I have been sitting here reflecting on the events of the past three weeks and wondering, what do you say? My dad passed away a couple of weeks ago. It was life-changing for our family, but we know he is in Heaven, pain-free and happy. For us, we know that in our minds, and we just need our hearts to catch up.
I have learned so many things through this time that I wanted to share with you. The overwhelming outpouring of love and concern has touched our lives. People that we have known from our past, people we work with, and our friends and family have reached out to us, and it really meant so much.
There have been times I should have called or written a card when people were grieving, but didn’t as I got distracted and excused it away. To the hundreds of people who reached out to us, thank you for showing me it matters. Every note, email, and call makes such a difference.
Life is meant to be lived. My dad lived life to the fullest. We have laughed at his coupons that were left where he fully intended to “get a bargain.” We have shared stories with people, and they have shared with us. Talking and laughing is very healthy for all. Each one who shared with us told of their experiences with Dad—many we knew, and others we just heard for the first time. How fabulous it was to talk. Don’t be afraid to talk with people grieving. It is really very restorative to the soul.
I have shared many stories with you on Ribbon about Mom and Dad and probably will in the future. We learn from people in our lives, and that is always the best teacher. God puts people in our lives for a reason. I am the firstborn of the three children. You have heard from my sister, Janice, on Ribbon and my brother, Keith, is hoping I never write about him—all in fun. Although he says he should write about both me and Janice…we’ll see. We are blessed to have great parents who realized that we are individuals and definitely unique. That’s what makes families! All the various personalities blended into one household but who remain individuals. They never tried to makes us into someone we were not intended to be. They let us be ourselves and encouraged us to develop our own interests and talents.
Grieving is an individual thing. Everyone grieves in their own way. I have observed this during this time, and it is so true. And we must always give ourselves permission to grieve. It is a part of life and a part of who we are.
Many of you have reached out to me during this time, and I am forever grateful. I love our Ribbon group, and I know that together we make a difference! Much love to you all.