The last week has been one of intense feeling for people around the world. Today I’m feeling tired. Sad. Hopeful. Congested. Ready. Anxious.
Last week, on the same day as the Paris attacks, my father-in-law passed away. I have shared it with my friends and in my personal network, but was hesitant to bring it up in the “Why Not Home?” space. I didn’t want people to think that I was using this loss in some way. I feared judgement for moving forward on a project like this just having experienced such significant loss. I went back and forth in my mind, say something? or don't? Today I'm breaking out of worry about what other people may think. This isn’t about them.
My father-in-law was only 63 years old. His death wasn’t unexpected. Just a few months ago he was diagnosed with terminal illness. There were no treatments to extend his life, so we worked with his care team to make him as comfortable as possible. There was a lot of grieving in those first few weeks after the diagnosis. Over time we were all able to be with him, to tell him goodbye and that we loved him.
I’ve been living a bit of dual life over the past few days. Pushing forward trying to meet our funding goals on Kickstarter while at the same time looking back and remembering, feeling the sadness and loss of someone so close. The father of my partner and grandfather of my children. Someone I have called Dad for the past 15 years. Grief and loss happens in the midst of life.
I knew this was possible when we started this campaign, that he might die in the middle of it. I talked to my family, my sisters-in-law, and the team and decided to move forward. A short 15 day campaign I reasoned. Then it will be done. Now 9 days in and this loss in the middle, it doesn't feel so short. We have just 6 days left and still nearly ⅔ of the way to go.
This weekend I'll take a real break from all things Why Not Home? Kathryn and Erin will keep moving forward. I will travel to Arkansas with my family to bury my father-in-law’s body and celebrate his memory.
The cycle of life that starts with birth ends in death for us all. Today I can feel it. I am thankful for the life my father-in-law lived and that his death was peaceful, while I mourn with others around the world who have lost loved ones through acts of violence.