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My Father

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ImisstheOldTimes:
My father was born in 1946, he grew up with a strong work ethic and believed in, "living your life with as few regrets as possible." He was married to my mother for 38.5 years.

You know how when you go to the gas pumps many of us try to make a nice round number but often we go a few cents over? My family thought he might pass on his 66 birthday... A nice round number as he always loved round number. It didn't matter if it was a gas pump or rounding a tip to a dollar value :). He went over by a day... Perhaps up in heaven, he's like..CRAP! One over :)

He had four children, myself being the youngest and six grandchildren. He had many friends and coworkers who loved and respected his intelligence, love for God, and compassion for humanity. He will be sorely missed. As he passed, despite what was dying from which was several infections caused by his low immune system due to AIDS. If I could relate one thing to anyone reading this is: if you think or you have acted in any risky behavior that could lead to an HIV+ status, PLEASE GET TESTED! It is better to know, and get treated because wonderful meds are available, then to get diagnosed too late to even start them. My fathers diagnosis and death were in a month of each other. He believed there was no way he could get this being a senior citizen... HIV/ AIDS is NOT a disease that is discriminator of race, sex, sexual preference, or social/ financial status. It is a mean, vicious awful disease that robs people of so much.

I love my father, I always will, he was a hero to me.

Much love always,
Heidi

forrest:
:) Nice tribute to your dad Heidi  :) 

ImisstheOldTimes:
I really miss my dad. I keep reading other threads and other stories of others to kind of deal with the amount of sadness I am experiencing. :'( I don't know how to deal with it at times, it's so surreal, like anytime he'll come through the door just like old times. :'( I miss the old times

MarkB:
Heidi

Thank you for your post about your father: eloquent and memorable, it is a worthy tribute to him, and to the kindness and love which he showed to others and received from them in such measure.

Every grief is uniquely personal; and however well intentioned, others' thoughts and comments at such a time can run the risk of sounding hollow or crass, so please forgive me if I intrude. The reality is that though all of us will at some point be bereaved, we live in a society which by and large doesn't know how to deal with bereavement. In our focus on life and vitality, we would simply prefer not to think about it until it happens; and the fact that loss and grief have no timetable or schedule is something we often forget. You wrote:


--- Quote ---I don't know how to deal with it at times, it's so surreal, like anytime he'll come through the door just like old times.
--- End quote ---

I suspect that anyone who has lost someone they love will be able to identify with what you are feeling. It does indeed seem surreal; incomprehensible, almost. How could this person who was so interwoven with my whole life suddenly not be there? There must be some mistake: surely he'll come through the door any minute now? And perhaps it's those moments, when your guard is down, when you feel it the most. That tune he liked; the places you used to go together; someone in the crowd whose smile reminds you of him ...

All our griefs are different, and yet in some ways so very much alike. For me the experience of bereavement has been a bit like the ebb and flow of the tide: there are days when you can struggle on; and, as time goes by, you even learn to function effectively enough. And yet there are other times when, without warning, it all comes flooding back and the memories overwhelm you. But that is not wrong. That is real: that is what grief is, and how it takes you. Expect that to happen, and remember to be gentle with yourself.

Society doesn't understand grief, and it doesn't allow time for it, so you must make time for yourself: time to grieve, either alone or with others who knew and loved your Dad. There will, of course, always be those who have platitudes at the ready, but you get used to them (although I often wanted to say to those who told me that "time is a great healer" that they obviously don't know much about time!).

In one sense, no - grief doesn't "get better"; but you do, perhaps, get better at it. You do find ways of carrying on. And in the carrying on, you will also carry forward what he meant to you and who he was, because if nothing can bring the old times back, it's also true that nothing can ever take them away.

I don't and can't know how it is for you, but in my case I came to understand that grief is a part of love. Although it may not feel like it now, the raw intensity of its suffering does eventually lessen, though not soon; and it may be that you will find that what you are left with is love, and gratitude, and many, many gifts that he gave to you and which you in your turn can give to others, in memory of him.



/... edited for typos.

ImisstheOldTimes:
Thank you Mark, you're statement was touching and means a lot.

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