it. I've always felt like I should have found and settled on something by now. Glad to know I'm not alone. And therefore can also be a voice of support, too. I'd echo everything your dad would say to you. Follow your bliss! Do what you know is right and will make you happy!

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PHOENIX1949 3/23/2013 3:17AM

    Good luck with your endeavors. I'm about to turn 64 and still trying to figure out what I want to be! Time & nature stepped in and I'm a part-time virtual assistant working from home. The current economy makes it even trickier to step out of one's semi-comfort zone to find that something special. More power to you.

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The Week in Review: Six Feet Under

Monday, March 04, 2013


My dad and my brother Brian when he was a toddler. We could not get them plots right next to each other, but my dad was buried in the same row as Brian.



As most of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on February 11th. The past few weeks have been an exhausting emotional roller coaster. I have felt virtually every emotion there is, sometimes simultaneously.

I had finished watching the series "Six Feet Under" a couple of months ago. For those who haven't seen it, the show is about a family that runs a funeral home. The father dies in the first episode and the show revolves around how the family deals with his death (as well as other issues). I found "Six Feet Under" to be life-changing. It changed the way I view end-of-life and made me accepting of death. It isn't that I was in any denial about the fact that everyone dies. After all, one of my early childhood memories is of my brother Brian's death. But the show made me feel matter-of-factly about death. I know that my grandparents and at some point both of my parents will pass away. However, my dad dying was not on my radar. His diabetes had been fairly well-managed and he never had any cardiac events related to his high blood pressure. I was more prepared to hear that something had happened to my mother when I got a call from a hospital, as she has been hospitalized for heart-related events. So, needless to say, my reaction was utter shock. Luckily my best friend rushed right over and took me to the hospital, where I got to see my dad's body and say good-bye to him.

I almost immediately thought of "Six Feet Under" because the show addresses the different reactions to death and grief and that there is no one "right" way to react. One of the main characters says in the first episode, after his father's funeral, "Four days ago I was a relatively happy guy. Now it's like I don't even know who that guy is any more." I can relate to that sentiment. Just 3 weeks ago, I was a joyous woman who came home from a great workout at the gym, took a shower, and then as soon as I stepped out I received a phone call that changed my life. I was clueless that I was about to become a new person. Ever since, I will get waves of emotions that are so extreme, they are almost irrational. It is easy so launch into disaster mode at the drop of a hat. I have felt at times that I have no love or compassion to give to anyone, even though that's not true. During those periods I have also been convinced that I will never feel better again, even though I know that's not true. Although I may not be able to control my emotions (nor do I necessarily want to), I can reflect on them and try to keep things in perspective.

I accept that I will never be the same person. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just...is. I do not mean that I believe I will be a depressed person from now on or anything like that. Grieving is not the same as depression, despite how depressed one may feel while mourning. Grief starts immediately after hearing that someone has died and as much as the emotions can be extremely strong and horrible, I recognize that the feelings are normal. I let the emotions come forth and I process them as they come. If I feel good or happy, I make a point to not feel guilty about it. While I have experienced extreme sadness, anger, and even confusion over the past few weeks, I have also witnessed extreme love and kindness. My best friends, without hesitation, were there for me (and continue to be). I don't know that I have ever felt more cared for in my adult life than I have over the past few weeks.

Nothing tests how much you have changed as a person than dealing with some of the strongest emotions you will ever experience. I was concerned that I would want to eat my way through these strong emotions. Admittedly, I have had a couple of binges over the past 3 weeks, but my inclination has been to continue to eat in a healthful manner. Even in the midst of binging I realized the eating was not helpful, and the overeating was still not near what I would have done in the past. Part of the overeating was out of convenience. I did not feel like cooking for a while, so it was easier to order food or have frozen pizza on hand. I made a point to still eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but I just did not feel like doing my batch cooking like I usually do. I finally made a big pot of soup and some dishes, and have basically been back on track. I am proud that I haven't had many strong urges to engage in emotional eating. I am not, however, focusing much on weight loss right now. My goal is to eat healthfully and track my food, but I am not worried about the scale.

