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08:07 AM on 06/15/2012
Yep... in tears now too. Very touching....
07:18 AM on 06/15/2012
This article reminded me of something I saw on a TED talk by the founder of Post Secret. It was about a girl who always kept a voicemail from her loved ones just in case one of them passed away. That way she would always be able to go back and hear their voice. Sometimes something as simple as a note, voicemail, or picture of someone that is no longer with us can do amazing things for us.
09:08 AM on 06/15/2012
I kept the tape of our outgoing answering machine message after my husband died, just to hear his voice whenever I wanted.
09:11 AM on 06/15/2012
I do that now- I didn't before my mom died when I was 18, and I remember days of calling her cell phone just to hear her voice on her voice mail. My brother got that phone line and (of course) re-recorded the message. 5 years later on my birthday he called me and left me a message. When I listened to all of my birthday messages, a recording said "You have one new message from" and then I heard my mothers voice saying her name. I have never cried harder, but it was so lovely. I can't hear her anymore, since that intro is not played on my saved messages, but I have never deleted that birthday message from my brother. I also make sure to save one voice mail from my father, my nieces and nephews, and husband. It seems morbid, but it is so important to me now.
10:00 PM on 06/13/2012
My father died last February and this is the second Father's Day without him. Every now and then I'll dream about my daddy. The last morning I saw my father he must have died within the few moments I had left to go home and I had not been home a minute then I got that call. There will always be the ifs. If only I had've stayed,if only I had more time with him,if only ,if only. My father was the one constant in my life and when he became sick with COPD and died he was gone. My world as I know has not been the same but I am taking one day at the time without him.
06:28 AM on 06/15/2012
Hang in there, let yourself grieve and cry and remember. My mom, my backbone, my advisor and best friend died 12 years ago at the end of this July and it hurts like it was yesterday. Yes, I went back to work, carry on in daily life, laugh, worry, get mad - the usual things. But I also think of her all the time, a lot of times when I least expect it. When an ambulance goes by, no matter if I'm on the street or driving, I cry because I know that someone's loved one needs help - this started after her first heart attack in 1985 and I can't stop it, it's something that just happens now and everyone around me knows this so they don't question me anymore. The pain gets better (livable may be the right word) but life will never ever be the same! My warm thoughts are with you.
07:19 AM on 06/15/2012
this will be my first fathers day without my dad.......................hard
09:19 AM on 06/15/2012
This is my second without mine; honest, it does get a little bit easier, but then there are those days where it feels like it happened yesterday. Keep yourself busy and surround yourself with loved ones to help get you through it; that's what my family does and it does help.
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meat-a-saur-us
This girls' got HUGE, GLISTENING....... brains....
04:03 PM on 06/15/2012
No, for me it doesn't get any easier, because we were best buds.

12 years this August I lost my Dad.

No, not any easier.
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CowboySandtoes
09:50 PM on 06/13/2012
f'n beautiful.
09:05 PM on 06/13/2012
very touching
09:00 PM on 06/13/2012
I never feared death until I became a parent. The idea of dying while my children are young is terrifying. My husband is a wonderful father, but would they feel adrift if they didn't know certain things about me because I was gone? I love how these different parents have chosen to leave a part of themselves behind so that their children can discover them long after they have died.
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RJ9255
Bless the Beasts & the Children
06:57 PM on 06/13/2012
What a touching article, Lisa... Made me cry too. Not sure if it's the same thing as you, but I have this innate bawling mechanism that bursts forth whenever I read stories about lost loves where one part of a loving couple passes on, about mothers and fathers of young children passing away, of children "gone too soon" ... I think seeing those post-its would have made me fall to my knees and cry my heart out, hopefully AFTER I left her home. So significant is a mother's love, that it breaks my heart to think of children growing up without their mother's influence and guidance... But then maybe that's because I lost my mother when I was only 6.
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pslcitizen
I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
04:34 PM on 06/13/2012
Sometimes when things are written they get heard better & last in our memories longer.
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Irene Fisher
10:45 PM on 06/13/2012
Also seeing their handwriting, which is always so specific to that person, gives you the sense of their being. It's very comforting, my Mother wrote down a lot of things and she left notes with family heirlooms and wrote notes on back of pictures. She had very pretty penmanship and so when I. miss her a lot I go find a note of some kind that she's written and I feel her presence with me. Peace....
