Death doesn’t stop the world from turning, even though we want it to so we can make sense of it all. My dad passed away about a month ago and my mom a little over a year ago. Figuring out life with no parents takes time. Time to grieve and time to self-reflect. It doesn’t matter your age – it is life-altering. And I have given myself permission to take some time and think about life in general, my purpose in the scheme of life and how do I proceed and develop a new “normal.” 

I have to admit I wasn’t ready for my dad to die. No one ever does. No one is ready for their parents to die.

I wasn’t ready to plan a funeral.

I wasn’t ready to pick out a casket or

I wasn’t ready to pick out clothes for him to wear.

I wasn’t ready to deal with all his belongings that had to be moved out of his apartment as soon as possible because “they needed his apartment for another.” It was just business for them. But not for me. 

 I just wasn’t ready.

But that’s just how life works. 

My dad


Finding a few moments, by myself, allows me to think and try to figure out what just happened. I love listening to music as my backdrop–it just puts me in a different space–a time of solace and peace. I use this time to ask myself questions like do I change my life’s focus? Is this a wakeup call of some sort? What am I to learn from this? 

But time is limited. If you take time to self-reflect, you don’t have the time to do what your normal schedule demands. Yes, I have let some things slide. Haven’t blogged in a very long time. Bushes are overgrown. Behind on watering my flowers as they wilt. Dust is accumulating. Floors need mopping. Harvest is about to start and no meals in the freezer. But this self-reflection time gives me a chance to really focus on what is important right now. And also to remind myself that God is overseeing this whole process and everything will be okay.

Spending Time with Family

I have understood from early on that “things” don’t matter–it’s about people and relationships and experiences and memories. My brothers and I are trying to start a new yearly tradition by attending a Minnesota Vikings game. And we are going this weekend. I appreciate and love each of my brothers (there are three). We are all very different individuals and yet we know we are important to each other. We may have limited time that we are together, but the time we are together is always special. 

Two brothers drinking a Hamm’s beer. My dad loved Hamm’s beer!

And I can’t forget my daughters and their families. They have no idea how much I appreciate their support and help. Having family by your side makes these sad experiences more tolerable. 

Hop Back on the Horse

This is a phrase I used often with my daughters as they were growing up. Most of the times I was referencing the sports they participated in. When they experienced difficulties or failures, I would tell them they needed to hop back on the horse. To persevere. And as I move on with the grieving process, I need to remind myself of this same advice.

I will persevere.

I am not sure where my path will take me or if it will change at all. I pray about it often–wanting assurance that I am doing what I am intended to do. It’s not easy. I try to look for signs but sometimes I feel blind and joke that I probably need a baseball bat over the head to see the signs. 

Moving On

I know I will get back to my new “normal” life. I am just not going to hurry. And I am going to pray and listen and follow my heart and passion. And, yes, there probably will be more struggles and more tears. But it’s okay.

And I will be ready for what life has in store for me.

Would love to hear your experiences during grief. Please share.







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  1. Wanda~ I have not been in your shoes, but know that I am thinking of you and know that you will find your new normal, whatever that is. Life can sure throw us curve balls, but that seems to be what life is. There are good times and bad times, but as you know, it’s what we make of these events that makes our lives how we want them to be.

  2. So sorry for your loss. My Mom died 2 years ago, a sister when I was 8 and my Dad when I was 19. The circumstances around all of them passing were emotionally hard, but with my father especially, it felt like my world had crumbled away and I had no one. I think I just went through life in a daze for quite awhile. Each time however, I realized that one day-out of the blue- I was ok. Keep your faith and keep going. God bless.

    1. That’s kind of how I am feeling. I also experienced the unexpected death of a granddaughter when she was 3 1/2 months old. We do survive. We do move on. But we just are never the same. Thank you for your comments.

  3. I am so very sorry. No matter what your age, losing a parent is hard. I lost mine when I was 23 years old. People say time helps, it really doesn’t, you just get used to it. Please know people are praying for you as you are a great inspiration to others. God Bless you.

  4. Thanks for writing down your thoughts & feelings. They are very close to mine today. Always helpful to hear that we are not alone, others are struggling with the same things we are, we just can’t tell by looking at on another! Love & prayers from a soul sister feeling the same way!

  5. I lost my father suddenly, to a heart attack, when I was 19. I lost my mother after an extended decline in health of 8 years, when I was 51. Both deaths were extremely difficult. I always thought after my Dad’s death, if one just had time to prepare it would be easier, but it is not. For me journaling is the best way to get out everything that rambles around in my head, even if it’s at 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I’ve learned things to make it easier, hopefully, for my children when I decease as well.

    1. Yes, journaling and writing definitely help. I am sorry to hear about your parent’s death. My mom died a little over a year ago and like you, she had an extended period of declining health. It was horrendous and I still have not come to terms for what she went through and what I went through watching it all and having absolutely no control over it. She died of cancer and we had a burning party after the funeral. I was so angry what cancer did to her that we took EVERYTHING that defined her life the last few years and burned it. Even though it didn’t change the end result, I felt a little better about doing something with that anger. And there was a lot of stuff that we burned. Thank you for your comments. I am working through it.

  6. Sorry to hear about your dear dad but he has gone to God in the skies where he will look after you and yours from a high everyday God keep you save pat from Ireland

  7. Hi Wanda, Love your blog and just subscribed. I noticed that Sara Broers commented. I know Sara and love her dearly! We live in Kentucky and have a blueberry farm. My sons raise soybeans and corn (about 600 acres). I lost my mom in 1990 to colon cancer. She was 51. I lost my dad 5 years later to a heart attack. I still miss them both and know that I always will. It’s like losing a limb…you learn to adjust but it takes a long time and you never, ever stop missing them. I hope you will visit me at NanaHood and if you like what you see, subscribe and keep in touch. Both my grandfathers were farmers and my dad….now my sons. It’s a hard life but a good one. Blessings to you! Teresa

    1. Thanks Teresa. My mom also died a little over a year ago from cancer and it was horrendous. I still have not come to terms with what she went through and the things I had to endure with her being sick. At least my dad’s death was peaceful and you have no idea how comforting that was. I think I am following NanaHoood but will check to make sure. Thanks again for your comments.

  8. My mother has been gone for several years now and it still isn’t easy. I have wonderful memories. Found you at Grandms’s Briefs Grand Social Link party.

  9. My heart goes out to you in the losses of both your dear mother and father. You have my deepest sympathies. My sister and I also lost our beloved mother to cancer–in 1959–but the longing for her remains. Our dear father died almost 14 years ago. We miss them both tremendously. We remember the lessons they taught us by precept and example. We strive to live how they would want us to live, as we pass the torch on to my two daughters and four grandchildren.