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To Death’s Chagrin June 25, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Last night, I wrote my father’s obituary.

He’s gone.

Today, my older brother arranged for the cremation of his remains.  

He’s not coming back. 

We’re busy planning a Memorial Service . . . notifying family and friends . . . making travel arrangements . . . checking in with mom.

Dad’s dead.  

And, yet, to death’s chagrin, dad lives on . . . we have wrested his remains from the Grim Reaper’s grasp. 

With each breath, our hearts echo his love, light, and laughter.  Our retained memories sustain us and keep him alive.

While we live . . . he lives.

Aah . . . that’s better!   


1. sufilight - June 25, 2012

Oh,Nancy, This was very touching and beautifully done. With a love as big as yours and that of your Mom and family, he will never dissapear from this planet. His energy is alive in your hearts. Much peace and love to all, especially your Mom.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Marie. I spent yesterday looking through family photos. Seeing so many smiles helped dry the tears.

2. Pocket Perspectives - June 25, 2012

Nancy, I can hear his voice, echoing through you…with both his and your love, light and laughter…what a wonderful legacy!

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Kathy. I reread parts of dad’s autobiography before writing his obituary ~ he lived a full life, leaving behind a wonderful legacy.

3. Jackie - June 25, 2012

Oh Nancy, I’m so sorry. This is a beautiful tribute to your father and your love for him. My dad passed away five years ago tomorrow, and your words will help me through the day. Please know I’m thinking of you.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Jackie. I’ll be thinking of you and your dad tomorrow. Our dads continue to exist, lingering in our hearts and memories.

4. suzicate - June 25, 2012

Nancy, I am so sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now. He lives on through you, and what a beautiful legacy that is. Condolences to you, your mom, and your entire family. Big hugs. Love and light to you, my friend.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Suzi. Saying good-bye is never easy . . . we are seldom prepared to face death when it arrives at the door. But I am choosing to focus on all the wonderful memories I shared with my dad. And it is helping to stem the tide of tears.

5. Karen J - June 25, 2012

Raising a glass to him and his memory and sending you all
Big Hugs {{{{{Nancy}}}}} and Bright Blessings ~ Karen

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Karen. I shared a glass of wine with a neighbor who lost her husband in December. We enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce about our happy memories.

6. David Ashton - June 25, 2012

Nancy, best wishes to you and your family. I agree with you and the other commenters – as long as you are speaking, he is speaking.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, David. I shall be thinking of him speaking when I am speaking of him at the Memorial Service. I appreciate your kind words.

7. barb19 - June 25, 2012

I’m so sorry to hear this news Nancy, but your tribute to him would have made his heart swell with pride and love; you did it so beautifully!
He will always be with you and the whole family, for that kind of love never dies, but is carried on in each member of your family. Please accept my condolences and a hug for your mum.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Barb. Knowing that we all had a chance to celebrate one last Father’s Day with him has helped to magnify the JOY while minimizing the sorrow.

8. jeanne - June 25, 2012

I know your Dad lives on in your heart…so thankful for the memories.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

He does, indeed. Thanks for your good thoughts, Jeanne.

9. jannatwrites - June 25, 2012

This brought tears to my eyes. Death is so…final. I like the way you look at it that he still lives in each family member. It is true. Wishing you and your family the strength to pull through the “have-to-dos” over the next several days/weeks.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Janna. We will muddle through the “have-to-do’s” allowing our smiles to counter-balance the tears.

10. Andra Watkins - June 25, 2012

Nancy, your positive light has to come from him, and that can never be extinguished. No matter what.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Andra. Here’s to exuding positivity as we move through our life’s journey . . . whether the road is long or short.

11. Julie - June 25, 2012

And he will ALWAYS live. I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing can remove the immediate pain, but his love lives in your heart. When my father passed, we chose “i carry your heart” by e.e. cummings for the wake notice.

“i carry your heart with me. i carry it in my heart.”

Take good care of yourself. I’m thinking of you and sending my love to you and your family.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

He is at peace . . . so am I. Thanks for your kind words, Julie.

12. mypenandme - June 26, 2012

I’m sorry for your loss.
With sympathy,
Mary Ann

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thank you, Mary Ann. All things must pass.

