McCandless Family Counseling

Providing adult, family and marriage counseling for 19 years

Adult & Couples Therapy

Paul McCandless,MFT

Adult, Family & Grief Recovery Therapy

Sandy McCandless,MFT

Licensed Marriage Family Therapists.

A Grateful Remembrance

Tomorrow, February 24th, marks the one year anniversary of my father’s passing. My dad lived a full 100 years. My sister and brother and my entire family are so fortunate to have had him as a part, a fixture, of our lives as long as we did. We all acknowledge that many others are not nearly as fortunate as we. We were truly blessed to have him a full 100 years.

 Dad at his 100th Birthday party in December, 2014. Teddy Bears were donated to the Huntington Beach Police Department for officers to give to neglected and abused children who are put into protective custody. The program is now known as "Bruce's Bears."

Dad at his 100th Birthday party in December, 2014. Teddy Bears were donated to the Huntington Beach Police Department for officers to give to neglected and abused children who are put into protective custody. The program is now known as "Bruce's Bears."

I miss my dad. All of us in my family miss my father. The last year has brought many changes as do most years. I miss his corny jokes as well as his genuine interest in hearing about his family no matter how small the detail.  I wish he could meet my grandchild, James Frederick Eidukonis. James is my dad’s 7th great-grandchild. Even though he is no longer with us, I can clearly see his face aglow with joy as I imagine him meeting our family’s newest member.

Although not nearly as intense as it was in the days and weeks immediately following dad’s death, I still grieve his loss. I am not a grief “expert.” My wife, Sandy, is but I am not. Like so many, I grieve reluctantly. I remain reluctant even though I have endured many losses. I have lost both of my parents. I have endured the loss of friends, one of which was my very best friend. I have even endured the loss of an especially courageous woman just as we finished desert on a dinner date. At a restaurant. While celebrating news that her heart condition had apparently improved. Grief is hard. I want to avoid it though I know I cannot. I have lived long enough to accept loss being as much a part of life as the birth of a child.

For me, I have come to understand grief never ends. The loss of a loved one is no less a loss, no matter how long ago the loss occurred. I now understand that grief, at least my grief, is my way of measuring the importance of the relationship which now is no longer available. The intensity and duration of the grief is directly proportional to value and meaning of the life we grieve and long to have again. And in remaining behind, I owe my memory the honor of living my life as, in part, an expression of gratitude for the life that has passed. To live my life fully and with the urgency life truly requires. In so doing, I understand that each loss I have endured, brings me closer to accepting myself as I am and as I am not.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude to all who have read these ramblings of mine. It was on March 8, 2015 that I published the first entry in this blog. The first piece I wrote had to do with my father’s death. You can read it here. It has been my intent that each reader take something of importance for themselves and in turn pass it on to the important others in their lives. I am humbled and deeply grateful for you allowing me the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts with all of you.

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