Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Dad (Part 2)

I'm finally ready to say a little more about losing my Dad last Wednesday.  This subject is so deeply personal and I am still trying to comprehend the level of grief I am feeling, so this is really hard.  I think I will defer to a quote from my brother Mike's eulogy:

"My Dad was loved deeply and respected immensely.  He and my Mom raised a family of five children and eight grandchildren.  We all knew we were loved every day of our lives.

I'm certain that raising five children wasn't easy, and I'm pretty sure that we gave him his share of grey hairs.  But no matter the trouble we caused, big or small, we always knew we could come home.  

And that's what we did during Dad's final days, we all came home. With my Mom, brother and three sisters around him, we reminded Dad of all the lessons that he taught us, the experiences we shared and the love we have for him.  He will always be in our hearts."

I absolutely cherish the ten days I spent at home in Milwaukee before and after my Father's death.  I am so grateful that I was at a point in my breast cancer treatment that I could travel safely and be completely present to this incredibly powerful experience.  Being surrounded by my entire immediate family infused me with a new sense of wholeness and strength.  I think my Dad knew what I truly needed to continue my fight and he gave me this final gift.  I'm in awe.

With great love, 


  1. I haven't written because I am at a loss for words. I have written post after post and deleted every single one because I just can't express myself as beautifully as you do and I want to say the right thing for your comfort. You inspire me - you are strong and beautiful in so many ways. I am so sorry for your loss my dear, dear friend. I wish you peace in your wonderful memories of your dad. You are so loved.

  2. Kristin -
    I have been following your blog on a regular basis and keeping track of your journey through mutual friends. I think of you every day. You are obviously surrounded by so many friends and family members that love you. I was so sorry to learn of the passing of your dad. I know firsthand what you may be feeling from love, joy and happiness to sadness and loss. As you already know, family is everything that matters. I would like to express my deepest condolences to you and your family. I haven't wanted to burden you, but please know that I think of you every single day. I learned a lot from you and you continue to amaze me with your strength and confidence.

    Debbie W.

  3. Dear Kristin, when I didn't see any blogs going on I became concerned and called Virginia, she said you where in Milwaukee and what was happening, I kept it in my heart and prayed for you and your whole family. You are the bravest woman to make it there but the reward was being with your whole family at one time...yes, your father gave that to you. He sounds like the most wonderful Dad and he and your Mom have definitely given your 'true grit'!!! I am so sorry for your loss. There is no replacement for a great continue to process, cry and find moments of joy from all the past growing up years in your family...may God walk with you during this amazingly difficult time. You are being prayed for continuously, God Bless and keep you, Deborah McLean, Pst. Salem UMC, Pa

  4. Kristin- Just returned from Milwaukee where I had heard about the passing of your father. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Sounds like he was an incredible dad and I am so happy for you that you had a chance to head back to WI and spend some time with him. All of our blessings are with your family.

    Katie Kerrigan