For the last six years on a weekly basis, I have been sharing advice with you and others from around the globe on hundreds of topics. My topics have covered business, teams (work and sports), motivation, leadership, awareness, communication, performance and an assortment of other topics intended to share my acquired knowledge with you virtually. Perhaps to serve as your virtual mentor or advisor. Today I’m turning the tables, and asking you to give me some advice. Advice to help me to get through an experience I have never gone through before. The passing of my Dad.
When I found out that my Dad was sick, I began talking to him 3-4 times per week, and visiting with him as often as I could do so. Our conversations spanned a wide range of subjects, and they were always constructive, thought provoking and educational. For context, my Dad studied Economics and loved to educate himself about what was happening in the world. Despite his own health failing, and perhaps the worlds failing health too, he always had an optimistic outlook. Which is clearly something I inherited from him.
The day before my Dad passed, and despite the incredible pain and suffering he was experiencing, he never mentioned either of these factors. Instead, the day before he passed, and while he was struggling to talk and simply breathe, he told me that everything was going to be fine. I honestly think he thought he might be too, and he never complained about how he was feeling. He was more interested in how you were doing, and that you would be OK in any circumstance.
My Dad has clearly influenced my thinking and writing over the years, and he has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my entire life and business and entrepreneurial career. I have never taken for granted how fortunate I am to have had the kind of mental and genuine caring support from him that I have received. I’m also well aware that not everyone has had this same experience. Although I wish they did, which is part of why I share my experience with you and others.
In the last two days our family has been showered with love and support from our community. This is both a tribute to who my Dad was as a person, and the fact he was such a genuinely kind human being to everyone. His friends adored him as much as his family did, and the memories we experienced with him were precious, and will help us to keep him alive in our minds and hearts.
A friend yesterday shared that my heart will have a big hole in it from the loss I am experiencing, but promised me that someday my tears will be replaced by laughter. It’s hard to imagine when that will be, but I will take comfort in keeping this in mind. A quote by A.A. Milne that was included in a condolence card from a sweet neighbor seriously touched me. The quote said, “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” I will surely be heeding this advice.
As some of you know, I’m a Gallup Strengths Coach, and for additional context, my Dad’s #5, and my #1 strength (e.g., Gallup/Clifton Strengths) is Positivity. As I am writing this story through blurred and teary eyes, I will always remember where I inherited this lovely strength from. Even on his last day on this Earth, my Dad was leveraging his Positivity, despite the fact it seemed impossible for him or someone to do so. This is one of the many qualities I admired about him, and I will be forever thankful I received this talent from him.
As all of us are grieving the loss of my Dad, especially my Mom, I am asking for your support, and to return the favor to me by sharing a piece of advice from you. Advice about what you did to help you get through the grieving process. I’m certain that I won’t be the only one benefitting from your advice, and I thank you in advance for sharing it with me.
I’m going to miss you Dad, and thank you for being such an amazing one.