I feel like the last 24 or so months have included the same repeating theme…please take me back in time! Take me back to when my Grammy was still with us. Take me back to when my {step}dad was still with us. Take me back to a time when I didn’t need 2 back surgeries and a ride in the ambulance. Please…just take me back in time!


Me and my Grammy when I was about five

I remember earlier this year coming across an article on my iPad – 7 things I learned after drugs killed my brother. I most certainly can’t relate to the drug issues, but I can relate to losing someone special in your life.  When Allison, the author, mentioned her 7 things I realized that there is just so much that happens in your life AFTER you lose someone.  Things they will never experience with you and things you will never experience with them!  When I saw the article I think it was still too soon after Dan’s passing that I wasn’t sure how to interpret what all was being read.

Mom Dan Me

Let’s look at the 7 things that Allison mentioned…(in bold are the 7 items/topics, but under each are my own feelings related to what she mentioned)

1) It’s not about forcing happiness — it’s about not letting the sadness win.

Some days it is really hard not to let sadness win!  There are days when it would just be so much better if I could stay curled up in the bed, hidden under a pile of covers and not face the world.  I know that my family members in Heaven would not want that for me or mom – I know that as bad as I feel she is feeling it even more!

2) Guilt — it’s guaranteed.

This one is a little tough.  I do feel guilty enjoying the things mom and I do, but the true guilt I feel is looking at someone who is barely hanging onto life by a breath and wondering why Dan isn’t here and they still are.  Please tell me that’s just a natural human reaction to losing someone unexpectedly at the age of 56.

3) Find perfect moments, and hold onto them as long as you can.

We are so very lucky to have had the BEST last day with Dan.  It really couldn’t have been a better day if we planned it ourselves and knew he wouldn’t be with us the next day!  We laughed and had so much fun that day!

Dan Collage (1)

4) Life is unfair, and bad things happen to good people.

I feel like saying life is unfair is the Understatement. Of. The. Year.  Again, this goes back to the guilt thing.  It’s been a year filled with “Whys?”  Why Dan and not one of these people living a life of virtual non-existence in a nursing home or squalor?  Even those people probably want to know why him and not them.  I hate to feel that way, but I’m trying to be candid with everyone!

5) Pain makes people change.

I can tell you this much – it doesn’t always change people for “good.”  I worry more and feel guilty more.  I’m thinking most therapists would say that’s a problem!  I now worry about losing other family members unexpectedly.  It consumes me at times!  I worry about my mother incessantly! My mind is always full of “what-ifs.”

6) Morning comes again and again. The sun will shine again.

The sun sure does rise each morning whether we are ready for it or not!  Like I said above, some days it’s so hard to want to get up and be a happy person! What’s crazy is the fact that as we hit this 1 year anniversary of Dan passing away it seems like yesterday and a life time ago all at the same time!  It’s as if time stood still and sped up all at once.  Has anyone else ever experienced that?

7) Time does not heal all wounds.

No! No it doesn’t! I feel like it will never matter how much time has gone by – it will always suck!  My Grammy left us last year, but Buppy left us 10 years ago and I still think of him and miss him to this day!

I will add a #8!

8) There is no such thing as “closure”.

Whoever came up with this term “closure” is horrible!  There is NO closure when you lose someone unexpectedly! Was there something we could have done that last day that would make a difference?  What if I had heard mom when she first called my name?  What if the ambulance arrived sooner? What if… What if… What if…

We will never have answers!  Yes, we have a piece of paper from the hospital with a cause of death, but “what if” will haunt us forever.

What I’ve learned in a year is:

Hug your friends and family – OFTEN!
Help others.
Say I love you!
Say I’m sorry!
Do the things you think you can’t – tomorrow may not come!
Don’t feel bad when you want to stay home.
You can “love” your friends & family without having to be with them all the time – it’s okay to be alone.

For the sake of the memory of a great man – the video we had at his memorial!

How have you handled the loss of a loved one? If you have any loving words you’d like to share with us or memories of Dan we would love you to share them so we will have them for a life time!