Posts Tagged ‘Dad’

I’ve blogged repeatedly about my Dad’s death.  He passed away February 13, 2010.  My entire grief process was shared very publicly on this blog.  Today I would like to share with you some of the stumbling blocks I had while dealing with Dad’s death. 

I had to return to work about a week after Dad died.  I had to try to put on a happy face.  I felt like I needed to be strong.  I began telling myself that all I had to do was “fake it til you make it”.  If I could just keep acting like everything was ok in my world, then it would be… right??

I shoved things away, internally.  I convinced myself that others were tired of hearing about my pain.  I put up walls, I attempted to ignore the emotions bubbling away inside me.  I cried sometimes, but almost always when I was alone.   I didn’t ask for any help.  Instead, I tried to be strong for others. 

All of these things… I learned from them, yes.  But each one of them acted like huge speed bumps in my grief.  Ignoring the pain, well, that’s just never going to work. 

During that time, Patti Digh posted on Facebook that she did not like the phrase “fake it til you make it”.  I jumped right in there to tell her just how wrong she was.  That sometimes, especially after the death of a loved one, it’s exactly the right thing to do.  If you are grieving, have to hold down a job, take care of your family, etc, that faking it til you make it is exactly what is needed.  Months later, I wrote Patti an email telling her how wrong I was.  I’m stubborn like that.

I dove into my online business.  I became a certified life coach.  I created an Artist Empowerment Class.  I showed my photography at local venues.  I was unstoppable.  And then guess what happened.  I stopped.  I lost my footing.  I  became ill.  I sat at my computer for hours at a time, and the screen would remain blank.  I melted down.  There were many times that I thougt of throwing in the towel.  What good is an online business with no new ideas.  I had lost my mojo. 

Not until I had a dream about my Dad, where he spoke to me, did I move forward again.  It’s been almost 2 years since Dad’s death.  Throughout those two years, I have not once stopped learning.  More than any other singular experience in my life, his death taught me what my path is.  I am meant to take all of those lessons and help others.  My light in this world is to ease others through this amazingly difficult journey of grief. 

Are you grieving?  Have you gotten stuck?  I can help you… contact me anytime.

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This is a picture of my father.  He was known to most of his community as Rev.  He passed away in February of 2010.  Prior to his death, Dad read this blog every morning that he wasn’t in the hospital.  He was my biggest cheerleader.

At one point, Dad saw all that I was doing:  photography shows, contests, journal making, always working on tons of new stuff, coming up with new ideas, challenging myself.  Always on.  And he said to me “you need to slow down.  You are working too hard.  Take the time to smell the roses”  And I rebutted.  I defended all that I was doing.  I was driven, I had big plans and was moving forward.  I had momentum.

The other night, Dad came to me in a dream.  He wanted to know what happened.  He said he has noticed that I wasn’t moving forward, I had lost momentum.  He wanted to know why I had been sick for 5 weeks, why the spark had gone out.  He had a talk with me in the dream about many struggles I had been having.   Just as in life, he imparted wisdom.  He, as always, helped me to see clearly things that I’ve been refusing to see.  Things that were eating away at me, things that were keeping me down.

I’m well on the road to recovery… in so many ways.

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Friday I received a text from my brother Shane.  I had been sharing some old posts about Dad, and he saw them on facebook.  He asked me to post our conversation here.

Shane:  Look at this sunset!  I took this in the back yard last night.  I took it for Dad!  He loved sunsets so much!  I miss him so bad lately.  It’s been really hard for me emotionally.  I cry for almost no reason.  I try to grieve very slowly so it doesn’t disrupt my life too much.  But lately it’s been affecting me big time.  I’m usually so calm, cool and collected, but lately I am a crybaby.  I have no idea if I should just cry, if it’s healthy or unhealthy.  I’m really confused.

I miss Mom so bad.  I think of her beautiful smile every day of my life.  I hated to leave her when she was so close to dying.  That was the single most heartbreaking event of my life.  I feel like it’s my fault and I’m still trying to forgive me.

I am proud of you for who you are becoming and who you have always been.  I look up to you!  I am glad you were part of Dad’s last days too!  I love you so much.


For those of you are new here, we lost Dad in February of 2010.  Dad was retired Navy, then retired coal miner.  He was a biker.  He always had a joke and was hilarious.  He was a very colorful man.  And so full of life.  28 days later, his wife passed away suddenly.  At the end of September of 2010, our other brother, Tony’s wife passed away without notice.

Each and every time this family started to bounce back just a little, we were struck down again.  Each time we stayed down a bit further.

I’m so proud of Shane for reaching out.  And I’d love if you would help me to give him advice.

What I’ve said so far is:  Grieving is hard, and  the stronger you are, the longer it takes.  But real men cry.  You are teaching your daughters that there is strength in showing emotions.  We honor Dad by remembering him every day, with laughter, with tears.  But we also honor him by living our lives and making the most out of every single day.

Please add your advice or thoughts in the comments.

I plan to run several posts this week with Dad-isms.  I can’t put them all on my blog because they are a bit too colorful.  But let me tell you in Shane’s words a little more about Dad.

“Every time we would go riding, Dad would say ‘let’s just follow the front tire’.  Dad loved riding together so much.”

“He would call me every day before I’d go in to work at the mine and tell me to be careful”

“He never said goodbye to me.  It was ‘see you later, adios, okay son’, or if on the phone he would just hang up.  He always said “I love you son”  that’s why I say “I love you” and not “I love you too”.

Dad’s dating advice:  Don’t get anything on you that you can’t wash off.

Dad called my sister in law brown sugar… she smiles each time she thinks of that.

Shane’s oldest daughter wanted to add:  Grandpa said “see you later.  We don’t say goodbye because goodbye is forever”

This bottom pic was from a family trip to a water park.  And also my children’s first experience with Dad saying “everyone say shit” right before the photo was snapped.

We have so many amazing memories… and there’s such a hole left in our lives.  Dad, you were the best!  We love you and miss you every day.  See ya later.

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