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  • Writer's pictureValarie Stephens

Dealing With Loss...

It's been several months since I've written any new blogs. One of the reasons for my absence is the time and effort I've been putting into writing my first book. It has truly taken precedence over my life and has been a labor of love.

The other reason for my absence is because I’ve been dealing with the loss of a loved one. My father passed away in July of this year after battling cancer for several months and other health issues. He was a very strong man who lived a full life.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can put you through an emotional range of ups and downs. You can’t predict how you’ll feel or react to death until you actually have to go through it.

My dad always made me feel safe and protected even as an adult and that’s what I’ll miss about him the most. No matter where I was in life, my parent’s house was always home for me.

When my dad learned he had cancer, my parents were vague about the news. I don’t think they fully understood everything the doctor explained to them. Much of their vagueness was because they didn’t want to talk about it. My parents have always been very private people so much of their conversation has just been amongst themselves.

My brother Stephen and I decided to go talk to the doctor ourselves. The prognosis was not good. My dad was given 4-6 months to live. I broke down in tears in the parking lot. Now that we had a better understanding we had to explain this to our parents.

My brother is someone I’ve always looked up to and consider a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. He has a brilliant mind and can talk at length on most subjects especially history. He and my dad got along great. They often talked long into the night on various topics. My dad enjoyed those conversations and looked to my brother on a number of issues.

We walked in the door that evening after coming back from the doctor’s office to tell my parents. The mood was uneasy. As my brother began the conversation I looked at my dad’s eyes as he quietly listened. His eyes searched for hope as my brother spoke. Stephen always had an answer for everything. During their long conversations he explained things in great detail to a T and broke everything down. But he didn’t have any answers this time and the hope my dad held in his eyes turned to sadness. We all sat there in silence.

I spent the next several months helping my parents with anything I could. It was an emotional period of time for all of us. I watched him as he got progressively weaker and weaker and was unable to be mobile. For the last month of his life my dad was able to come home and be around family. We knew that his time was near. My dad died in his home on July 7th in his sleep. That’s how he wanted it.

Although no longer here my dad communicates with me often from the other side. He lets me know that he's watching over everything and misses all of us.

Since my dad’s passing, I have been somewhat out of sync. They say that time heals wounds and I believe that to be true. Things are getting back to normal with me. We all have to continue moving forward in our lives no matter how much something hurts.

I dedicate this blog to my dad for his many years of hard work, dedication and love for his family.

Until then,

The Quiet Thinker

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