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    JOHNTJ1   66,734
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Reflections On My Dads Passing

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

It’s amazing how everything that was so important just a short week ago really doesn’t hold much meaning to you. You are grateful for very small things: A kind word, someone handing you a cup of coffee or a blanket while you sit in an ICU waiting room and mark time. You stare at a sickly green wall a lot. You get up and hug people you haven’t seen in ages and after a bit that gets tiresome also. You want to be left alone.

You forget about Republican primaries, March madness and spring training. You spend a lot of time being silent. You find it to be soothing. When the moment comes you are surprised. There is no real dam of emotion that breaks inside of you. You feel really disconnected from everything; like you are watching yourself in a movie. Every time you close your eyes you see yourself on a huge rock in the center of an empty field. You feel no breeze, hear no birds or bees, and smell no flowers. You only realize how alone you are right now.

After the Monday funeral you have an opportunity to cubby yourself away and be alone. The cold, icy knife of grief begins to poke and prod you. You don’t fight it. In the midst of that storm, off in the distance you see a small ray of sunshine darting in and out of the storm. As it moves closer you smile a bit. In the midst of this storm and sense of loss you realize the lesson you are to learn. You are learning what’s important. It’s not all the goofy stuff you’ve concerned yourself with over the years, it is the people you have met, the places you have been and the love you hadn’t recognized. It’s the moments you wished you’d seen what was REALLY their and not conjured it into “What’s best for me……” There is a certain sort of peace there. The clouds clear and your emotional spectacles are clean, you see. You even laugh out loud a bit. The lesson, albeit a long and hard one, was that you’d been looking in the wrong direction for a really long time.

Thursday evening, just a few short hours before he passed from this existence, my dad said goodbye to all of his grandchildren, one at a time. My son Matt shared part of their conversation. It went like this: “I have had a good life Matt, but it went by so, so, fast.” (My dad was 88)

“We just get one ride around the sun in this dream of time. It goes so fast and one day we look back and we ask, “Was that my life?” Jo Dee Messina

Be blessed today and stop for just a few minutes and take in everything around you.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 9:35AM

    Thank you, again, for bringing me back to awareness of the here and now, and what is important.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 3/21/2012 11:02PM

    emoticon John, You peeled back the blanket of darkness with your eloquent writing and its power is lessened as our feelings of alienation are.
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NASFKAB 3/21/2012 12:10AM

  Thanks for sharing love hugs

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GEEMAWEST 3/19/2012 3:22PM

    Beautifully written, John. Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts.

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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LADILADIDA 3/19/2012 11:06AM

    Be well today and loving to yourself. What is important to me? What is important to me? What is important to me? - This is my mantra today. Thank you.

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TRULYVISIBLE 3/19/2012 1:47AM

  Sorry to read about the loss of your Dad. He passed at a age most of us would like to get to. Beautifully written blog.

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CIVIAV 3/18/2012 9:52AM

    Will honor your Dad and our friendship and take it all in today John.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/17/2012 8:53PM

    So sorry to hear about your Dad's passing.
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WALKNLOVE 3/17/2012 7:23AM

    Thanks for posting. It's a good reminder to keep our hearts focused on those we love. My parents are getting older and age is not always so kind to our health.I am so thankful I still have them and for the Godly legacy they will leave. Your dad left a great legacy in YOU! emoticon

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CARTOONB 3/16/2012 8:50PM

    Well said.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/16/2012 3:15PM

    As a former trauma nurse I learned this lesson well and early. We only pass this way once and need to make the best of it. I'm sure your father did as he raised a fine son. emoticon

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HOLLYJAE 3/16/2012 8:18AM

    It took courage for you to write this blog. Thanks for sharing. I had never read the Lemony Snicket quote before today. What a profoundly accurate description of that feeling you feel when a loved one passes on. On December 4th, 2011 it was one year since my Mom's passing and on April 24th of this year it will be one year since my Dad's passing. I've been thinking about the issues your blog addresses for a year now - even more so in the past month. Somehow I feel less alone knowing others are thinking the same things as I. Thanks again.

