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Old 08-26-09, 03:39 PM   #1
artifice
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Celebrations of Life

It's creeping up on the 1-year anniversary of my dad's passing. (Can you believe it? This year has flown by!)

My mom mentioned the other day that I should "think about what to do for dad's anniversary". I'm ashamed to admit, I hadn't considered what to do, or really that I should be do-ing something. (ATM, I'm pre-occupied figuring out what is appropriate for what would have been my parents 36th wedding anniversary, on 9/13)

Spending the day visiting the cemetery and being woeful isn't what my dad would have wanted, and frankly not something I care to force, much less expect as a tradition on that day. I suggested we bbq and invite our family friends over- after all, bbqing was one thing my dad wouldn't miss.


What are some things you do to celebrate the lives of your loved ones?
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Old 08-26-09, 03:51 PM   #2
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My mom wanted to have her ashes spread on the property. My dad couldn't bear to do it. On the one year anniversary we finally fulfilled her wishes by spreading her ashes and then me, dad and bro went out for a drink to toast my mom.
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Old 08-26-09, 03:51 PM   #3
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Arti, believe it or not I was actually thinking of your dad when I was riding my first metric century 3 weeks ago. I had seen people in downtown riding those two wheeled contraptions the day before. I feel that we should all do what we enjoy to do in life as well as care for those we love. I get the feeling your dad would have smiled at that.

My celebration of my dad's life is an everyday journey. I strive to face life head on, always speaking the truth, be faithful to my friends and family. Service to the community was also big with my dad and I strive for that in the job that I'm in (city employee). I'm not as good as he was yet but everyday I get up and try again.
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Old 08-26-09, 04:56 PM   #4
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wow - a year already.

I think your sentiments are dead on - not just in how you would prefer to remember him; I think from what you have shared here, that is exactly what he would have wanted - for you all to gather and be happy in your thoughts and memories of him.

He must have been a pretty OK guy to have raised such a great daughter.
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Old 08-26-09, 05:10 PM   #5
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What are some things you do to celebrate the lives of your loved ones?
Simply keep the good part of them with you at all times. I do not favor annual celebrations for these type of events.
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Old 08-26-09, 06:41 PM   #6
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A bbq sounds like a great idea.
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Old 08-26-09, 09:49 PM   #7
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A bbq sounds like a great idea.
bbq and beer were two things he would not have missed out on

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you honor him well with your daily actions arti

....and if we hold them in our heart they are here daily to honor and remember. There is a Juusan Bosatsu ritual here that honors the loved one for 9 specific days over the first year and then 4 specific days over the next 30 years. It really helps in bringing a sense of loving human purpose and calm to remembering over the first year.

I wear a ring that a loved one made for me. It allows the energy of memories and emotions regarding her to daily help me cultivate strength, bravery and kindheartedness in my mind and actions.
thanks for your kind words. It must be nice to have a defined ritual- every now and then my mom, sister and I have asked questions such as, "how are we supposed to mourn? are we doing it right?"

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wow - a year already.

I think your sentiments are dead on - not just in how you would prefer to remember him; I think from what you have shared here, that is exactly what he would have wanted - for you all to gather and be happy in your thoughts and memories of him.

He must have been a pretty OK guy to have raised such a great daughter.
he was pretty sweet I think he and Foo would have gotten along nicely!

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Arti, believe it or not I was actually thinking of your dad when I was riding my first metric century 3 weeks ago. I had seen people in downtown riding those two wheeled contraptions the day before. I feel that we should all do what we enjoy to do in life as well as care for those we love. I get the feeling your dad would have smiled at that.

My celebration of my dad's life is an everyday journey. I strive to face life head on, always speaking the truth, be faithful to my friends and family. Service to the community was also big with my dad and I strive for that in the job that I'm in (city employee). I'm not as good as he was yet but everyday I get up and try again.
Ernest
aww big e, thank you for your thoughts! segways are uber-fun, someday if my knees give out it would definitely be my two-wheeled recreation of choice.

