One of my best friends is about to lose her daddy to a brain tumor, and is literally racing to Canada to try and get there in time to say goodbye. It takes me back to when I lost my daddy 8 years ago. You assume your parents will live a long life. You make plans in your head for what you’ll do with them “later” when you have the time or money. You are busy in your adult life and/or raising a family, and you assume that when your parents get old you’ll get to spend time with them in their golden years. It’s all very “Cat’s In The Cradle”.

"When a daddy’s girl gets that dreaded phone call that her dad is sick and is not going to recover, she can begin to leave her body."

I know many of you know what I am talking about. You stop sleeping, you pray non-stop, you either stop eating or eat too much, your spirit begins to hover over your body as you go through the motions of daily life on adrenaline. Many of us get terribly ill as our body reacts to our thoughts…thoughts like; I can’t be here without my dad, he’s the only one who ever loved me unconditionally, or thought I was amazing, he’s my rock, without him I’m an orphan, who will I run to when I am in trouble, no one knows or understands me like my dad, he is my best friend. These thoughts are sending signals to your cells to prepare for death. Now you are dealing with major health problems of your own brought on by deep grief and despair. So what is the answer? Unfortunately, grief is a part of life, and you have to go through all its stages. You must grieve deeply and cry buckets of tears. I don’t believe in numbing your normal emotions of grief with sedatives, alcohol, or drugs. You must feel the feelings and work through them, preferably with a grief coach like myself, or a counselor.  Having someone to guide you through your grief is comforting, empowering, and will keep you from getting stuck in negative thought patterns that can develop when you grieve alone.  You may not sleep well for a very long time, and that’s normal. You might lose some weight or gain some weight, also normal. You might not be able to get out of bed for 2 weeks…normal. Something you will discover through this pain is that it will forever change you. You may have regrets of things unsaid or the time you never got to spend with your dad, but you can use the pain to shape how deeply you love people in your life in the future. Pain can change your priorities and show you that what is really important is spending quality time with those that you love and telling them what they mean to you.

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