13. Three Well Beings - June 26, 2012

The family photos are just wonderful. In them I do see his legacy and feel that you are all going to be pulling together to comfort your mother as well as one another. All those little faces are going to miss him, too, aren’t they! And they’ll never forget him. Smiling through your tears and putting the perspective of life moving forward and carrying his spirit into the next generations gives me something to really think about, too. I still send a big hug! Writing your father’s obituary, all love included, is a hard thing to do! oxo Debra

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Debra. His grandkids won’t remember him in the same way the four of us and mom do. That’s OK . . . all part of the circle of life.

Three Well Beings - June 26, 2012

It’s true their memories will be different, but I can tell you that I had my great-grandmothers, both of them, until I was ten and eleven. I have good, warm memories of them, and I think because of photos and the way my parents and grand-parents always remembered them in stories, I kept a sweet connection in my own way. And the most interesting thing to me has been that we have family photos around, and my two granddaughters have asked me about “who” these people are? I’ve been able to share little stories. It’s a small thread, but I think I am paying a lot of attention to this aspect as my own parents are moving into new seasons, too. Circle of life…yes indeed! Expcted, anticipated, and a bit rough! D

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Stories are the threads connecting one generation to the next. Sharing stories of your great-grandmothers with your grandkids allows them to be part of the tapestry.

The night before dad died, I watched The Lion King . . . the Circle of Life continues. Hakuna Matada. _/!\_

14. Jas - June 26, 2012

He lives forever in the memories and the life he shared with all of you. More strength and love to you.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Jas. I am at peace with his passing. If he had lived longer, his life would have been filled with increasing pain. Far better that he let go of the vessel that no longer served his needs.

15. viviankirkfield - June 26, 2012

Yes, Nancy…none of us really die while there is still someone who remembers our smile, reads our words or received comfort from our touch. Maybe that’s why so many people want to write…so that generations down the road will remember them. 🙂

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

I expect you’re right, Vivian. A desire for “immortality” resides in the hearts of many writers ~ while their words resound and echo through life’s passageways, a part of them remains with us.

16. Piglet in Portugal - June 26, 2012

My father has been gone 10years now and I still treasure the memories. Memories that were, when he was alive, forgotten, but now are as vivid as though they were yesterday.
Hugs to you Nancy

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, PiP. I have a myriad of memories of dad to help me smile through this time of passing sorrow.

17. speccy - June 26, 2012

This is beautiful Nancy. They live on in us and the stories we tell

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Death causes us to pause and reflect on memories of the dearly departed. We can hang on to the essence and let the rest go.

18. Crowing Crone Joss - June 26, 2012

Beautiful pictures filled with memories. So true that he lives on in each of you – through stories, through laughter and tears, he will continue to be present. Blessings and strength to you these next few days.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Joss. I am at peace with his passing . . . the circle of life is everlasting.

19. creatingreciprocity - June 26, 2012

Nancy I am sad for you and your family but it is true that nobody really dies when they are loved and remembered.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Patricia. Death is strange . . . he’s gone, and yet his essence lingers.

20. sweetdaysundertheoaks - June 26, 2012

Nancy a beautiful post. And a comforting post too. In your grief you share ways for us to handle grief better. I am so sorry. You and BFF and your family are on our minds and in our conversation. I love seeing the pictures of your family. Thank goodness for our pictures~backups for the memories in our hearts.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Pix. Some of my best memories with Dad were not “Kodak moments” . . . but the photos we do have spark remembrance and bring those memories back to life.

21. Don - June 26, 2012

May you and your family, through the memories you’ve shared, be touched and embraced by a love beyond anything you’ve ever experienced, and given light, hope and meaning in your loss.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Stages of grief vary from one to another . . . with acceptance comes peace. We are free to celebrate his life instead of mourning his necessary passage from one realm to the next.

22. Cecelia Futch - June 26, 2012

A beautiful tribute. His life and love shines through you.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Cecelia. One of dad’s hobbies was Geneology Research. He traced our ancestors back to the 1600’s . . . his passing is part of that unbroken chain.

23. William D'Andrea - June 26, 2012

I add my sympathies to those of everyone here. You are fortunate to have all those family members and friends around to comfort you, along will all of us here on your blog. I’m not sure what else to say.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, William. When we accept the “what is” . . . inner peace surfaces of its own accord. Let it BE.

