14 Ways to Honor the Loss of a Loved One

14 years ago today on September 14th, we lost a very special man – my dad. And honestly, special doesn’t even describe the man that meant so much to so many people. He was truly one in a million, which is no wonder heaven called him home early. Although his time on earth was a mere 46 years – it was as if he’d already lived ten more lifetimes than the rest of us. He was just that kind of old soul and I am so lucky to have had his love and influence in my life for as long as I did. I still miss him like crazy and that will never change. But what has changed is the way I choose to honor him on the anniversary of his passing. Some years are harder than others, especially the early years, but what matters is how you use this time to move forward. So I decided to list out 14 ways that have helped my mom and me honor my dad each year his anniversary rolls around. I hope these help you if you’re in the same situation, and I know we’ll be swapping stories, looking through old photos, and reliving our favorite memories all day because that’s what he would have wanted.

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Father’s Day Memories: A Father’s Hands

There will always be things we take for granted in life. It’s just human nature to focus on the seemingly more important things rather than the things we do everyday. I bet you’ve never thought about how many times you’ve held your father’s hand, or remember what it felt like to be that little kid looking up at him walking hand-in-hand down the street. I certainly didn’t. Just like I didn’t know 14 years ago today, that it would be the last Father’s Day I’d be spending with my dad. He had been battling stomach cancer for two years and just had a major surgery that we were so hopeful would give him a second chance at life. I had just graduated from UT and it meant so much for him to see me walk across that stage and accept my diploma. Something he wrote in my graduation card has always stuck with me: “Raising you has been my greatest success in life.” Fast forward to later that summer, his health had quickly deteriorated and I’d moved back home to spend what we all knew were his last days with us. Although I don’t think any of us would have ever expected what happened next. 

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Mom Jean Confessions: Good Grief

Good grief is right. Good grief, as in, “Good grief, why has it taken me the better half of 9 months to sit down and write again?” Or, “Good grief, could more things have happened to us this year?” But in the literal sense, a “good grief” is healing through loss, which I myself and those I love have experienced more times than once this year. Even as I’m sitting here writing this, I am stricken with grief of yet another close friend who was taken from us far too soon.

I didn’t quite know where to start, so I’ll just start from the beginning. Fair warning, it’s a five-parter and a little heavy, so get settled in for a long read. Oh and don’t worry, I’ll get back to writing fluff pieces about fashion, beauty, and my crazy mama stories soon enough.

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