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Love ~ Loss ~ Regret

I really debated on writing this post but since this blog is all about being real, I’m sharing. I don’t think this post is profound, but it’s our life.

Dad and Kids

A couple weeks ago I received the dreaded call from my sister. My dad died suddenly in a farm accident.

Shock.
Disbelief.
Anger.
Regret.

I knew this day would come. I knew that some day my dad would die and I’d never get to tell him again that I loved him. Not one of those canned I love you’s that happen right before you hang up the phone either. But instead a sincere, heartfelt one like:

“I love you so much dad! Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. Thank you for your hard work and dedication and being a rock. I love you and admire you. You’re an amazing grandpa and your grandkids ADORE you. You’re a GREAT man and I love you so much.”

The last time I saw my dad, was this past Christmas. He hugged me tight goodbye. His hugs were always tight. They conveyed emotion and feeling that he had a hard time expressing. But I know my dad loved me and I’m grateful for him.

Seeing my dad be a grandpa was such a blessing to me. He held my kids. He loved them. He laughed with them. Sure he was busy with working the farm by himself, but he poured out his grandpa love on my kids! I’m sad for them, because they have to miss out on having him in their lives.

The night before the funeral, we met with some of my dad’s closest friends whom he wanted for his pallbearers. Oh the stories, the laughter, the characters! I had the sound mind to thank some of them. Their stories gave me a picture of my dad I only had glimpses of. He was a jokester and played pranks on his coworkers. He out hunted 30 year olds (when he was in his late 50s). He was in amazing shape. He was very generous to those he loved. He was downright full of it.

Regrets are the hardest to deal with though. I am convinced they are unavoidable. There are so many ways I could have been a better daughter to him. I could have visited him more when we lived in SD. I could have been more sincere and open in our phone conversations. The list is unfortunately longer than I care to share.

But my final thoughts to you dear reader, call your family. Say the things you’d say if you knew they’d not be alive much longer.

  • Squash your expectations and bitterness.
  • Expect nothing in return.
  • Extend yourself.
  • Forgive.
  • Love.

It sounds trite, but life REALLY is too short.  And your loved ones are too important.

I always thought my dad would grow old and we’d have one of those heart to hearts.  I put it off and now it’s too late.  Maybe it’s not too late for you friend.

5 thoughts on “Love ~ Loss ~ Regret”

  1. Angel rodriguez

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your wonderful father. I’m sure he knew how much you loved him even if you didn’t get to say it the way you wanted to beforehand. I understand sudden loss as we lost my mother 4 months ago suddenly as well. Now, my dear father is dying and in hospice care at home. It’s so hard, but everyday I am grateful for one more chance to tell him how much I love him even though one morning, I won’t have that anymore. My prayers will include your family.

    1. Thank you Angel! I’m so sorry about your mom’s passing and now your dad! This whole tragedy has given me a new compassion for those who have lost parents. Praying for you as well.

      1. karen christofi

        Dear Julie,
        May God bless you and give you comfort as you mourn the loss of your father. The Lord’s way is always perfect and with Him there are no surprises.
        I too lost my dad suddenly from a massive stroke. He too was a farmer and coal miner and we lived the “simple life”. His passing changed all our lives and there is not a day goes by that I do not think of him. The Lord used that opportunity to awaken the rest of us! We look at life totally different now, trying to make the most of every day we have with the family.
        Try to focus on all the things you did together and how the Lord blessed you with him. I took my dad cross country rv’ing from California to Pennsylvania and they were the best times!
        Know that the Lord is gracious to “His sheep” and He will not forsake them. Our prayers are with you and your family! Karen

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