24. katecrimmins - June 26, 2012

What a wonderful tribute! My father died when I was 10. That was over 50 years ago and I still have wonderful memories of him (and I still miss him) so yes, he does live on. My sincerest sympathy to you and your family.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Kate. I’m glad that you still possess a piece of your dad after the passage of so many years. Dad lived a good life and left his mark in our hearts where his spirit will continue to light the way . . . as long as we are here.

All we need to do is keep breathing and inner peace prevails.

25. Booksphotographsandartwork - June 26, 2012

So very sorry to hear this sad news. He produced a big happy family and that is a great legacy. He added to the community and world at large rather than tearing it down so he leaves behind good things.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Linda. I agree. His life has been filled with all manner of good things.

26. kateshrewsday - June 26, 2012

Oh Nancy, a post so typical of you: your father was clearly very special, and his spirit runs in the family as you say. Thinking of you all, love and may the spirit continue to lead the way.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Kate. So far, so good. My brother will be staying with mom starting tomorrow. I’m taking the auto train up on Thursday to stay for about 3 weeks. Then, I’m bringing mom back here to live with us.

27. bluebee - June 26, 2012

I am sorry, Nancy. This is a lovely tribute to your dad. May he rest in peace.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, BB. I am at peace with his passing . . . far more palatable than watching him suffer.

28. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - June 26, 2012

What a nice post Nancy. Really nice tribute. He’d be proud.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Greg. Even when we are forced to say good-bye, we can hang on to the happy memories.

29. Patricia - June 26, 2012

Lovely post honoring your Dad. Death is hardest on the living–but the path to peace is often in memories and you are blessed with those you have. You and your family will be in my prayers in the coming weeks as you travel through your grief.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Patricia. I am looking forward to being with my mom and helping her with the transition. I feel at peace with his passing, pleased that he will no longer be in pain.

30. Tammy - June 26, 2012

Nancy, he loves the way you are honoring him. I am so sorry for your loss but remember he is a soul. he had a body. Best, Tammy

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Tammy. His spirit lingers.

31. yogaleigh - June 27, 2012

All I ever think any more when I hear of death is “send Reiki” and so I am… for his spirit and his family.

nrhatch - June 27, 2012

Thanks, Leigh. Namaste. _/!\_

32. 2e0mca - June 27, 2012

The Grimm Reaper can only take what we allow to be taken. Happy memories are all that matters and you clearly have many of those, Our sympathy to you at this time but also our support for the future. Look after yourselves and carry your memories forwards as a torch for the future!

nrhatch - June 27, 2012

Thanks, Martin. The happy memories are stemming the tide of tears . . .

33. souldipper - June 27, 2012

What a great portrayal of love and respect, Nancy. Your Dad will be whispering to you. You’ll know his nudges. Your funny bone will be tickled and it will feel as though you are sharing that laugh with him. Lots of blessings to you and all your family. ❤

nrhatch - June 27, 2012

Thanks, Amy. I hope to continue to feel dad’s presence in my life. I’ll be listening for his whispers.

34. johnell74 - June 28, 2012

Not an easy business, Nancy. I can still remember clearing up my father’s affairs many years ago. May he rest in peace and in your hearts.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, John. The last few weeks have been quite challenging ~ dealing with dad’s death, mom’s spinal surgery, and mom’s transition to FL.

Now, that she’s settling in to this “new chapter” of her life . . . I am breathing easier.

35. spilledinkguy - June 28, 2012

I’m so very sorry to hear this….
I wish I was better with words…
not that it seems like there are any made to fit a moment like this.
You and your family are in my thoughts, Nancy…

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, SIG. We are all doing very well. The Memorial Service was a lovely way to remember dad’s many accomplishments and attributes. And mom seems to be doing well after her surgery and relocation from NJ to FL. So . . . it’s all good.

36. Sandra Bell Kirchman - June 28, 2012

What a beautiful person you are, Nancy, to write this lovely post and deal with your dad’s passing in such a positive way! If anyone needed to look at part of the legacy he left, a big part, I suspect, all s/he needs to do is look at you. Grieving is healthy, and you do it with such love and compassion. Peace and healing to you and your family. *hug*

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Sandra. I have never been particularly “adept” when dealing with death. Dad’s passing has been different . . . I feel at peace knowing that he “dodged a bullet.”