06:33 AM on 06/15/2012
I know what you mean - I opened one of my older books the other day and a note from my mother (died July 31, 1999) fell out. I swooped on it like it was a bar of gold - and to me it was more precious! I read it and looked at it, I rubbed my fingers over it. I even sniffed it trying to get a whiff of her from it, from when she was alive and things were right in this world. Irene, please know my warmest thoughts are with you....
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Tootsie56
help fellow travelers along the way, it comes back
03:22 PM on 06/13/2012
So sorry for your loss. For some odd reason my Dad wrote notes and journals for me. I hadn't been aware of it until his death and my Mum gave then to me. I read them often and it's been 20 years. I always left notes for my kids so they would find them in their lunch, a book, under their pillows. Now I keep journals and many are pages long for just one day, lol. They know of them and look forward to have a reminder of me when I've flown off to wherever!
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Tootsie56
help fellow travelers along the way, it comes back
03:16 PM on 06/13/2012
Wow! Really beautifully written! In my case, very timely. I had to my dog to sleep yesterday and it was hard. But it was hardest on my hubby and daughter's! Cyd was my shadow not theirs, lol. Made me realize I need to make a decision regarding my end of life care with a friend. These three would not be able to say Yes when needed :) So, from all sadness comes smiles and knowing when to let one go, is a gift that not all possess. Take care all. Off to cry a few more for my best little friend.
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RJ9255
Bless the Beasts & the Children
07:01 PM on 06/13/2012
My deepest condolences on the loss of your Cyd. I miss all of the dogs and cats I've owned over my adult life, it never really goes away, but thankfully, with time, the pain of loss lessens and good memories takes its place. Bless you Tootsie and remember Cyd will never be far away if only in spirit.
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Irene Fisher
10:50 PM on 06/13/2012
Now you all have me crying...have lost lots of dogs, cats and birds. My husband once said "when you have many, you won't miss one so much"....he and I know that's a lie. We just last month lost a parrot and we miss him tons and tons, where are the tissues??
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Tootsie56
help fellow travelers along the way, it comes back
05:48 PM on 06/14/2012
Thank you. Each minute brings more sadness. She was aways waiting at the door for me. Now, I see only her ghost. She's everywhere I look. I miss her between my feet at night. This baby girl will take a long, long time to recover from. Your kind comments mean a great deal to me.
02:29 PM on 06/15/2012
We had to put our beloved Sandy (Jack Russell) to sleep in March (Stage 3 cancer). It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make - we'd been his servants for 9 1/2 years and he left a huge hole in our home and hearts. On the Sunday night when we called the emergency vet's number, he called us back and gently told us what he thought was going on. He waited 1 1/2 hours for us to get to the office (he'd been doing surgery all day). The cancer was cutting off the blood supply to his leg, it had spread into his back and lungs, he couldn't walk and had stopped eating and drinking and none of the medications was making a difference. We just couldn't put him through it anymore. We knew what we had to do but that didn't make it easier. We both agree that if we could go the way our Sandy did, with two people that loved and adored us holding onto and reassuring us, with a caring, gentle doctor, then we'd have done something right in our lives! Bless you and my warmest thoughts are with you!
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Tootsie56
help fellow travelers along the way, it comes back
02:50 PM on 06/15/2012
Thank you so much for sharing that lovely story. It was as easy as it could be thanks to our Vet! Dr. Mark saved the life of a mini Schnauzer 30 years ago and she lived to 20. I have trusted and appreciated him in my pets lives since. Have you other dogs or have you a new companion? I hope so as they are great friends!
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02:50 PM on 06/13/2012
What a moving piece...the things we never let ourselves think about when our children are so young!
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Irene Rubaum-Keller
author of the book Foodaholic, psychotherapist
01:27 PM on 06/13/2012
Wow! What a beautiful piece. I lost my Mom when I was 7, she was 32. It was sudden. No notes, lists, good-byes, nothing. I wish I had those things sometimes and yet, like you said, I already have them in my instincts, my choices, etc... Thanks for this beautiful post!