Jiu Jitsu got a bit sidelined over the past few weeks. I did go to class the subsequent 2 days after my dad died, but then I think the shock set in and I did not feel like going to the gym. I felt like I was being ignored when I did go to the gym, which made me pissed at the guys at the gym because I thought they were alienating me. One day I just up and left before class even started. I decided to join another gym, which I did last week. I went back to the gym where I used to train (and where my brother John still trains); their Jiu Jitsu instructor is a black belt and I missed my old instructor's kick-ass kickboxing classes. Then I went back to my other gym for a class with a black belt guest instructor. I felt at home again. I felt almost embarrassed at how angry I had gotten at those guys for no reason and realized that there is a reason you shouldn't make big decisions when you're grieving; your judgement is just way too clouded. So, for now, I will do classes at both gyms. I am going to afford myself that luxury for a few months and then decide what I would like to do. Like I am giving myself a break from eating specifically for weight loss, I am going to give myself a break from training for competition. I am not going to sign up for any of the upcoming competitions; I will decide how I feel as the day approached, but I am not putting any pressure on myself to compete. I just need my training to be fun and stress-relieving for now.

Work has been very challenging, and not in a good way. Doing poison control already tries one's patience and is very taxing. I have had almost zero patience over the past couple of weeks. I struggled to provide even the most basic kindness to my callers. Then I took a call from a guy whose dog and 2 cats ingested a supplement. I started talking to the guy, and several minutes into the call, he told me that he found one of his cats was dead when he got home. His dog was already sick. He started choking up telling me about his cat. I wanted to reach through the phone and fix everything for this man. I remembered that I'm not the only one who has problems. My compassion returned quite a bit after that phone call. I can deal with my emotions while also helping others. Actually, extending compassion is helpful to me; it helps me remember that I do have something to offer.

Part of how I am coping with all of this is rewatching "Six Feet Under" (I bought it this time). It is really help me process my emotions and recognize that my dad being gone is a reality. If you have never seen "Six Feet Under", I would strongly recommend it. Be forewarned that the show can be crass and raunchy, but the show is beautiful (albeit the story lines are outlandish). I honestly don't think I would be handling my dad's death as well as I am had I not watched it.

I don't mean for this to be a "poor little me" post. As always, I will be honest about my feelings. I am grieving right now, I will have my ups and downs, but I will get through. After all, my dad would want me to continue to pursue my goals and he wanted me to be happy. Knowing that helps me work through the ugly feelings that bubble up with grief. I may be heart-broken, but I think my heart is also building up from the love I had from my father and from family and friends since his death. I hope to eventually emerge as an even better person than I was before.




Old family picture (my dad, brother Brian, my mom, me, and brother John as a baby).




Picture of my brother John, my dad, and me at his rehearsal dinner a few years ago.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 3/6/2013 3:48PM

    Thank goodness for gems such as 6 Feet Under to come to the rescue!

Looks like you are doing a great job to avoid having YOU get sidelined too.

Your SparkFamily is with you every step of the way!

Don

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DOODIE59 3/5/2013 10:56PM

    What a clear view you have of your situation. You are remarkable. Thank you for writing your feelings down and articulating the grief you're working through. You are a wise soul:) Sending hugs to you,
Deirdre

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 3/5/2013 10:44PM

    I never seen the show, but your blog makes me want to.

Wishing you the best in your journey to continual growth.

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LIBBYL1 3/5/2013 10:38PM

  I loved six feet under when I watched it when it first came out.... Brilliant and challenging in so so many ways.
Isn't it amazing though how life prepares us in odd ways for what is to come? Like you watching this series at this time? My father died many many years ago when I was 13 and there is no formula for dealing with grief. But you will some time be able to remember/talk/think about him without crying.

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SUSIEMT 3/5/2013 10:24PM

    You are very strong. Keep up the good work tracking your food. Good luck with both gyms!

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MUSICALLYMINDED 3/5/2013 4:46PM

    I know you'll get through this. I admire you because you're such a strong, confident person.

Also, I'm glad I got filled in on the gym thing. I think it will be fun getting to go to two different gyms and maybe you'll meet some new people and have some fun.





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MARTY728 3/5/2013 12:50PM

    emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/5/2013 12:35PM

    I can relate as I lost my mother years ago. I always say that you never truly grow up until you lose a parent. It does change you forever but not necessarily in a bad way. You are handing your grief well and doing what is right for you at the time. It is a long process. Allow yourself the time to experience it.