37. Perfecting Motherhood - June 29, 2012

Your dad left a wonderful family behind. It must be such an accomplishment as a person. It’s also wonderful he got to spend so much quality time with his family in his final days. So many elder people do the last journey alone, it’s very sad. Beautiful tribute to your dad, Nancy.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Milka. Mom seems to be “thriving” in this new environment. I believe that the years are falling away from her now that she no longer has to care for dad.

Perfecting Motherhood - July 23, 2012

Glad to hear your mom is getting to relax a little. Taking care of someone else for so long takes its toll on your physical and mental state. I hope you all get to adapt to the new living arrangements and enjoy life one day at a time.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Yes. We can only live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

38. Christine Grote - July 1, 2012

My deepest condolences, Nancy. But you’re quite right. He lives on with each of you. So true. Thinking of you.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

My cousin Bobby and my brothers did a wonderful job of sharing dad’s life at the Memorial Service. A good send off for dad.

39. Alannah Murphy - July 3, 2012

So sorry to hear about your dad Nancy. I’ve been totally out of the loop for a while, and have only just checked into your blog. My deepest condolences.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Alannah. I am “out of the loop” at the moment too. I’m responding to comments here . . . but then I have to start visiting blogs again. I’ve missed following the threads of people’s lives these past 5 weeks.

Alannah Murphy - July 23, 2012

Sometimes, for whatever reason, a long break is much needed, and energising 🙂

40. Team Oyeniyi - July 6, 2012

I am sorry to hear of your loss, Nancy, but from what you hae written your father had a full and long life.

I am sure he is very proud of his family and you will all remember him with great love.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

He did, indeed. The Memorial Service reminded us all of the expansive parameters of his life.

41. dearrosie - July 7, 2012

HI Nancy,
I’m back from walking in Spain and trying to catch up with old blogging buddies.

I’m so sorry to hear the sad news of your Dad’s passing. You have written a beautiful, heartfelt tribute. From the photos I can see that you’re part of a big family and from my experience, having lost both my parents (and my Mom only last July), just hanging out with my large family helped enormously. I hope it helped you too.

My sincere condolence to you and your family.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Rosie. It does help, doesn’t it? Facing it alone would have been much much harder.

Hope you enjoyed your walkabout.

dearrosie - July 23, 2012

Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere Nancy.

Walking the Camino was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’m still digesting it all…. Have only managed to write a few posts about the experience.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

I’ve had so many interesting experiences (and thoughts) over the past 5 weeks . . . but no time to really mull them over or write them down. I expect most will evaporate BEFORE I get a chance to share them.

42. Tokeloshe - July 9, 2012

Dear Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss.

My condolence to you and you family.


nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Linda. It’s a loss that is also a “win” . . . because dad’s life would have been filled with unrelenting pain. Knowing that simple fact has helped us to say good-bye with gratitude.

43. cuhome - July 17, 2012

Oh, what a beautiful tribute to your dad and to your family’s love for one another! You’re right, as long as you live, he lives. This is so touching and wonderfully written! Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s thrilled with it! 😉

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Janet. My brothers did a wonderful job sharing stories at the Memorial Service too. Hope dad remembered to “tune in” and watch the celebration of his life.

cuhome - July 22, 2012

My guess is that he did! After a memorial service of one of my hospice patients, I received a letter in the mail from the daughter. In it, she’d enclosed a photo, taken at the memorial. Distinctly, at the edge of the backyard garden border, was a shining image of her mother — it was distinct enough that I recognized my former patient. I believe my own eyes. And the daughter was so moved, that she had a copy of the photo made and sent it along to me. (She didn’t know when taking the photo that her mother’s image was there – that wasn’t evident until she looked at the actual photo.) I don’t interpret this stuff, and I certainly don’t scoff at it, either! Comfort to you.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Love that . . . thanks for sharing! 😀

44. Naomi Estment (@naomiestment) - July 26, 2012

So beautifully shared, Nancy…special love and thoughts to you and all your family, xo

nrhatch - July 26, 2012

Thanks, Naomi. It’s been a tumultuous summer . . . but I see the sun about to dawn on the horizon.

45. eof737 - July 29, 2012

Sorry to read about your dad’s passing. It was rather a shock because I remembered reading about his move to assisted living. My heartfelt condolences to you and your entire family… I am so, so sorry to hear this. Peace and blessings to all of you!

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