Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

How do you say goodbye to a loved one? You can never be prepared. On March 16th, I had to say goodbye to my dad. He was 80 years old and not in the best health, but I thought he was invincible. I thought he was coming home from the hospital.  In the past he had survived a heart attack,  a stint in an artery, prostate cancer, a recent major car accident and more. My dad was a survivor. He never took a sick day that I remember in his life. He once had a hernia operation and went to back to work limping, he wanted to show everyone how tough he was.

 

Saying goodbye to a loved one sign

My dad was born in 1933 in Huntington, West Virginia. He married my mom in 1954. They would have been married for 60 years this April. They had two daughters. I don’t know if he regretted not having any boys, but he got two sons in law, and 3 grandsons and two granddaughters.

He fought in the golden gloves and served in the Korean War and was in the Army and Navy reserves. My dad was a server. He had a good work ethic. He owned an auto repair business for over 50 years. He wanted to provide quality service at fair prices. He worked hard for his family. My dad was a provider.

I was not as close to my dad as I was my mom, but he was the strength of our family. We didn’t always talk, but I saw him often and my husband worked with him daily. Even at 80 years old he went to work every day with his oxygen. My mom wanted him to retire but we knew that was what was keeping him alive. My dad was determined.

My dad was a member of AA. He had 38 years of sobriety. He was not a religious person but he was saved. He had his support group from all his friends in AA, as others might have from their church. The last year of his life, he was very week and had trouble breathing. His friends called him daily to check in on him.  He had a hard time talking so it was always a quick call. He would tell anyone who would listen about his adventures in life and that he hadn’t had a drink in 38 years. He loved to tell jokes and loved all kinds of people. He helped many people in AA and was a very generous person with his time and money.  My dad was a friend.

In the last 5 months I have had many friends lose a loved one, and after the service the rest of us go on. But what about the people who lose their loved one? That’s when the pain really begins. The phone calls stop. The food deliveries stop. Many people don’t even know how to talk about it so they don’t ever call. I was one of those people.  Planning a funeral is a lot of work, the details are unreal. The cost is astronomical. When are you supposed to grieve? When everyone goes on with their lives and you are stuck with all the pain?

I hope I am a changed person by this loss. I hope I am a little more sensitive to others needs. When I say “can I do anything”, I hope I just do it and not wait. I have found that the cards we received are a comfort when we are alone. It also helps when you may have forgotten in your grief who came by to spend time with you.

Dad, I want you to know that you were a great father. You were loved by all. You were always there when I needed a shoulder to cry on or when I needed advice. I will take care of mom and think of you always. My dad was loved.

Thank you for letting me share my grief this time. This post is off my normal topics, but one I couldn’t go without. Please let me know in the comments something you learned or was helpful during your loss of a loved one. Follow on Bloglovin to see my latest posts.



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  1. Candi: I'm so sorry for your loss. I do understand what you are going through. I lost my father a year ago this past January (so 15 months ago) and even now, as I write this comment to you, my eyes are welling with tears. I don't know how you recover from the loss of a loved one. Maybe you never do. Maybe you just go on.
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  2. Jessica @eatsleepbe says:

    What a beautiful, thoughtful tribute to your father. I am so very sorry for your loss, though it sure does sound like you have learned something from it as you had hoped.

  3. Sending ((((HUGS))) n condoles to you and your family, so sorry to hear this :( I find talking to a good friend helps than keeping things bottled up. Grief is very hard. Each day is a new day to keep moving forward. Take time for yourself. My BIL passed a yr. ago Mar 2103, n my grandmother passed Dec 2013. Its been hard trying to deal w it all, but the memories n love sure do help a lot :)

  4. Lovely words for your father Candi, and I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost my father, my much loved grandmother, and my step-father – it's hard moving on, those little things which remind you of them everyday sad yet comforting. It sounds like your dad was a wonderful man. Blessings to you and your family!
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  5. I'm sorry sorry for your loss, Candi. I lost my mother recently & know how painful it can be & how hard it is to write about it. I don't know if this ever really goes away, but the memories can be a comfort. My grandmother passed away many years ago & I still think of her all the time, but the memories make me smile.