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FALCON72
You can see the truth in every mirror.
09:48 PM on 06/13/2012
I know what you mean....I was 4 when my mother died at age 33; totally unexpected. I have no idea what her likes and dislikes were. Having this kind of a written communication would mean more and more each year.
12:12 PM on 06/13/2012
I lost my father when I was 6 and my Mama when I was 26. Both of my parents died after sudden, devastating illness. They had no time to tell me life lessons. Mostly, their lives have provided me with those lessons--and I've been forced to figure it out. I wish I had these things, but I don't--and maybe it's better that way. Hard to say since I've known no other life.
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RJ9255
Bless the Beasts & the Children
07:03 PM on 06/13/2012
My deepest sympathies, Alma. Hopefully memories of them helped sustain you during the difficult moments in life.
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Irene Fisher
10:54 PM on 06/13/2012
Obviously they gave you a "good" foundation...sure they've been watching over you!
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MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
10:49 AM on 06/13/2012
How maudlin. It's crossed my mind to write such things down for my boys, in case something happened and I was struck down. But why burden them? Why try to extend my life beyond what fate gives me? There's a certain amount of liberation one gets when a parent passes. If I can't get what's important in life to my kids while I'm alive, I don't see the point of nagging them from beyond the grave. How useful would a bunch of notes on how to live life be? Don't I want them to grow to be beyond me, better than me, living in their world, instead of living in the past? Life is for the living. My dad died when I was rather young, around 19, after a long fight with cancer. While I wouldn't mind reading some things from him, like his experiences in WW2 or the path of his career, he chose not to share those things while alive. If he'd written down a few books of advice, would they really have held my interest? Would they even matter, considering how much the world has changed since the early 1980s? 
What makes this story pull on our heart strings is our own refusal to accept our own deaths, trying to imagine the world without our presence, we hide from this truth: The world will get along perfectly fine without us. After the funeral, people will go on and function without us being there to care for them, they'll grow up and get better. Eventually all we did for our kids will be a memory, forgotten in a generation or two. Accepting the fact of my own death was probably the best gift my dad gave me. Some people never learn that lesson, ever.
Life is for the living, if you really have important stuff to say to your kids, do it now. Being with your children is more important than watching television, "finding happiness", the money that a 2nd income brings in, or any of our petty ambitions.
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bhenry1033
What's this? A ranger caught off his guard?
01:07 AM on 06/14/2012
How sad for you. Would your father's life story have held your interest? I guess not, and perhaps yours isn't worth leaving for your children either based your general lack of interest in your own family history. Perhaps, though, your own children might feel differently. Certainly all people die and the living must go on, but the whole point of this article is that sometimes your kids are too young to understand what you want to say to them. And they may find comfort in seeing those words later in their lives most especially if they lost a parent VERY young. I work with teens. Kid who lost a parent when they were young children would often trade every material item for just a few minutes to speak with them. My own father didn't pass until he was 70. I had many, many years with him to hear all his words of wisdom. I still cherish family belongings- my great-grandfather's journal, my grandfather's handmade tackle box, my father's photography. It's not a burden at all. It's a gift.
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RickO
Musician, Atheist
10:37 AM on 06/13/2012
My mom left me with an 800 page (8.5 x 11, single spaced, 10 pt) complete autobiography. Her entire life as far as she could recall it, beginning with her own childhood diaries. I had always known her as my mom; a great mom, a saint who never raised her voice in anger or even in her own defense. But now I know her from a point of view I would never have imagined. I learned the back story to so many events in my childhood, her dreams unfulfilled, her passions and fears, the whole journey beginning to end. She gave me my life and before she left, she made sure I had hers.

This coming Monday is her birthday and, like every year since 2007, I'll write her a note on helium balloon and let it go.
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RJ9255
Bless the Beasts & the Children
07:05 PM on 06/13/2012
What a wonderfully thoughtful thing she did. How I wish I could've had something like that from my mom, Rick. Bless you for remembering her like you do, such an inventive way to say "HBTY".
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Irene Fisher
11:00 PM on 06/13/2012
I like the the balloon idea, might do that next year for my mums birthday, she died in 07 too.