Death is as much a part of life as living.

 

In October of 2017, we received the news that my dad’s cancer was back, that after 3 years in remission, his cancer had come back with a vengeance. And so began the journey of death with my dad. And while that process was heart-breaking, overwhelming, lonely and so incredibly sad; it was also an immense blessing and our final act of sacrificial and unconditional love for my dad. I am so beyond grateful for the time I got with him. The time to care for him. The time to love him, in words, in quiet space together, in the holding of his hand, in the sitting with him and helping him work through the panic attacks, in the hugs that he so craved from me in the last weeks, in the jokes and the laughter of the “good days”. It has not been lost on me the blessing bestowed upon me (and my sister, one of my sweet aunts and my mom) to tend to and care for him in the last two and a half months of his life.

It was in this season that I felt this massive gap of support for families like ours. The medical support at home was minimal. The demands of his 24/7 care were grueling. And none of us really understood what the months ahead were going to entail. I also watched as my sweet dad struggled to accept and embrace that he was dying. Even in the midst of all of that it was hard to facilitate conversations about death, and funeral and last wishes.

Out of all of that was born in me a desire to love on and support families that found themselves in this very situation. A desire to change the conversation around death. A desire to change the culture around death that has made it medicinal. The truth is death is a natural, sacred process that every one of us will walk through. And there is another way for our loved ones and ourselves. And it’s time to have some hard, honest conversations about death.