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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Valleroy

Passing On

Passing On

The other day a friend shared that her father is dying, and that she had gone to see him in Michigan, possibly for the last time, before he passes.

Passing on… At first this made me think of loss. When someone passes on, we think of it as their leaving us. But is that really the only thing that passing on is?

If we are fortunate enough to spend some time with someone before they die, there can be a different type of passing on that transpires. It can be a time of giving and receiving.

My friend shared that even though she and her father had not been terribly close for several years, but that her going to be with him was remarkable. There was a healing through the passing on of a legacy. She found out new and amazing things from her father. She now knows that she has extensive family in Los Angeles. Literally hundreds of cousins. Someday she will go and meet them, and no doubt hear stories about her father and see pieces of him in the faces of her newfound family members.

It was also a time of getting together with some of her immediate family and her father. It brought her together with her sisters. In a generous act, her father gave each of the women one of their grandmother’s ring, a legacy of equal proportions. No fighting over family possessions after his death. Instead a ceremonious generosity and acknowledgement of each daughter.

It is important in life to embrace things like this that are difficult. For with every loss there can also ultimately be a gain. For with every difficult relationship there is solace in a loving one or the fact that difficult ones can become loving. Yes, there are no guarantees of this, but sometimes the fearlessness and commitment that my friend had when she went to see her dad is just what it takes.

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