2 years ago today my family and I stood next to my father and held his hand while he took his last breath. His illness, bile duct cancer, was asymptomatic until 3 weeks before his death. While I’m so thankful he didn’t suffer long, the shock of such a quick loss, with no warning, hit those of us left behind powerfully.
For my part, losing my dad so unexpectedly set me onto a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions. It’s made me think hard about the uncertainty of life. About the impact his presence, and now the lack thereof, has had on my behaviors and choices. About the meaning of this life and what we leave behind. About how I will be able to raise my son with the memory of a man he only knew for the first 4 years of his life.
I know he wasn’t perfect, but my dad was a great father and a kind and successful man. He taught me calm in the face of a storm, and how to think through problems. He taught me tolerance, particularly for those we love, and that as hard as it sometimes can be, to always love your family. He taught me a strong work ethic and how to be professional, and in later years guided me through my career. He was strong and quiet – he has as much impact with his silence as he did with his words. Which he chose wisely and carefully.
So today, more than other days, I wanted to pause to think about him and remember. I miss him.