There is no easy way to lose someone in your life. No matter what your beliefs are, there is no easy way to say goodbye to a person whose life has mattered to you. We hear stories from you about how you have dealt with feelings of loss and grief, and almost always they are life-affirming, inspiring stories.
When I lost my father I felt like the ground had caved under me. He was my rock. Always calm, endlessly patient and kind, my father could solve any problem.
One day not long after my father’s death I was cleaning house, dusting my bookshelves. My father had been an avid reader and philosopher, and we shared that love of learning. I stopped in front of the biography of Katharine Graham, Personal History, the woman who was thrust into the position of Publisher/Owner of the Washington Post in 1963 when her husband committed suicide. My father and I had read her book together, and had admired Katharine Graham’s courage, intelligence and perseverance. We discussed her willingness to ask for help and gather trusted advisors around her. That’s when my father told me he thought the ability to humble oneself and ask for help was a rare quality in a leader, and actually the sign of a person who has learned to use trust as a path to success.
In the moment of that memory, feather duster in hand, I felt the strength of my father’s presence through his wisdom. I “got” that this was my father’s greatest legacy to me. I often reflect upon his ability to calmly sift through problems searching for the solution, sharing his thought process – questioning, always questioning – and then the exuberance of the ‘Aha!’ moment when he would say, “Well, what do you think of that, Janie girl? I think we found an answer!
– A Grateful Daughter