A Painful Loss

In life, the loss of someone you love is difficult and causes an indescribable emotion and a reality all of us must face.  It’s been a few months since my dad passed and I can only describe the loss as a feeling of sadness and heaviness from head to toe. Little did I know the loss of a parent would be so intense and debilitating?   My heart was broken and a piece of my soul became irreplaceable. I understand death is apart of living life; however, it’s a difficult emotion to wrap your mind around.  I believe, the degree and depth of the loss varies greatly from individual to individual, from relationship to relationship.  Fortunately, I had a wonderful and close relationship with my Dad; therefore the void is one I had never imagined.  He was my confidant, hero, and a man who encouraged peace and love throughout my life.   My dad never completed high school; nonetheless, became a successful entrepreneur who provided more than adequately for his family.   He worked hard and strived to do his best everyday; and expected nothing less from his family.  He clearly taught me the value of working diligently and striving to do my best.  I discovered that having a positive attitude is a gift we can give ourselves everyday and has the power to turn a struggling day into one that is filled with gratitude. Everyday I attempt to fill my mind with phrases and meaningful mantras to empower my day. I didn’t always have an optimistic attitude but have worked non-stop in pursuing one. My dad worried about everything and everyone.  He seldom shared his worries when I was growing up; but during his last few years of life, he shared some of his concerns.  I assured him all would work out.  He never stopped worrying; it was just who he was.  

My Dad was a man of integrity, strength and courage. There was never a job to challenging he didn't attempt to accomplish - a quality I have depended upon during my battle against breast cancer.  He never gave up on anyone, not me, my husband, especially not my children.  It didn’t matter how many difficult choices we faced as a family, he was there with an open heart, and an honesty and truth that was steadfast.  His love was there, strong and free of criticism. How easy it would have been to judge, but this kind and patient man never criticized any of us and forgave unconditionally.  He continued to provide encouragement and love as we moved into the next chapter of our lives.  In those days, he shared his worries only occasionally.  Needless to say, my Dad was a tremendous part of our everyday lives. If he wasn't making chicken cutlets deda's were the best, building fences with Scott, planting flowers with mom, or strolling his grandchildren, he wasn’t living life.  His grandchildren were his sunshine, each and every day; we were all truly blessed.

My Dad reassured me that I was a wonderful daughter, sensitive and kind.  Towards the end of his life, I knew he was not well and decided to spend extra time with him. Through our many conversations, he expressed how he wished he could do for me now.  I took his hand and looked into his eyes and replied, you have done for me all my life and it is my time to be there for you.   My Dad lived a life of strength and courage, of which I was familiar.  He showed me how to be fearless and strong.  I ask myself, what will I do without him? I will be strong and fearless and allow his memory to thrive in my heart and soul.  I believe my father’s legacy of love and kindness, patience and understanding and forgiveness and compassion will live forever in my heart and in those who have known him. 

By: Janet Muller