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HIPPICHICK1 3/5/2013 12:22PM

    This is so far from a "poor little me" post, my dear. I think you are a rock star at processing your thoughts and feelings and putting it all down in a blog.
All traumatic events change us to a certain extent. Take care and be well and continue to heal.
I think you're doing an emoticon job of it.
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MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/5/2013 11:37AM

    P.S. Love the pictures!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/5/2013 11:36AM

    You do write so well, Erin! And your journey is viewed with great insight!
I plan to watch 6 Feet Under...and I will keep you in my thoughts! You are truly doing a good job with the grieving process and letting it happen!
Love & Higs,
Mary

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SMILINGTREE 3/5/2013 10:25AM

    It seems like I learn something from each of your posts. You have much to offer, including compassion. No one really handles grief well - I don't think we are supposed to - but you are dealing with it in a logical and healthy way. I think about you everyday, and am sure that many others do as well.

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TRAVELGRRL 3/5/2013 7:44AM

    I think you are doing a beautiful and HEALTHY job of dealing with this devastating loss. Continue to do so. Life goes on, and things DO get better. You are fortunate to have had such a wonderful man in your life for as many years as you did. emoticon

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JSALERNO 3/5/2013 5:35AM

    emoticon

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JILLYBEAN25 3/5/2013 2:23AM

    As always, you articulate things so beautifully. I'm glad to hear your update and that you're still plugging along. It sounds like you've got a healthy handle on everything that's happened within the last few weeks. Keep on keeping on!
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AUNTHELEN 3/5/2013 12:27AM

    I too, lost my Dad suddenly a few years ago. You are so right about life changing. We are so lucky to have had a Dad who meant so much to us. Treasure the memories and live to make him(and yourself) proud. Absolutely love your blog. Hugs and prayers for you and your family emoticon emoticon

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SASSISPRING 3/5/2013 12:01AM

    This was definitely not a "poor me" blog. I feel this is the most honest, strong blog I've read about the personal journey through grief. I felt your personal strength come through, and am humbled by your honest open sharing about the journey through grief. Thank-you for sharing photos of your family.

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PHOENIX1949 3/4/2013 11:07PM

    Roll with the emotions on this emotional rollercoaster. Take care of you.

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KRISKECK 3/4/2013 11:05PM

    Oh honey...sending love and prayers. Your pictures are beautiful, your family's love shines through. And your blog is so real and true. I can relate to so much of what you are saying...I lost my dad too and yes, we will never be the same again. And I watched Six Feet Under too and while I watched it after, I agree with your assessment, strange and sad, matter-of-fact and beautiful, so much like life itself. We are lucky to have had fathers who loved us so much. Sending love, sending prayers.

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Kristin

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In Memory of My Dad

Saturday, February 23, 2013





My dad in his early 20s.



As many of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on Monday, February 11th. I buried my dad a week ago today. This has been an overwhelmingly emotion time; I will address that in a later blog. I wanted to post a quick blog in memory of my dad. A single blog cannot, of course, encompass our relationship. But I feel the more that is written about him, the more his memory will live on.

I have had a hard time deciding what to write, so I wanted to share the speech I made at his funeral. I really wanted to speak at his funeral, although I had a hard time writing the speech and getting the words together. I knew I did not want to just get up there and wing it. I wanted to incorporate a reading from the book "The Prophet," but otherwise I was having difficulty deciding what to say. I did some writing to try to get the speech together, but the words would not come. It was not until I was sitting alone with my dad before the funeral that the speech came to me all at once. Here is the speech:



I have been struggling over the past few days in deciding what words to say today. Words just seem so insufficient to encompass such a brilliant and kind man whose life touched so many others. So, I turned to the best source of inspiration I could think of. I watched the movie that my dad and I watched so often, I can recite, and so could he. A movie that shaped the very woman I am today..."Spaceballs." There was rarely a time that my dad and I got together where we didn't quote "Spaceballs." The quote that stands out today is, "When will then be now?" from when Dark Helmet is looking in the desert. As much as I would like to go back to "then," a week ago when life was normal and I had plans to meet my dad for lunch tomorrow, I can't. We've passed "then."

