Finally! Happy Memories of My Dad

remembering-dadMy dad suffered a debilitating stroke on October 30, 1993. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer the following day. He died on July 27, 1999.

During the six-and-half years my mother cared for him, she often described the impact the stroke had on his body and brain by saying, “My husband died on October 30, 1993. We just haven’t gotten around to burying him yet.”

My dad had been a happy, optimistic, hard-working Kansas farmer. As his health declined, it became increasingly difficult to remember who he’d been before the stroke.

This morning, on the anniversary of his death, I woke up with a vision of Dad on the tee box of a Kansas- cow-pasture-turned-golf-course. (It’s where he taught me how to swing a club.) I had a vivid recollection of his twinkling brown eyes, his laugh, and his good nature. I visualized him as he used to be, and I was overcome with simultaneous feelings of joy and grief.

I didn’t want get up. I didn’t want to lose that image of him, so I started trying to remember every course we’d played together. My mind was flooded with images of different days and different locations, and every memory made me smile.

Dad’s been gone for a number of years, but today I got a little bit of him back, and I’m going to celebrate the fact that I can finally remember who my dad was before he became a stroke survivor and my mother became a caregiver.

If you are in the process of grieving the loss of a loved one, please click on the link below to watch my videos on caregiver grief.

Caregiver Help – Managing Grief