One year ago today my stepfather passed away. We all knew it was coming eventually but somehow these things are still a surprise.
Dan Robertson was every bit the man you see in the photo. He loved the outdoors. He loved his family. He was a musician. He was a also a talented artist. We bonded over many things from fishing to video games. I’ll spend time over the next few weeks speaking with family, having fond memories, and hugging my wife and kids.
We all go through this stage. Where we have to start thinking about the care and needs of our parents, while possibly caring for our own children and trying our best to care for ourselves. Death is such a stigma in our culture that we just refuse to think about it until we have to, and even then we usually don’t discuss it. It seems to me this doesn’t allow us to grieve. It also doesn’t allow us to heal through the shared experiences and pain of others. It is something we must all go through, why do we do it alone?
Then there is the whole practical matter. Funerals are a logistical monster. Right at the time when the people most likely to do the work are hurting most. For us it was a mountain of work, but perhaps it also kept us busy. It has me thinking I need to do a better job of organizing my life, my wishes for how I want to be treated when he time comes, and my practical concerns about access to accounts, important documents, etc. There is a local author and business woman who created something to help with this. It seems to me it is just the thing I need. Something to be done before we fall ill. Barbara has a number of very thoughtful blog posts.
Below is a beautiful sketch my brother, Todd, did from the original cowboy photo above. He finished it just in time. Something special that fills me with pride and fond memories.
Love you Dan. Miss you too.