25 Weeks of Rediscovery: Chapter 2 Discussion – The Loss of Loved Ones

Posted January 20, 2015 by jimhigley


Like many of you, I’ve lost a slew of people. That’s my dad on the left. My brother, Kevin, top right. And one of my favorite photos of my parents – just a few weeks before my mom died.

(This is the third week of a six-month journey of self-discovery. Thanks for joining me. Yesterday I shared Chapter 2 from my book, “Bobblehead Dad: 25 Lessons I Forgot I Knew.”  Today we take the thoughts presented in that chapter a little deeper – and I share some thought questions for you. Tomorrow, I hope you’ll come back for a new story about life’s losses. Thanks for being here. 

Lesson 2: Loved ones die. But they never leave.

I admit it. I spent many years of my life sulking.

Losing a love one is brutal. Losing two loved ones is unbearable. And three? I’m not even sure what the right word is to describe how that feels.

Unfair. Cruelly unfair.

By the time I was 41 I had lost my mom, dad and brother, Kevin. And deep down I was pissed. Exactly who I was pissed at, I’m not sure. I was just pissed at the hand life dealt me.

But that pissed-off feeling changed on that day I described in yesterday’s story. The day I was painting the living room. The day my youngest son, Drew, and I were home alone. The day my dead brother, Kevin, came back for a visit.

If I were to pick the most impactful day in my life, I think that day would be it. It wasn’t even a day. It was five or ten minutes. And it changed my life.

I can take this conversation in several directions. Religious. Spiritual. Supernatural. And I know that people receive and process the story I described in many different ways. And that – I totally respect.

But what I can tell you is on that day I connected with my brother’s spirit. And it was on that day I stopped fearing death. And it was on that day I stopped being pissed at the circumstances of my life.

And it was on this day that I felt peaceful and content with the belief that the life we are living here on planet Earth is part of something much bigger.

That was the day I realized that – though long gone – I was still very much connected to my mother, father and brother. They weren’t just memories. They were a part of me in a very tangible way. And as opposed to being pissed for what I had lost, I felt strength for what I had been given.

All that comfort from a day of painting.

Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk more.  I’ve left some questions for you to think about. And here’s a quick link to yesterday’s story.


Here’s some things for you to noodle on:

Who have you lost?
What impact has the loss of a loved one had on you?
How can you keep a lost loved one a part of your life today?


Want more?  Read the first week’s posts including the  Prologue and Introduction. And come back tomorrow for an entirely new post!