I got the following from e-mail
recently. It contains a |
very powerful, eloquently poignant account of what
you miss when you live day to day with a friend or
loved one, and when they part this world, you are left
with only memories, because they were "There". Take
care to appreciate these special people in your life, by
sharing time with them more often, while they are here!
A Final Goodbye
"I am going home to Denmark, Son, and I just wanted to tell you I love
you." In my dad's last telephone call to me, he repeated that line seven
times in a half hour. I wasn't listening at the right level. I heard the words,
but not the message, and certainly not their profound intent. I believed my
dad would live to be over 100 years old, as my great uncle lived to be 107
years old. I had not felt his remorse over Mom's death, understood his
intense loneliness as an "empty nester," or realized most of his pals had
long since light-beamed off the planet. He relentlessly requested my brothers
and I create Grandchildren so that he could be a devoted grandfather.
I was too busy "entrepreneuring" to really listen.
"Dad's dead," sighed my brother Brian on July 4, l982.
My little brother is a witty lawyer and has a humorous, quick mind.
I thought he was setting me up for a joke, and I awaited the punchline,
there wasn't one. "Dad died in the bed he was born in - in Rozkeldj,"
continued Brian. "The funeral directors are putting him in a coffin, and
shipping Dad and his belongings to us tomorrow. We need to prepare for
I was speechless. This isn't the way it's supposed to happen. If I knew
these were to be Dad's final days, I would have asked to go with Him to
denmark. I believe in the hospice movement, which ways: "No one should
die alone." A loved one should hold your hand and comfort you as you transition
from one plane of reality to another. I would have offered consolation during
his final hour, if I'd been really listening, thinking and in tune with the Infinite.
Dad announced his departure as best he could, and I had missed it.
I felt grief, pain and remorse, Why had I not been there for him?
He'd always been there for me.
In the mornings when I was nine years old, he would come home from
working 18 hours at his bakery and wake me up at 5:00 A.M. by scratching
my back with his strong powerful hands and whispering, "Time to get up, son."
By the time I was dressed and ready to roll, he had my newspapers
folded, banded and stuffed in my bicycle basket. Recalling his generosity
of spirit brings tears to my eyes. When I was racing bicycles, he drove me
50 miles each way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, every Tuesday night so I could
race and he could watch me. He was there to hold me if I lost and shared
the euphoria when I won.
Later, he accompanied me to all my local talks in Chicago when
I spoke to Century 21, Mary Kay, Equitable and various churches.
He always smiled, listened and proudly told whomever he was sitting with,
"That's my boy!"
After the fact, my heart was in pain because Dad was there for me and
I wasn't there for him. My humble advice is to always, always share your
love with your loved ones, and ask to be invited to that sacred transitional
period where physical life transforms into spiritual life. Experiencing the
process of death with one you love will take you into a bigger, more
expansive dimension of beingness.
By Mark Victor Hansen
Thank you, Mark for expressing this most important point, that we