Updated: Feb 28
Today marks the 30th anniversary of my dad’s sudden death from a massive heart attack at 42. Unexpected death has a way of freezing you.
My college roommate and I would often wonder if it was better to have a quick or a slow, lingering death. Her dad passed very slowly from Lou Gehrig’s disease…it was heartbreaking to watch and experience in an entirely different way.
Death…grief…there is no easy way to brace or prepare - slow or fast, it will affect your soul.
I was shocked by the depth of my grief. You see I didn’t think I was particularly close to him…our relationship was prickly, unsettled and confusing. Our interactions were filled with bitterness and anger until the day I finally saw my dad as a human being, doing his best to live a human existence.
A few years earlier, sitting with him in a small New Hampshire hospital, waiting for the news if my sister would live through the night, we bared our souls, coming to an understanding and forgiveness. It significantly changed our relationship for the better.
I didn’t call my dad on his birthday the year he died - January 2nd. I had an internal nudge to call and ignored it. I was mad and wanted to make a point. The last time we ever spoke was Christmas Day when he told me he knew I was going to be alright and that he loved me. His words are a timeless gift offering solace.
Trust those inner promptings. That random person you thought about today…Reach out. Your speaking might be the gift they need to keep living.
Connect with the people who matter. Tell them you love them. Hold them close. Live each day as if it’s your last, celebrating and loving. Do something each day just for you that brings joy to your heart. Don’t wait to do what you really want to do. Live in a way that makes your heart sing. It all matters, more than you realize.
Grief still unexpectedly hits at random moments… yes, all these years later. These “whispers” remind me that even though his physical body is gone, I feel his gentle, guiding hand and words holding me steady.
Human connections aren’t easy. It’s part of what I say our spirits came to learn in “Earth school.” It reminds me that our closest relationships are meant for us to grow, understand and love from the heart.
It’s a simple and symbolic pleasure. Every week I buy flowers to brighten our home because their beauty makes me feel happiness, joy and love…and most importantly, connected to my family. Whenever I see a dragonfly, I always know my dad is near, reminding me I'm loved. Thanks for the lessons and agreeing to be my dad - Milford “MJ” “Buck” Hose.