Shaun’s Dad: August 18, 1921 – October 14, 2011

With dad moving in, we were expecting a minimum of 6 months in which we could hang out, watch football (in my case, pretend to watch football), and share the love.

Much to everyone’s surprise: the doctors, dad, and us, it didn’t quite work out that way.

He moved in on October 8th, and passed away far too soon…on October 14th.

Fortunately, all his kids were able to get here, and be with him.

As you can imagine, it’s been an intense time.

It’s an especially difficult time for Shaun.  We both thank you for all your kind words, prayers, and good thoughts.

It’s shocking: we can plan for 6 months to a year, and end up with only 5 days.

It’s frightening: we don’t know how long we get to have each other.

(This SO doesn’t work for me. I’m pretty keen on the people I love sticking around…forever. That doesn’t feel unreasonable to me? Universe! Please revise.)

Take home lessons for self:

  • Show up
  • Do the right thing: I know what it is
  • Something doesn’t have to be perfect to be right
  • One day, it will be me

Dear Jim,

we celebrate your life, and mourn your passing. Thank you for the honor of living your last days with us. Thank you for trusting us with your dying.

We love you.

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28 thoughts on “Shaun’s Dad: August 18, 1921 – October 14, 2011

  1. cj

    Oh my goodness. After everything you and Shaun and your father-in-law have gone through to make this transition happen, The Universe shoves you around an unexpected corner and shakes your equilibrium. I feel for you. I hope you take solace in knowing you did the right thing—did all you could. Your loss brings to mind this passage by Brian W. Flynn:

    “It occurs to me that grief is neither a gift nor a curse although it may, at times, seem like both. Perhaps instead it is the dividend of our investment in, or commitment to, an individual or a group. Without investment there is no loss. Without loss there is no grief. We earn our grief with our investment in others. It is therefore a precious dividend not to be avoided or shunned, but embraced.”

    You and Shaun have “earned” your grief. May The Universe be kinder to you in the months to come.

    Reply
  2. poodiemom

    I am so sorry that your time with him was cut short. Life is never knowing how long, or how short, and that is the exact reason for living it as well as you can, which you so obviously try to do.
    You and Shaun were so blessed by being able to spend time with him at the end, and he with you, every parent and child should be so fortunate.
    My biggest hugs to you both, just remember that it really is ok to cry.

    Reply
  3. Sarah Carpenter Goyette

    I am so so so sorry – I didn’t expect this post either – and was surprised at how hard it struck. I’ll be moving in with my mother in the next couple months – I think it hit close to home. I wish to add my condolences. I am thankful you let us into your life/lives – and I hope it adds some comfort knowing you have so many that care, who feel like I do – that we know you – a little bit – and are praying for you. Lots of love and hugs – from NH.

    Reply
  4. Liz Goldsmith

    So sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to your entire family. Even though it was expected, it came too soon. But I’m sure it was a great comfort to him to be surrounded by his loved ones.

    Reply
  5. Beth

    So sorry to hear this news. A somber reminder to all of us to enjoy and appreciate the time with our loved ones everyday. Hugs and prayers for your family.

    Reply
  6. Marissa

    I am very sorry for your loss, and especially that it came much too soon. Big hugs from me and the big brown horse.

    I read something this morning, from a friend who lost her sister last year, that I thought was a beautiful way to look at a loved one’s passing: “What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world, to the butterfly is just the beginning.” I think it’s paraphrasing Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull), but I like the way this person worded it even better.

    Take care of yourself. I’ll be thinking of you.

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I have that quote on our mirror, to remind me whatever angst (usually self inflicted) I’m going through is likely to transform into something better, or fall away. I love this quote. Thank you!

      Reply
  7. Shannon

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve always believed that as long as we remember our loved ones than they are never truly gone. They live forever in our memories, transient Universe be damned!

    Reply
  8. Laura

    I’m so sorry to hear about Shaun’s dad. I lost my dad this past May, he had been pretty miserable for a long time but it’s still weird to talk to my mom and not hear him in the background asking questions or on the other line just listening in. Please take comfort in the fact your family could be there and I’m sure he apperciated everything you and Shaun did for him.

    Reply
  9. halfpass

    I am so sorry! And it IS a shock to the system…Please take the time you need to mourn and share what you can with your loved ones!!!! I’m down to one parent myself {lost my mother-in-law in August to cancer} and each time it was not the way we expected or were prepared for! My deepest sympathy!

    Reply
  10. Lee

    Dear Jane, Shaun and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Please feel comforted that he was surrounded by loved ones during his final days. He’ll continue to live through the sharing of your memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Love, your virtual extended family

    Reply
  11. Kate

    I am so sorry for Shaun’s (and your) loss, but I’m glad he was able to be with you at the end. Your take homes are powerful messages for us all.

    Reply
  12. heccateisis

    “To live in this world

    you must be able
    to do three things:
    to love what is mortal;
    to hold it

    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it go,
    to let it go. ”

    From “in Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver

    Reply
  13. Sandy

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and Shaun can take solace in the fact that you showed up and helped make his last days comfortable and surrounded by people who loved him. You’re right. Something doesn’t have to be perfect to be right.

    Reply
  14. Annette

    Oh.

    I am so, so sorry. My grandmother went far sooner than anyone expected even though we knew she was going. It’s a shock to the system, and I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Lots of love from AZ.

    Reply

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