"if you knew that it was the last time you were ever going to see your dad, would you have done or said anything differently, dawn?"

this was asked of me by my friend tracy.
i have been lucky enough to know tracy through her life of
becoming engaged and then married to her wonderful mark,
the heartbreak of a miscarriage
the profoundly moving adoption of her daughter,
the joyful birth of her son,
the tragic death of her mother
and now the anguish of her father's progression into alzheimer's.
a lot of living this friend of mine has had.
and she moves through this living in grace and love.
i know she's hurting
and there's not a damn thing i can do about it.

i've thought a lot about this question.
i've had my share of deaths, both personally and as a hospice social worker.
i've witnessed hundreds of families as they struggle through grief and loss.
the "what if" question always comes up.

when my father died suddenly, would i have given everything i own for just one more minute with him?
would he have known that i loved him any better than i did?
no, i don't think so.
for me, it's the yearning.
it's the not wanting to say goodbye.
because when we love people, there are always going to be
the good parts
the bad parts
and the ugly parts.
that's part of loving someone.
but i don't care how prepared we think we may be,
when death comes, we're hard pressed to let go.

for me, it's the wishing.
it's the heartache.
the "what if" is a way of us trying to make sense of it all.

i told tracy that i was going to write about her here.
and i told her that i would ask you all on her behalf if you would please share your thoughts on this question.
so if you would please,
take a minute.
let her know what you think.