I spoke to my dad for the last time last Sunday when we talked on the phone. Our last words to each other were "I love you." These were always the last words we said to each other. It didn't matter whether it was "I love you" during an embrace, a quick "Love ya" before hanging up the phone, or even "Love, dad" at the end of an e-mail, I knew how much he deeply meant it. I do feel a deep sense of loss with my dad dying, but as his daughter who is able to look back with knowing that nothing was left unsaid and knowing how proud he was of my brother and I, I feel joy in having had such a special relationship with my dad. He had no expectations of my brother and I other than that we were doing something that made us happy. He also encouraged us to be passionate about learning, as anyone who knew him knows that he always sought to learn something new.

Rather than focusing on the loss of my dad, I have been focusing on his life and the joy I had in my relationship with him. One of my favorite books is "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, and there was a passage that spoke to me during this time, which I would like to share:


“On Joy and Sorrow”:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


My dad's death was very sudden for us, but I take comfort that my dad got to live with joy until his last moment. While there is, of course, sorrow from his loss, he did not experience any sorrow at the end of his life. He was one who had taken the sorrow from his own life and created joy. My dad took joy in his family and told my brother and I how he was proud of us. I am overjoyed to look back on his life, his love, and his achievements and feel so deeply proud of him. He was surrounded by so many people who loved him, and now my family is surrounded by loving people. In the end, the best we can hope for is to be surrounded by joy and love.

The joy I feel when I think of my dad cuts through the sorrow, although the feelings are deeply intertwined. I will miss my dad more than words are able to express, but I am glad he knew how much he meant to me, even without getting to say "good-bye.” I love you, Dad, so, so much.




I was happy to have made it all the way through the speech. I was so close to him that I felt a little like he spoke through me. He was always proud of me as long as I was doing my best, so that is what I did. The best way for me to memorialize my dad is to keep learning new things and exploring all of life's possibilities, like he did.




Recent picture of my dad.


Recent picture of my dad and stepmom.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEWHENRYSMAMA 2/28/2013 11:18PM

    Beautiful!
I know you hurt and I know you smile and feel joy over your father!
Time will mellow out the real lows and even out to a comfortable feeling!
Thinking of you!
Love,
Mary
P.S. The Prophet has been in my life for so many years! So has a book called "Das Energi" by Paul Williams. I think you would enjoy it! I would be happy to send you a copy! Send me a private message with your address and I will send it right away! Hugs!

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JLITT62 2/28/2013 7:48AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful poem - thank you for sharing it with us.

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DDOORN 2/27/2013 1:58PM

    Your father was WAY TOO YOUNG to pass away! OMG, so sorry not to catch up with your news sooner! Sharing your heartache and loss, but also high-fives to your resolve: "The best way for me to memorialize my dad is to keep learning new things and exploring all of life's possibilities, like he did."

That's the ticket! I'm positive he is looking over you with smiles, hugs and all the love & caring he always shared throughout your life!

Don

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SASSISPRING 2/25/2013 11:55AM

    Thank-you for sharing photos of your father and for sharing your speech. You have a very close relationship with your father and his spirit will remain in your heart. Your speech was beautiful and respectful, full of love. Many hugs.

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SUSIEMT 2/24/2013 7:41PM

    Thank you that was lovely!

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DOODIE59 2/24/2013 4:33PM

    Lovely words from you and Kahlil Gibran:) You will have no trouble honouring your father's wishes of moving forward with learning and exploration. Every one of your blogs reflects your curiousity about the world around you and your focus on improving and expanding your path to good health, as well as your life path. Hugs for your sadness and to support your plans for the future.
Deirdre

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HIPPICHICK1 2/24/2013 12:00PM

    What a lovely tribute to your Dad.
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JSALERNO 2/24/2013 8:20AM

    YOUR YOUNGER PIC OF YOUR DAD REMINDS ME OF MY DAD WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER

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PHOENIX1949 2/24/2013 5:04AM

    Beautiful tribute.
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JILLYBEAN25 2/24/2013 1:20AM

    This was a wonderful and beautiful tribute. You are such a wonderful writer and I'm sure your dad would have been beaming with all the things you said. I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad you had such a wonderful father in your life.
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CRABADA 2/24/2013 12:33AM

    Erin,

Your eulogy is so beautiful, and truly moving. I think we can all learn something from your words (which would make your dad happy, right?).

