A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent

My latest book is available!

Throughout the years, Lisa and her dad had a tenuous relationship. In her youth, she was disappointed and angered by his behavior, distancing herself from him and blaming him for the sudden end to their intact comfortable family life. As a young adult and after her father’s sudden heart attack, Lisa was given a second chance to heal their relationship. Over the next three decades they became closer, enjoying time together, including travel. When her dad entered his eighties, and while still raising her own children, Lisa found herself unprepared for his steady health decline. Suddenly, she was thrust into the role of overseeing his care as he began to experience increasing disability and the beginnings of dementia.

Not having prepared for or anticipated such a role, Lisa floundered as she attempted to address his ever-changing situation. The closeness and healing they had achieved was challenged as her father resisted conversations about his failing health and his care, exacerbated by a western medical system that fell short to prepare them for the end of his life.

A moving tribute to a remarkable man and a daughter’s experience of losing her dad, A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.

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Praise for A Chance to Say Goodbye

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The Better View at Midlife

I believe the age that one transitions to midlife varies, but for me it was at age 51. And there was no going back! The view is outstanding. Colors in a sunset or autumn leaves are more vibrant. Music and sounds of nature reach new depths of enjoyment in my soul. Smells of pumpkin bread baking or turkey in the oven brings me bliss. The taste of a well-made latte or fresh salmon from Alaska makes me swoon. And the feeling of holding hands with my new boyfriend makes me tingle! I enjoyed all these things before, but in midlife, I experience them at a deeper level.

Midlife nudges me to move forward with the now or never motto. “Letting go” is reaching profound levels, and sometimes it hurts just before the release. [Read more…]