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Mike raising the flag for Canada Day

Mike raising the flag for Dad’s birthday (June 28) and Canada Day (July 1)

Dear Dad,

Eight months ago when you left this world to go to the next, we, your family made a pact to come together for your birthday so that none of us would have to be alone.

Arno and Ela came from Germany. I came from out west, sadly without Michaela. And Mike, Heather and Spencer drove in from Montreal’s west island to meet at yours and Mom’s home. In my head, this family reunion would be joyful and fun because we would all be together. I thought we would celebrate you, maybe even release balloons with personal notes to you.  But that’s not what happened.

I’m not saying that we didn’t share great memories and moments of laughter, after which Mike brought out your silver tray and shot glasses just like you used to do when entertaining guests and we clinked our glasses in your honour. But always the underlying and unspoken fact that you were not sitting out on the deck with us was with me, and I suspect with the others as well.

Frankly, life is not the same without you Dad. I don’t mean to sound all dark and gloomy – honest I don’t, I’m merely stating a fact.

I recently read a book that said when we lose someone we love, we think we are immediately entering our new life without them. Where we usually end up though, is in a kind of metaphorical waiting room – between our old life and our new life. And there we sit, doing things the same way as before, hanging on and reluctant to change or let go for fear of forgetting our loved one.

The book goes on to say it’s normal to do that but the author encourages her readers to take baby steps by changing little things in their routines, a bit at a time, until they are fully participating in their new life. Stepping into their new lives does not, however, make them forget their loved one.

And that’s what we’re doing Dad, each one of us in our own way, but it’s hard. It’s particularly hard for Mom. We’ll figure it out though, Dad. I know you would want us to enjoy life. And even as I write these thoughts here…

I can almost feel your hand reassuringly patting mine and hear you saying, “C’mon Diana…Everything is OK, it’s going to be fine.” 


Happy Birthday Dad

Love you and miss you

Diana xo