Tag Archives: loss

The Moment You Know…

On Thursday July 16, 1992 my dad woke in the morning and left for work. Not unlike he had done nearly everyday of his life. He went to the warehouse where he picked up the 18-wheeler and drove south on Interstate 75.

He arrived at his first stop in Kentucky. Checked in with the warehouse and dropped over dead.

I was at work that morning. I worked a full day. When I arrived home my uncle was on the phone. He told me that dad died earlier that day.

Today, 25 years later, I’ve been thinking a lot about that day. The thought that keeps going through my mind is: “ You never know what you don’t know…until you know it.”

I understand that probably sounds silly. But, what I realize is that I worked that entire day not knowing that dad was dead. How often do things happen and we continue on with our lives, because we don’t know.

Obviously there isn’t a way to change this. Its impossible to know something before we actually know it. But that moment in time when you learn “the news” its like stepping through a wall of time that you can never return through. The heartbreak is attached and the only way to release any of it is to move forward, one step at a time, no matter how deep you fall into the darkness, no matter how difficult it is to lift your foot, you must move forward.

It took me a long time to move through the grief after loosing my dad. To date it was the most difficult loss of my life. I struggled. I sunk deep into a severe depression. I drug my feet…unable many days to lift them off the ground. But I did it. I survived. I found the light again and I embraced it.

Today I still think of dad, I miss him and still wish I could talk to him. But today I can do these things with a smile on my face not a pain in my heart.

Dad, Big Bunk, Little Bunk, Matt

Left – right: Grandpa Rabold, Dad, Great-Grandpa Rabold, Front Row: Brother (Matt)


Sometimes in life we are lucky to meet people that bring nothing but sunshine into our lives. Tina and I have been blessed to know a person that fits this description perfectly. DJ was full of life. Her smile lit up every room she entered and her energy bounced off every wall.
When Tina was finishing up her degree as an RN, DJ (also an RN) encouraged her and cheered her on right through her nursing boards. And when Tina graduated DJ sent her an RN pendent.

DJ and her partner Monica are those people you want to spend more time with and every time Tina and I visited San Antonio we would make sure to meet up with them for dinner. Sadly the distance between us made it hard to spend more time together…but we still considered both of them some of our dearest friends.

Unfortunately that light that shined so brightly has now faded. We learned a few days ago that DJ was very ill and this afternoon we learned DJ lost a short but fierce battle with cancer. We are in shock. A person with so much life, so much love, so much energy…gone. It’s hard to understand how this is possible.

Our hearts are broken because we lost a dear friend and our hearts are so terribly broken for her partner Monica and the devastating loss she has experienced. Although we are saddened by this shocking loss, we are grateful that we will always be able to call DJ our friend and certainly grateful that we were given the opportunity to know such a good and loving person.
We will also choose to remember her smile and share with others the love she so freely gave to us.

DJ and Monica

Monica and DJ

RIP My Friend…

I went to a memorial service today for one of my former clients.
I first met “Susan” 6 years ago. I was completing my social work internship at a homeless shelter and she was living in the long term women’s unit.

“Susan” always looked a mess. Her hair never seemed to be brushed and it rarely looked clean. Her clothes were always baggy and frequently stained. But her smile could brighten a room.

When I learned of her passing I was sadden to hear she died alone. Apparently an accident resulted in “Susan” relying on life support. Her family lives in a different state and made the decision to remove the life support. I have no doubt they made the right decision….but it saddens me that no-one made it to her bedside before the plug was pulled.

“Susan” had a difficult life. She suffered with schizophrenia as well as drug and alcohol addiction. She spent time on the streets and in the 6 years I knew her she moved from group home to group home. She rarely stayed anywhere for more than 6 months. The voices that haunted “Susan” were evil and the addictions were relentless but she fought back. As a matter of fact, her memorial service was held at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting space and was ran much like a meeting.

Despite “Susan” dying alone, I learned at her service, she did not live her life alone.
I was not close to Susan, I was her case worker. A case worker is expected to maintain a professional distance. Even though we don’t enjoy a leisurely lunch with our clients we do occasionally run across individuals that steal a chunk of our hearts. To me Susan was one of those people. Every time I visited with Susan she flashed a joyful smile and gave me a bear hug. Sadly, I imagined “Susan” to be somewhat friendless, especially when I heard no one was at the hospital with her. But today I was happy to learn she had friends that cherished her, friends that formed true bonds with her and friends that also would have been at the hospital if given the chance.

Today I was happy to hear people speak of her humor and her love for soda. I nodded when I heard them speak of her challenges in life, and smiled when I heard them speak of her successes. “Susan’s” death silenced the voices in her head but Susan did the necessary work to conquer her additions. Today I was happy to hear that “Susan” won her fight against alcohol and drug abuse….she died one year sober.

RIP my friend….you will be missed.

365 Days of Photos – Day 80

We lost our little Maggye this morning. Tina has been Maggye’s person since she was a puppy. We lovingly called Maggye our little old lady.

She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a few years ago..but with medication she managed to remain active to the very end.

Early this morning she died un-expectantly.

She will be greatly missed.