Thank you for sharing this very personal moment.

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xoxox
C.

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LIBBYL1 2/23/2013 11:23PM

  lovely tribute...

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APED7969 2/23/2013 10:49PM

    What a wonderful tribute to your dad.

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CANNIE50 2/23/2013 10:43PM

    So beautiful, Erin. You did your father very proud.
"Joy and sorrow are sisters".

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NSTARSMITH 2/23/2013 10:17PM

    Even though it brought tears to my eyes to read your beautiful speech, I found it so wonderful that you truly know that you are filled with all your dad gave you during his life. He left a loving legacy in you! Bless you and your family.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 2/23/2013 10:02PM

    A lovely post and a beautiful tribute to your Dad.
I am sorry for your loss.

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THOMS1 2/23/2013 9:32PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/23/2013 8:25PM

    You gave a truly wonderful remembrance of him and I'm so glad you included his pictures so I could put a face to the person you introduced me to in my mind. emoticon

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NANNER2121 2/23/2013 8:08PM

    I am so truly sorry for your loss. I lost my brother to a horrifying brain tumor on Dec 22. We had his Life Celebration Feb 16. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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TRAVELGRRL 2/23/2013 8:05PM

    There is no doubt in my mind that your father is very proud of you and considers the relationship you two shared as one of the prized accomplishments of his life. The fact that you know what he stood for and cherish those qualities says volumes. Your speech was beautiful, and I hope it helps you heal from the terrible loss of your beloved dad. Take care. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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My father passed away tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I am in a little bit of shock right now. I went to the gym tonight, came home and showered, got out, and the phone rang almost immediately. It was a nurse at a hospital telling me my father had passed away and that I needed to come to the hospital immediately. Needless to say, I was pretty hysterical. I am very fortunate that I have close friends, and my best friend came right over and drove me to the hospital.

My poor stepmom had been with him the whole time. He collapsed suddenly at home and she immediately called 911. The paramedics tried to resuscitate him at home and while en route to the hospital. He had probably died long before getting to the hospital. The medical examiner said the cause of death was a heart attack.

I got to see my father and held his hand for the last time. I thanked him and told him I loved him.

I was supposed to see my dad yesterday, but between bad weather and him not feeling well (he had been feeling tired for a few days), we decided to reschedule. We talked on the phone, though. I am glad that our last words to each other were, "I love you." I am glad that we were always open and honest--there is nothing that I feel was left unsaid. If nothing else, I am glad to not have regrets about my relationship with my dad. When he left our family when I was very young, there was a good chance that I would not really know my dad. After my brother died, though, he realized that being a father was the most important duty he had. We became very close and have always lived near each other. We saw each other frequently.

I will probably be doing a lot of the funeral planning this week. I want to plan a celebration worthy of such a generous, amazing, and brilliant man. My dad pushed me, inspired me, and loved me. I am glad he knew that.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 2/20/2013 11:02PM

    Oh, Erin, I am so very sorry that you are grieving the loss of your father. Your blog, as always, was beautiful. It was poignant and is a lovely tribute to your father, but also to your loving heart. You must be exhausted at this point, after all the arrangements on top of the grief and loss. I wish you peace of mind.

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TRAVELGRRL 2/18/2013 7:57PM

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I'm glad you had a good relationship and "nothing was left unsaid." Take care of yourself during this difficult time. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/18/2013 3:00PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. emoticon

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NEVERGIVEUP 2/14/2013 10:51AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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TINAJANE76 2/13/2013 6:26AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that you can find some comfort in the many happy memories you had together.
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CRABADA 2/12/2013 9:40PM

    I'm heartbroken for you - just so very sorry.

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C.

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DOODIE59 2/12/2013 9:02PM

    Oh, Erin, I am so very sorry to hear this. Hugs to you.
I would also like to say, as others have said, that is is fantastic that you were able to say good-bye without regrets, and that you had a strong and loving relationship with him. That is a rich blessing.
Deirdre

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 2/12/2013 3:25PM

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. How very sad for you. It's never easy to lose a parent. When my mother died, I wrote her a fantastic obituary that I knew she would have liked.

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SUSIEMT 2/12/2013 3:22PM

    I am so sorry for your loss! Thank you for writing this blog. It made me feel good. Why I don't know but for some reason it just plain made me feel good. Thank you!

