Keeping our loved ones present

I read a post written by a lovely lady (Cathy Lynn Brooks) who keeps a blog devoted to her daughter, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lost her life in an accident about a year ago.  Truly a tragic story!  Her story had me thinking about my situation surrounding my dad’s passing last month.

my young dad
My dad as a college student

I started my blog shortly before he passed. I started it because I took a course on WordPress and wanted to see how it worked.  I now see him as my main motivation for jumping into this with both feet.  I can tell Cathy is experiencing a similar feeling (although not the same seeing as the passing of your child is such an unspeakable trauma compared to a man who lived his life, had it good, and passed away rather quickly).  Why are we so invested in putting our stories down on digital paper for all to see and seemingly reaching out for people who have felt similar experiences?  The thing that occurs to me most is that, of course, we don’t want to lose them.  Our loved ones are with us forever in one way or another. But there is a fear that if I don’t keep Dad in my thoughts, prayers, and speaking that I will lose him and may even forget what his face looks like.  I thought about this at lunch today while eating my filet o’ fish meal and planning my weekend.  As I glanced at my iPad and read Cathy’s post for the 3rd time I saw that we just don’t want to let them go.  And then I saw the prayer card from my dad’s funeral that I’ve kept in my planner since his service.

“…we know they are not gone.  For God has promised us a home through all eternity where life and love continue far beyond what we can see.”

That really hit home!  Home… that theme keeps popping up wherever I look.  I mean, just look at the name of my blog!  Is it because I’ve declared that I will move home next year?  Is it because I’ve realized that family is too important to let them slip away over time?  Keeping them alive in our words is so ideal because not only do we keep them alive for selfish reasons (in the nicest way possible–because we miss them) but we connect with others using this platform of public streaming of consciousness who need to know that they are going through the same thing too and are not alone in their experiences.  Hopefully we inspire others to go ahead, keep your loved ones around through the art of language and/or artistic expression.  More and more I feel my dad there in my head telling me that I can do it.  I can do it.  He said so, so it must be true.  He never lied to me.  Not once.  Justine is with Cathy and she is helping Cathy get the word out to others who have experienced traumatic loss.

Thank you, Cathy, for starting me on this inquiry regarding the sharing of our loved ones through words.  It’s helped me to focus on why I do what I do.  I know Dad would approve, and I bet he and Justine are proud of both of us.

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33 thoughts on “Keeping our loved ones present”

  1. I’m very happy to have inspired you. I do believe our loved ones fuel our writing (or painting or whatever art we love). I struggle with a vague feeling of betrayal telling Justine’s story but my knowing that it’s the right thing keeps me going. Your father wants you to write this book. We can do it with their help.

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  2. You are right, it’s a way of keeping them alive. That’s why I write about my family and ancestors. I am still grieving my brother’s death. I think what makes it really hard for me, is that I am the only one left from my birth family. No other brothers or sisters, no cousin, aunts or ;uncles. I have my husband, children, and grandchildren, but there is something about the original family that I miss.

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  3. Beautifully written Diane! I believe that our loved ones never truly leave us. They are always in our hearts and in our thoughts. As you and Cathy both said, our loved ones fuel our creativity. I’m sure your Dad must be very proud of you!

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  4. Oh Diane, Tears are running down my face as I have read some of what you have written on your blog. I started with your about page.
    I am so sorry to hear that you lost your dad last month. Praying for you and your family.
    It’s one of those times I had words to help you get through the next day, the next week, and so on. I have had 9 plus years to come up with them. Sadly, there isn’t anything I can add to that you won’t already have heard.
    My mom is celebrating her first year in Heaven today.
    I still have yet to fully realize that she is gone.
    I need /want to write about her and haven’t been able to. I should have done so before the hospital stay….
    I have yet to think of my dad with out his love. I never thought they would die at different times.
    I am so glad you were close to your dad. That your memories are the kind you have.
    I understand wanting to go HOME and not being able to.
    I understand a lot of what you didn’t say.
    Keep writing like you have been. You were smart to start doing that right away.
    When My son, Bobby, died, I held off writing about it. I wrote letter TO him but not about him. Now I am needing to get them out and am having trouble.
    I want to tell stories about my mom and dad…

    I am anxious to read more from you.
    I was born and raised in Illinois.
    I moved to Colorado with Bobby when he was 2. Both places are HOME in a way Florida NEVER WILL BE.
    Cherish your memories.
    Hugs Sarah

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    1. Sarah, your comment touched me so! I’m so sorry about the loss in your life! It hurts to have them gone doesn’t it? I miss my dad every day. I wish I could ask his counsel on so much! I feel that I’m not grown up enough to handle life on my own. It’s amazing that he’s gone. I still can’t believe it!

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  5. Reblogged this on Sarah's Attic Of Treasures and commented:
    Sharing this today because it is a good post about family love. About a father and daughter and their love for each other. Diane’s dad passed away just last month.

    Sharing it also because a year ago today my mom went to Heaven. I want to write about her but haven’t been able to . Now I just might be able to. I wish I was home and not stuck in this hospital room.
    I want peace and quiet for it.

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  6. Diane, I came here from Sarah’s blog (who I met through the blogging course I took as well); I lost my dad early last year and well understand your feeling even though I think mine lived longer, had a good life as well and wasn’t entirely unexpected, almost wish it had been quicker, so I’m so sorry for your loss and only a month; at that point last year I was getting the call from the funeral home that the death certificates had come in – oh my. I’ve also lost 2 grandchildren but neither was as old as either Cathy’s or Sarah’s children so don’t pretend to relate to what they’ve gone through but still not the same as your(our) dad(s) who’ve lived their lives, as you say. And then I see my dad’s funeral card and its words as well but I’ll save that for my own page and not take over yours – but just know you aren’t alone

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    1. Donna, thank you for your comment and your condolences. I offer you prayers as well. It’s comforting to have someone get you. I’m so sorry for the loss you’ve had. It’s very hard to get used to isn’t it? Thank you for responding.

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      1. yes, haven’t gotten my post done yet, may not today, might have to be tomorrow but felt so bad about me re your having your dad’s card in your planner; may sound crazy but those cards seem like they’ve been the hardest thing to keep up with – except still have the envelope of them – did you have any left? I’m assuming you were talking about what you had at the funeral?

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      2. yes, maybe not quite the same thing, just know I felt bad at how many I had left; seemed like not that many people came to dad’s; anyway it was nice to find them; pulled one out to keep with me now like you have and read over his poem – it was more about joy than home – still plan to post about it

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  7. Diane, thanks for sharing your grief with your readers. I believe as you do, we’ll all be together in eternity. My son passed in 2001. So many of my family are gone. That sweet promise helps ease the grief.

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  8. It’s such a moving post and very beautifully expressed.

    I know writing your ideas is not only just a way of keeping your loved ones with you but also to get healed out of emotional pain which we had to feel when they passed away. I found your post on Sarah’s blog. I thank her and thank you.

    Have a lovely weekend, Diane.

    LOve and light ❤

    Anand 🙂

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