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Old 07-28-2006, 09:44 PM   #1
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I lost my Dad

As I start to type, I have no idea what I'm about to say, or if I'll ever even post this, but it feels like something I can do to release a little of the most profound grief I can possibly imagine. I am not a stranger to pain and grief. Between 1985 and 2005, nine of my friends and collegues have been killed by any number of violent means...but it never hurt like this. In 1992, I held the hand of a collegue and reassured him while he slowly died from the bullet fragments lodged in his spine...but it never hurt like this. In August of 1991 I was shot at point blank range. I laid in the dirt, badly injured, scared senseless and waiting to die before my people found me, but the pain and the helplessness never felt like this.

At 1:15 on Thursday morning, my brother called from Philadelphia. It's not unusual. He's a Philly cop working permanent midnights.

"I hate to do this to you dude, but you gotta get up here. They're rushing Dad to the hospital. It's bad".

"I'll be right there".

It's a hundred and forty mile drive.

As I walked out of the house, I turned and told my wife "I'm not going to make it. He was dead before they got him in the ambulance". I don't know why I said it. I knew. I don't know why I knew, but I did.

Two long hours later, my brother appeared at the emergency room doors and said the single worst thing I have ever heard, "He didn't make it dude, I'm sorry".

Crushed? Devistated? Heartbroken? Annihilated? Obliterated? All ****************ing childsplay. I need a new word. None of these can pretend to capture the essence of this pain.

How could a man like my father have been so cheated? He spent his entire adult life serving others, at great personal risk. Every morning when he rose, his knees and back and shoulder and neck were all there as painful reminders of the years of selfless service he provided to total strangers. Could he and my mother not have just a few years of leisure as a small token of appreciation. After ten years of relentlessly fighting an unbending township over the building of a little retirement house at the edge of a stand of trees, on a piece of property owned by our family for more than 150 years, is it too much to ask that he have more than 9 months to enjoy his accomplishment before he was taken away? Is it too much to ask that he be able to see his little grandchildren learn to walk and talk, and get to know him enough that they will even be able to recall him? After all that my father has done for his Country, his city, his family and friends, and against all odds, is it too much to ask that he be able to spend his twilight with my mother, basking in all that he has built? Apparently it is all too much to ask.

I can't begin to tell you about my father. There aren't enough words in the English language. I know, I'm biased because he was my father, my hero, my heart, my world...but you have to believe me when I say that this man was special. How could he have been so cheated?

Last edited by Grizzly; 07-28-2006 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:03 PM   #2
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I know this will not help your situtation by telling you my story but I want you to understand your not alone. I truly understand your grief. If you ever need to talk on a personal level let me know, Im a great listener. Having been through the range of emotions I know you feel cheated. He was cheated out of life and your probably going to go from upset to really pissed off.
I feel your pain and know what you are going through. My father as well spent his life helping others. One day he was fine the next we were sitting in Cleveland Clinic, the Dr. Looks at him and says "You have 8-12 weeks to live." He nailed it , my father lived 11 weeks. I wont go through all the details in this venue but it was a horrible couple of months. Im sorry for your loss..........
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:11 PM   #3
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You have a lot to be proud of in your father...

and I am truly sorry for your loss.

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Old 07-28-2006, 10:24 PM   #4
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For people like your father, it is always too soon. My condolences to you and your family. I lost my father a few years ago and I see that we are close in age. I know that our fathers' generation was probably the best that the U.S. has ever seen. Even when the end was near, my dad could only think of others. The hurt never really goes away but honor your father by living life the right way, like the way he showed you. God bless.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:31 PM   #5
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My deepest condolences to you and your Family. I lost my Dad exactly 1 year ago and it's still awful, a void which I'm coming to realize will never be filled. He too was born and raised in Philly, on Mason Ave. in Drexel Hill.

Celebrate your Dad's life, the grief will pass, but it's the living you'll remember - the times you and he spent together. Imagine how your kids are going to feel on that day when they lose you and make up for it now... May your Father rest in peace...

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Old 07-29-2006, 01:30 AM   #6
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My condolences to you and your loved ones.

