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Lessons in Loss: Keep Grieving or Start Consciously Living

September 19, 2014

(this is not about business- but this could apply to any type of loss, including loss of a job or of business)

DSC_0589September 19 is indelibly etched in my memory for all eternity (the day my dad passed 7 years ago). This isn’t going to be a sad post. I don’t want to pour over the details of that specific day, either. Besides, Dad, with his megawatt smile and silly sense of humor, would not want us to be sad. He was a positive person.

Instead, I want to share with you what I have learned about grief and loss.

A few years ago, I chose to curb my grieving and to start consciously living, deliberately in the way in which he did and how he would have wanted me to live.

Dad used to say all the time, “The best things in life are free.” And, when we were enjoying the simplest pleasures, he would say, “Now, THIS, is living.”

I am not sure at what point my perspective switched from heavy grief to this “conscious Raymond Mazur living” with an acute everyday awareness of how he has influenced who I am (who my kids are) and who my siblings and nieces and nephews are and who my mom has become.  It didn’t happen overnight. It took me some time (and some grief counseling).

It is a pretty cathartic thing though if you can turn the corner.

Dad left big shoes to fill (size 14 actually) and a legacy as an athlete, intellectual, self-made man, musician, parent, husband, engineer, grandfather, outdoorsman, pilot, funny guy, brother, son.   We kids all strive to live our lives the way he did (and to live how my mom does.  I cannot leave her out.  She is just as awesome. I did luck out in the parent department).

I remember actress Halle Berry saying that she feels closer to her dad after his death than she did in his life.   I keep my dad alive and close by every day by consciously living his way.   And at times I feel like, he has never left us.  My kids, who never got a chance to meet him, call him “Peepaw”, as my other nieces and nephews did.

Next weekend, I am going family camping again in the Pennsylvania mountains, like Dad would have loved. I am going to hike like we used to. I am going to swim and jog like he used to. I am going to sit around a campfire like he used to make, I am going to play the guitar that he taught me how to play. I am going to take my children Keira and Jackson out in the kayak when the sun sets and say to them as I often do, “Now this is living.”

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