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SPARKLISE 3/16/2012 8:06AM

    That's when we realise life goes by fast but it's too late.
That's why the dying say to enjoy life to the fullest.
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MYGOLDENBOYS3 3/16/2012 6:17AM

    A really wonderful blog and ah, so true. We only have one life to live. When our children are little, we think we have all the time in the world. Not too long after that we are watching graduate from HS/College and then getting married and having children of their own. Wow, where does the time go? And when something happens like your father's passing, it puts all time in perspective.

Hugs to you John in this difficult time. I am so happy your father was able to say goodbye.

Take care of yourself.



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NASFKAB 3/16/2012 12:36AM

  thanks for sharing such profound teuth

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REJ7777 3/15/2012 8:56PM

    "It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” What a poignant image of the confusing disorientation after the death of a loved one, or other major tragedy in our lives. There's something "wrong". May God grant you peace of heart as you navigate through the coming weeks and months.
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CLOVER2 3/15/2012 8:54PM

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us. I know it is a difficult place to be, where you are right now. When I lost my Dad I knew for years it was coming, he had COPD, but when it happened I still felt blindsided. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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VIVIANJ5 3/15/2012 5:17PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you John, thank you for sharing with us.

Take care.

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LYNMEINDERS 3/15/2012 5:02PM

    Thankyou for sharing your thoughts...they are awesome and thought provoking....

Comment edited on: 3/15/2012 5:03:01 PM

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TRAVELGRRL 3/15/2012 3:55PM

    Thank you for your blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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KANSASROSE67 3/15/2012 3:31PM

    A beautiful post. I lost my mom so I understand. God bless you and wrap his loving arms around you as you grieve.

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DEE797 3/15/2012 2:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 3/15/2012 1:21PM

    Thinking of you and what you are going through. Your dad was so right when he said life goes by fast.

Hugs,
Shirl

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TRISTAROSE 3/15/2012 12:48PM

    emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/15/2012 11:56AM

    I have been thinking of you and praying for you and your family, John. What a gift that your dad was able to say goodbye, both to him and to the family. It is always too soon, no matter the age, no matter the situation.

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KKINNEA 3/15/2012 11:07AM

    The opening quote exactly describes it.

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MNCYCLIST 3/15/2012 11:01AM

    Thanks for sharing this with us, and God be with you as you settle into the "new normal."

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PGNBRI 3/15/2012 10:53AM

    emoticon

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MISS_VIV 3/15/2012 10:49AM

    Peace and Love

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/15/2012 10:03AM

    I've got tears from this blog. It is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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SPARKENISTA 3/15/2012 9:59AM

    John--Your pain is palpable, which is understandable. You talk about a lot of universal issues, like the foot fall on the step, which everyone understands but few have the sensitivity or wisdom to comment on much less use to pull others closer.

You are so right about death reminding us what is important in life. Your father was a wise man. I am so sorry for your loss.

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ZURDTA- 3/15/2012 9:47AM

    So sorry for your loss. Your father gave a very wise statement: “I have had a good life Matt, but it went by so, so, fast.”

There is much to take comfort in... but it is a great loss to lose anyone.

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HIPPICHICK1 3/15/2012 9:15AM

    Wishing you peace at this time of sorrow.
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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/15/2012 9:09AM

    How lucky for all that he had the opportunity and the wisdom to say goodbye. emoticon

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 3/15/2012 9:01AM

    Yes, your Dad gave a beautiful, parting gift to his loved ones, but I am still sorry for your loss. I hope the days ahead will be filled with beautiful memories to carry you through. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for the timely reminder today. Wishing you peace.

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TEALADY0531 3/15/2012 8:58AM

    Thank you, John, for sharing your heart with us! It's a reminder I need.... emoticon and Blessings....

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HDHAWK 3/15/2012 8:51AM

    What a gift for your dad to be able to talk to everyone before he passed. emoticon

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