Remember though,there is plenty that you can do to let him live on. My grandfather told me something I will never forget a few months before he passed. Everyone knew his time was coming as age was taking its toll. One of the last times my family went out to lunch, on the ride there, out of no where he said,"Robert(my name) the greatest honor your father and you can do for me is live your lives,have a family and do what you want. I just want to stay around to see you graduate from high school. I never finished so that would mean alot to me". This was at the beginning of my senoir year. He passed shortly after the start of the 2nd quarter,but in some weird way it felt like he was there.

The greatest acheivements(I dont know if this is the right word) that we can do for our parents is live our lifes,we are images of them.

Again,my condolences.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:11 AM   #7
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Nothing I said can cure your grief, but know that he is in heaven, as all good people ends up, much better world than the earth.

My condolences to you and your family.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:17 AM   #8
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Sincerest condolences for your loss grizzly. It comes to all of us in time, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Right on, blinkwatt. Our only immortality is through our children.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:48 AM   #9
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I'm very sorry for your loss.

I highly recommend the book "Wisdom of Our Fathers" by Tim Russert. It's a great book with anecdotal stories written by everyday sons and daughters. I like to think of myself as a "man's man", but having a box of kleenex at my side was a must when I sat down to read (DON'T TELL MY WIFE). Great stories and valuable life lessons.

Again, I'm very sorry.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:38 AM   #10
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My condelences. I don't think we ever get over losing our Dads or Moms. Hang in there, he would want that!
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:51 AM   #11
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I am so sorry to hear that. A good friend of mine lost his father some years ago, and a good friend of his sent this; he really liked it:

The Glad Shout

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "There she goes!"

Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There she goes!" there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts "Here she comes!"

Henry Van Dyke
A Parable of Immortality

All the best to you and yours; you are in our prayers.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:58 AM   #12
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I am sorry to hear of your loss, its times like these one must stick with family and remember that all will be well in due time. So hard to figure out why sometimes.....My heart goes out to you and your family in this emotional time. Hang in there bud.....
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:41 AM   #13
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Grizzly, thanks for posting about losing your dad. It gives all the rest of us an opportunity to mourn with you, and remember our own fathers, alive or gone. I'll be praying for you and your family in the next few days as arrangements are made and the funeral takes place.

And just so my wife doesn't say "who's Grizzly?" when we pray for you, would you post your first name?

May God's peace rest on you.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #14
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Godspeed to your father Griz. This too shall pass....
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:35 PM   #15
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Really sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my Dad early last year. Time has helped to heal a lot of the pain, and now I think of all the good things about him every day. I hope the same will happen for you.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:02 PM   #16
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Grizzly... I lost my Dad at 42 (I was 24). Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. The tattoo on my arm honors him.

He's never truly gone if someone is alive to remember, love, honor and respect his legacy. He's a part of you.

The pain is unbearable... I hope you can find some peace brutha.

My condolences.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:43 PM   #17
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I'm so sorry to hear of this. My condolences to you and your family. From the words you have written, your father was a special man to you. Godspeed to him, and although you will never get over this, time will heal and you will remember the legacy he started.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:00 PM   #18
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Hey Grizz: I hope you and your family are doing OK. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am sorry about your father, he sounds like an awesome man.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:59 PM   #19
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I'm truly sorry for your loss, hopping you and your family pull, and stick together, honor him by living life as he teached you, my condolences to you and your family.
Sounds like a great man.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:22 PM   #20
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Hey everybody,

I've been gone for quite a few days, burying my Dad and helping my mother prepare for her future without him. I appreciate all of you reading my incoherent rant about his unexpected death and offering your thoughts and condolences. He really was a special man, as evidenced by his enormous funeral and the out-sized expressions of grief, from all sorts of people you wouldn't ordinarily expect.

The Philadelphia Police Department, as well as several other departments, did a fine job of paying final respects to an outstanding Officer. Retired Police Officers travelled from throughout the Country to remember him.

I won't keep you long. I know you'd rather be reading about P-Cars. I just wanted to say thank you to all of those who responded to my post. Like my father, I am fiercely loyal to my friends.

RandallNeighbor, while my name is not important, his name was Jack. Your prayers are very welcome, though I suspect that by now my Dad is happily working with God's Security Detail.

I'll leave you with a photograph, taken a few years ago. Brucelee and Jim will surely recognize the site.

Thanks again,


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