It’s been exactly two years now since I lost my papa. Mike was a feisty soul, a wonderful artist with paint and also woodworking. He loved all things water and boats having served in the Coast Guard for several years as a gunners mate and buoy tender. I always thought I should have been a son to my dad so that he could pass along his incredible knowledge of fishing, hunting and guns (I could give a hoot about any of those things!) But he was one of my biggest cheerleaders in life always encouraging me and we would spend hours talking politics, writing and contemplating the meaning of life.

When you lose someone close to you, the world never quite seems to be the same. Even though the grief has subsided, I still find myself dealing with the void he left. I lost a great TCM movie buddy and fellow penophile who loved to collect expensive writing instruments. My dad had so many interests, had so much experience in so many different things and I’ve yet to find anyone with as robust of a character. I doubt I ever will.

I’ve been reading Mike Dooley’s book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You. When I first saw the title, I laughed out loud because it amused me. I appreciated having some levity in my life for papa left his body in my home at age 74 with hospice care, not able to eat, drink or communicate during his last days although his eyes were open even when he took his last breath.

Dooley says, “It’s odd how people like to be told what they already know, as if being told makes it more real. This is why the number-one thing the dead want to tell you is that no one dies. Not ever. Not anyone. Including you. Forms change, shapes shift, energy exchanges…haven’t scientist proven that matter is not solid, but organized energy?”

My papa not only inspired me to do my best while he was living in the physical world but he inspires me now, because I can ‘sense’ him. Not like he is standing around watching me but I have this knowing that he is part of this energy field in me and around me. Because of this comforting feeling, I am a little less uneasy about my own impending death as I realize that I, too, am energy that cannot be created or destroyed. And it seems that when we are more okay with our own ‘shape shifting’ perhaps we take ourselves a little less serious, have a little more fun in life and get offended less often by other people. I suspect papa is smiling at this conclusion about the meaning of life.

Grateful for a unique and awesome dad,
Dianne Loraine

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