Five Things I Learned When My Parent Passed Away

Today’s post is going to be a little bit personal but hopefully it helps someone that needs to hear, or rather read, it.

My Father passed away from cancer, which some of you already know. Nothing prepared us for that. In light of the circumstances here are five things that I learned when my Father passed away.

Saying Goodbye – When it’s time to say goodbye it is never as simple as you think it will be in your head. You can play it out in your mind a thousand times and it will never be exactly what you think. At some point it will never be simple and it will never be easy. For most it will be one of the hardest things that they ever do in their life. Consider yourself one of the lucky few to be able to tell them goodbye if you have that option. Not everyone has that option. Personally, I don’t believe in saying goodbye. I believe in See You Later. While not everyone feels this way… goodbye to me is like cutting strings. We aren’t cutting strings. We are merely having those last few precious words with a loved one in this part of life. Some people believe in heaven and hell, reincarnation, spirits or nothing at all when it comes to those passing away. Perhaps that’s another post for another day, though.

“I remember, I remember those days.” – Dan + Shay

Regrets – A good friend of mine, Darian (we will call him this to protect his privacy)… lost one of his parents years ago. When my Father was continuously put on an aggressive chemotherapy cocktail Darian told me to make sure there aren’t any regrets. I’ll never forget that. It was chiseled into my memory during the chemo days. I tried my best to make sure there were no regrets. While there are a few regrets, which were impossible to avoid, I’m so very thankful to my friend for telling me that. He didn’t realize it at the time, nor did I, but he helped me in a very important way.

Memories – Some of the worst memories will be drilled into your mind after a parent or loved one passes away. Sometimes those horrible memories can cause PTSD unless you’re one of the few lucky enough to not have said memories. It’s important to remember the good moments that were mixed in with those bad moments. If you dig hard enough, you can find something good most of the time.

“This hallway, I’ll walk it bravely.” – Carah Faye

Resentment – Depending on your situation, you can resent some people for having moments with your parent or loved one that you know you will never be able to have. It can feel like they stole that from you, but they didn’t. They were lucky to have it and hopefully they will cherish those moments as much as you would have. It can be a struggle but don’t blame them. They didn’t do anything wrong.

Don’t Take Life For Granted – Cherish the important moments in life. Don’t worry if people tell you that you take too many pictures, etc. because one day it might be all that you have left of someone. Take those pictures, take those videos, spend any form of time with your loved one(s). Life is too short and no one knows which day will be their last. Sometimes life can feel like it’s not worth living when someone close to you passes away but it is. You have to fight those feelings, don’t give into them. Your loved one wouldn’t want that.

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