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MARTY728 2/12/2013 12:26PM

    Sorry for your loss. emoticon emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 2/12/2013 11:56AM

    emoticon

I am so sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your father. My condolences to you and your family.

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SASSISPRING 2/12/2013 11:47AM

    emoticon My deepest condolences on the passing of your father. He sounded like a great man. Those memories you'll cherish forever in your heart. His spirit will surround you with love. My sympathy to you and your family.

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BECKYSRN 2/12/2013 10:55AM

    Erin, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I'm glad that the last time you spoke you were able to tell him you love him.
I lost my grandma on Saturday, and the last time I talked to her on New Year's Day I told her I love her....
Your dad died knowing that he was loved very much, and I hope that gives you some comfort. Hold on to the good memories and know that he will keep you wrapped in his love.
Blessings to you....
Becky

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SIRIRADHA1 2/12/2013 10:50AM

    This may sound a little weird, but...
I loved your blog. I am glad that your last words were kind and loving. I am grateful that you had him in your life and that you cared for one another. Every bit of love and beauty in this lifetime are treasures.

My FIL, a wonderful, wonderful man died about a year ago. It gave me a great appreciation for the nobility of gentle goodness.

Peace be with you and with your family.

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SPOONGIRLDEB 2/12/2013 10:49AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Know that all your SparkFriends are thinking of you!
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KSCHRAUT 2/12/2013 10:47AM

    Hugs!

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BRIDGIEEE 2/12/2013 10:20AM

    emoticon

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VERONICAVW_140 2/12/2013 10:14AM

    Praying for you and your family. emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 2/12/2013 9:59AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHLOE453 2/12/2013 9:54AM

    I am so very sorry about the loss of your father, you are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSAN727 2/12/2013 9:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

My sincerest sympathy!

Susan

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THOMS1 2/12/2013 9:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EVERSTEPH 2/12/2013 9:21AM

    So sorry to hear that. Thinking of you. emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/12/2013 9:17AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Hang on to the last words you shared.

I lost my Dad 15 years ago at Christmas. When I feel sad, I remember the last words we shared and it helps.

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BEACHBUM4LIFE 2/12/2013 9:01AM

    So sorry to hear about your father!

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 2/12/2013 8:28AM

    Oh lady, I am so sorry. You're in my thoughts today.

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PUPPYWHISPERS 2/12/2013 8:18AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies to your family during this difficult time.

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HIPPICHICK1 2/12/2013 7:53AM

    My sincerest condolences to you, my dear. I'm so very happy that you have no regrets and that your relationship with him was good and strong. That's a beautiful thing. Sending you love and healing vibes.
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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/12/2013 7:14AM

    So very sorry for your loss. So glad you were in a good place with him before he passed.

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CAT609 2/12/2013 7:05AM

    I am truly very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time~

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HEALTHYL1 2/12/2013 6:59AM

    So very sorry for your loss. emoticon

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EMFRAPPIER 2/12/2013 6:46AM

    So sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

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JSALERNO 2/12/2013 6:27AM

    emoticon emoticon I KNOW HOW BAD IT IS. I LOST MY DAD SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND I STILL GET DEPRESSED SOMETIMES WHEN I THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH I MISS HIM BECAUSE WE WERE SO CLOSE.

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PHEBESS 2/12/2013 6:18AM

    Big hugs, sweetie. And I'm so sorry for your loss. It will take a while for life to seem real again - just surround yourself with loved ones, and be good to yourself.

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NCSUE0514 2/12/2013 5:08AM

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. May God bless and strengthen you in the days to come.

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SHOSHANA192 2/12/2013 5:05AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. emoticon

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NEEDTOBESLIM3 2/12/2013 4:59AM

    Very sorry that your Dad has passed. Very, very glad that you were so close and showed such love for each other, blessings, Dee. XX

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APED7969 2/12/2013 4:42AM

    So sorry to hear about your dad. Sending hugs your way emoticon

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ARNETTELEE 2/12/2013 3:58AM

  Sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose a loved one!

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JILLYBEAN25 2/12/2013 3:55AM

    emoticon emoticon My heart is breaking for you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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SYZYGY922 2/12/2013 3:51AM

    I'm so sorry about your family's loss. I'll be thinking of you.

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