Tag Archives: Dad

Doing the hard things

It’s really hard to hate a tree.


I know because I tried. But as I stood in front of the beautiful cherry tree my father used to climb to hunt deer and otherwise be among nature, I couldn’t find it in my heart to hold a grudge.

Instead I stood there with my mother, aunt, uncle, and four close family friends, imagining that Dad was there with us. I breathed fresh country air and visualized the pre-dawn mornings Dad had spent in a tree stand on our friend Ivan’s property, waiting for a mature buck to appear.

Although Dad died from complications Pulmonary Hypertension, a hunting accident he suffered back in 2007 exacerbated his health problems for the next eight years.

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Good bye, Summer of Suck

When I tell you that nothing good happened this summer, BELIEVE ME. I am not prone to exaggeration.


Well, OK. Sometimes, but not often.

Seriously, when the best thing to happen to a person all summer is a clear mammogram, that is a Bad Summer. Well, I did go to the Berkshires and California a few times.

But I’m still referring to this summer as the Summer of Suck for reasons you surely understand. In honor of the approaching autumnal equinox, here’s a look at the summer that was.

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Good riddance, Summer. Fall, please be kind.


Things I learned while grieving

Tomorrow will mark one month since my dear, sweet, wonderful Dad died. I’m doing OK, but it still sucks. I still cry. I still feel sad and awful and shocked that the world keeps turning without Dad present.

But I am also starting to manage to not cry every time I see a pic of Dad or think of him. Weirdly, I feel a teensy bit guilty for not grieving 24/7. That’s normal and OK too. Grief is weird and non-linear and unpredictable.

flowers Having survived this summer myself, I’m feeling kind of expert-y about grief (not really) and though I’d share a few things I learned in the process. If you have anything you’d add, please share in the comments.

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My IQ has dropped by 20 points. Maybe 30.

If one of you made me a shirt that said “MY DAD DIED AND I AM A MESS” please know that I would wear it. Perhaps daily.

Such a shirt would save me from having to say those horrible-but-true words aloud, and let people know why my brain is really not working like it normally does.

Via Polyvore and Marc by Marc Jacobs

Perhaps this shirt would work just as well.

I’m serious though. During my sweet Dad’s last days and now, I have been making crazy errors, like booking a flight for the wrong day (by two whole weeks!). And I need to read things, like, four times to get the point.

Is this normal? Will I ever bounce back?

I promise that someday my blog won’t be exclusively about grief and death and sad things. But right now these are pretty much the only thoughts in my head and I really need to share them with anyone willing to listen. Thank you for your patience.

My first post about Life After Dad

My worst fears came true: my sweet, kind gentleman of a Dad died on Friday, July 17.

I have so many thoughts and feelings on this sad time, but need a little time to pull myself together and get my life back in order. Dad spent most of the last five weeks of his life in a Philadelphia hospital so much of my non-family life has been on hold. And I wouldn’t change a thing (except, of course, if I could strike a deal to have Dad back and healthy).

Dad dimples

For the time being, here’s a pic of my father that I love, as well as the text of the eulogy I gave for him at his funeral today. Continue reading

Lows and highs

“I’m so sorry to disturb you,” I said to the woman next to me.

“It’s ok. I wasn’t sleeping, I was just dreaming,” she replied as I stood to slip past her on the Philadelphia-bound train to visit Dad in the hospital.

I smiled. Across the aisle*, her elderly husband was full-on asleep, arms crossed and head bowed. He was older than his wife who had taken the lead in finding seats and then in ensuring his comfort.

Looking at them as a couple, I thought of my mother, fit and strong and ten years younger than my father. Growing up, I never thought of their age difference as a big deal. Now, Dad’s age and health conditions are yielding a lot of heartache.

I’m trying not to equate love with pain and loss. But right now, it’s so very hard. Someday everyone I love will be gone. I too will leave this earth someday. And because I don’t have the crutch of believing in heaven, these feelings are a heavy burden.

Dad’s condition is stable now, but eight days into this hospital stay, we have no sense of when he might be ready to go home. No independence for Dad this July 4th.


I usually spend Independence Day with a family group in Rehoboth Beach. This year, there was an issue with the house we stay at so even if Dad were healthy, we were not going to be able to spend the holiday there together as is our tradition. Continue reading