The Time to Talk is Now

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

15 replies »

  1. Dennis so well written as you know my life was almost snatched away without warning. And hearing everything you’ve said all the kind words and your attending our wedding means so much to me and has brought such joy to my life. Given I live on the edge. I know tell people how I feel. Love so much stronger than hate. Thank you.

    Why I wsnt youto deliver my eulogy. I’ve already talked to father about this. So you can’t say no. Lol Your friend always.

    Jim Next Wednesday’s podcast ok? We generally call out guests I’ll use the cell I have for you.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. I lost my brother 8 weeks ago. Suddenly and unexpectedly from septic shock. He and his family live in SC. Because of covid, my sister in law couldn’t even be in the hospital as he passed. We can’t even risk going down there at this time. The most ironic thing is that at the beginning of covid, my brother and I had an agreement that if anything were to happen to either one of us, that we knew we loved each other and understood why we couldn’t be with each other at the end. We still have no closure because we haven’t been able to be with each other in person to grieve together.


  3. Thanks for sharing this. Very well said. We should talk sometime about retirement, reinventing yourself after retirement and how to grieve. Lord knows I have become an expert and all of these.

    Thanks, Rob Ross

    😷We stay apart today so we can be together tomorrow. 😷



  4. Hi Dennis, It has always been said ,”I love you” to my husband and I of almost 50 yrs. I knew him two years before we married. When greeting anyone it is with a Hug❤️When I see my boys, my mom I always say “I love you”. Even my close friends. My husband passed 4 1/2 months before our 50th year together. So when I go to the cemetery I always tell him ,” I love you forever & always”. To say, I love you and with a Hug or not, this is always grounding for us❤️ Thank you for all you do. Joanne C Collin

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Dennis that is so true what you have wrote. You never know when the time to go is up it can happen suddenly.It’s important to tell your parents,friends and loved one’s how you feel and to talk.I hope alot of your followers take the time to read what you wrote. You expressed yourself so well.


  6. Very well written article, Dennis and so true. My losses began early in life as my father died the day before my fifth birthday, after suffering for three years from cancer. I have very few memories of him more like little snippets, have always wished I had more. He immigrated to America from Norway so he had no living relatives in the U.S. I always felt a deep loss, but when I became an adult I had the privilege of visiting Norway where much of the feeling of loss was diminished by meeting my aunt, uncle, and two cousins! They were instant family❤️
    My heart still hurts from the sudden loss of Denise😢 Your many ways of honoring her help a great deal.
    Blessings to you and your beautiful family. Whatever comes next for you, you will always be remembered as half of the Dennis and Denise news team, the best Team Connecticut has had the privilege to know!


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