I’m not exactly an advice columnist but I do recommend telling your loved ones how you feel about them while you can. I know too many people who lost family members suddenly and never had the chance to say a last “I love you,” or even share a goodbye.
My mom recently shared with our kids all the heartbreaking details about the loss of her father when she was only twelve. She remembers that day vividly and still recalls his last words in the hospital as he lay dying from hundreds of yellow jacket stings. She went home thinking she’d see him again, but he died overnight.
When Kara’s dad was fading at 91 after a long life, we had the gift of knowing death was somewhat imminent. Doctors told us he’d pass within a few days and his family had time for last visits, final conversations and the ability to be with him when he crossed over.
You don’t always get that. I’m still dealing with the grief of losing my beloved co-anchor Denise D’Ascenzo so unexpectedly and instantly. One of my best friends lost his dad suddenly a few years ago, and another just lost his brother a few weeks ago without warning. No goodbyes, no sharing of memories, no time to prepare for such a devastating loss.
With that in mind, I went to visit my dad in Florida earlier this month. He’s not been well and needs some prayers and positive vibes. We talked about the good times and went through pictures like the one above of him feeding me at age 2 at our home on East Cross Street in Norwood, Massachusetts.
In between our visits I went for a sunrise swim in the Gulf Mexico. As the sun came up I said a prayer. I don’t know how long my dad has left on this earth, but I told him everything I needed to, so when it is his time, there’ll be nothing left unsaid. For that time we spent together, I am grateful.
Love you, Dad