I have thought now and again how I could honour his memory. he was a big motivator during my triathlon, I know how proud he would have been- and cheering me on all the way! I think its wonderful that your dad is still motivating you, as well.
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My mom wanted to have her ashes spread on the property. My dad couldn't bear to do it. On the one year anniversary we finally fulfilled her wishes by spreading her ashes and then me, dad and bro went out for a drink to toast my mom.
My parents had a lot of discussions about the "what-ifs" in life and were prepared-- to a point. They knew they both wanted to be cremated-- but never discussed what to do with the ashes. As he didn't have defined last wishes (and we had no revelation of what to do, my dad's lay at rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. I believe this was the right thing to do.
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Old 08-26-09, 10:09 PM   #8
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I don't really think about stuff like that, because I more or less carry my dad with me every day. He's been gone 14 years now, and the nuggets of joy I can squeeze from everyday life are his gift to me.

He taught me, by example, to value the moments of just being there together -- a tradition I pass on by doing that with my daughter. When we talk, laugh, joke, it's a gentle nudge from my dad. When I fix something around the house, using his old hammer, it's like shaking his hand again. All the old folderol I collected from him, useless though some of it may be, remind me of simpler days, better days simply because we could visit together.

I do want to do something special in 2010 -- on the dates of his birth, and of his death, slip his old hammer into my pack and go ride...twice. Once with my daughter, to share the time, and once alone, to reflect.
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Old 08-26-09, 10:13 PM   #9
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Lost my Dad 52 years ago when I was 15 yr old.
Still miss him.
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Old 08-26-09, 11:43 PM   #10
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I live my days as they come, with no set rituals, so I do things a bit differently than most, but everyone mourns in their own way, me? I don't "mourn" not ever, I just remember the person that was, and not on any certain day, I remember every day! So if you're idea of "remembering" or "marking" your dads death is BBQ and beer I say fire up the grill and break out the kegs! your to sweet a person to let anyone bring you down with a bunch of tears and sadness, and all of FOO knows that you are Arti! The Surviver! and you know what survivers do best? They SURVIVE baby!
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Old 08-27-09, 06:07 AM   #11
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Did your dad like baseball?
If so, how bout a family outing at the closest major league game?
Or Football...college or pro.
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Old 08-27-09, 07:23 AM   #12
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A nice BBQ sounds like a great idea, if he would have really enjoyed this then do it. But what really matters is your heart and your relationship you had with him That is how one remembers!
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Old 08-27-09, 07:38 AM   #13
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everyone mourns in their own way
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Perhaps there isnt a right way to do it. Id say just be open to what youre feeling inside, open to the journey.....and hug people whenever you can
+1+++ to the above.

The tough part comes when others feel the need to mourn in rituals which they also need others to participate in. That's a real issue; at that point you're torn between wanting to honor the person who is gone, respecting the wishes of others who are still here (and hurting) and being true to yourself.

In the end I think Kaot said it best - even if you're not into a big mournfest, if you are able to show support and kindness towards others in your family when they need it, that might also be something your pop would have appreciated...but you have to follow your own path.

I'm sure this first year might be the hardest, but you'll be fine. sending foo sympathies, serenity and strength to you and yours via the intrawebz....
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Old 08-27-09, 08:23 AM   #14
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Simply keep the good part of them with you at all times. I do not favor annual celebrations for these type of events.
This is what I do. My mother passed away 11 years ago and we have never had an annual celebration of any sort.
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Old 08-27-09, 09:24 AM   #15
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I would take pictures of the ocean and be sure to keep my shoes on so they would get wet by a rouge wave.

Seems to be the thing I make fun of lately ... and I'll miss that.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:02 AM   #16
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Have one coming up actually, a guy I was to have started dating actually - we knew each other for years, but it was never good timing. Week before date - he crashed his motorcycle and had massive head injuries. I had my "date" with him as he lay in a coma. 3 yrs ago in Sept. He was a much loved cranky guy - and so we all meet at the ole biker bar and raise a glass in Donny's honor.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:04 AM   #17
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Tude, I'm sorry to hear that. Sounds like it's worth posting on craigslist missed connections for all those lonely hearts who don't connect ...
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Old 08-27-09, 10:20 AM   #18
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Tude, I'm sorry to hear that. Sounds like it's worth posting on craigslist missed connections for all those lonely hearts who don't connect ...
At his funeral there were at least 500 bikers - Iron Horsemen from around the world - a sea of leather - his bike was inside the funeral home.

And I rode in on my bicycle to pay my last respects.

And oddly enough that was my last "date". Don't really get out to prowl much.
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