Every family goes through the challenges of losing a loved one. All of you have experienced loss in your life, and I know what I'm experiencing now couldn't be more normal. At the same time, I always hope that something I write has some impact on at least a few of you. It's nothing too over-the-top, just thoughts that might make your life-journey a little easier.
So, here it is this morning...
I'm recognizing the importance of simply allowing myself to grieve. When my mother passed away, she'd been fighting Alzheimer's for seven years. When she passed, while I felt the expected sadness, the disease had robbed us of her presence years before. I had been grieving for five years before her actual passing.
Dad, however, has been different. Right up until four hours before he passed away he squeezed my hand. The process of missing him has been far more intense, but over the last couple of weeks I have discovered some incredible things...relax, nothing earth-shaking, but maybe helpful to a few of you.
Instead of dwelling on what I'll call "selfish loss" and making it all about me, I find myself thinking about great stories of the adventure we had together. And, it truly was an adventure. Now put all those stories together and the fact that I've got Sheila to share them with, and they become that much more therapeutic.
I get it takes time, but celebrating Dad's life and the fact that an old fart like me still had his Dad around has become an emotional and energy booster. I feel his presence all the time. I find myself talking to him. I find myself almost laughing out loud over some of the stunts he pulled, or we created together.
To share anymore in today's post would just be babbling. However, grieving in a way that goes beyond my sense of loss is keeping a smile on my face and helping me not become a doom and gloom couch potato. Dad headed off to God on November 9 and as I wrote in a blog a few weeks ago,
"I couldn't be prouder to be Ralph Cohen's son!"
Make it a great day everybody. Don't waste time with people you don't care about. Make sure those important to you know how you feel and always go for those eleven-second hugs!
Happy Sunday everybody!