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"New Project"

Happy New Year to you. I want to share something exciting with you. As many of you know, I developed this memorial website while my father was in the hospital. I created it with the intent of keeping people informed about his deteriorating condition; however, since his disease progressed so rapidly, I never had the chance to launch it before he passed away. Shortly after, I went public with the site you now see. With disbelief that he was no longer with us, this project was my way of honoring and remembering my father, and maybe my unconscious wish for him to still be with us.

Wanting to tell his unique story, I began writing about him, at least what I knew of him up to that point. Interestingly, the more I wrote, the more I began to discover and mine new things about my dad, especially the depth of his character and the richness of his love. Slowly, I became aware that there was so much more to my father than what he let any of us know. And maybe that's what made him both unique and somewhat of a mystery.

Besides my own learning, this site has personally helped me grieve his absence. On many occasions, my thoughts had to be penned over many sittings. Sometimes I had to stop writing because my eyes were so filled with tears. Other times, I had to pause because the pain of not having him around was far too great to comprehend.

For the past 2 1/2 years, my understanding of my dad has been profoundly impacted by several things: meetings with others such as family, close friends, and former co-workers; notes he left for his immediate family; stories that have been passed on to me via letters, e-mails, or word-of-mouth; and, obviously, my own personal thoughts on the relationship I had with my father.

Up to now, these postings have been a personal exploration into the unknown. Like an explorer, I've had to charter new territory, most often without a clue as to what was ahead. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that this very stepping into the unknown was quite essential to my own personal growth, thus far. I've concluded that making it through this process isn't as important as is asking how is this process making me? In some way, this journey of bereavement is somewhat selfish. I found, early on, that if I didn't choose to work through this loss, it would resurface at some point, making me ineffectual with my relationships with others and God, plus it would only hinder my own ability to develop.

This site has definitely expanded since its initial launch. With the increased traffic on a daily basis, I realize the site is being used in other ways, far more than my own selfish need for healing. I've wondered, at times, as to how some find the site. The traffic isn't limited to just the NY area. Visitors from all across the US and globe stumble upon this site. As to what they gain from it, I'm not exactly sure. However, when I look at what they're typing in the search engines/directories to access this site, it gives me an idea of what they're searching for or even facing. Below is just a sampling of the phrases:

  • Dealing with terminal cancer
  • Losing a father
  • Overcoming tragedies and dealing with grief
  • Bereavement - losing a father
  • Loved ones who are ill
  • Father bereavement
  • How to write a eulogy for a father
  • My father passed away after many years of battling illness
  • Praying in difficult situations
  • Dealing with a father that has lost his spouse
  • Son to father bereavement

As I look through some of these phrases, one can't help but notice the cries for help. People are searching for answers. They're looking to be consoled. They want hope. They want their pain to go away. They're looking for a God who is present. They miss their loved one and now feel all alone. How do I know? I've felt all of these things and still do from time to time. These phrases remind me that I'm not alone in my own pain, and neither are they. There is nothing we can do about bringing our loved ones home, but we can certainly make a significant difference in the lives of others as we heal forward. Our grief, our own suffering, can be seen as a unexplainable gift towards helping others receive healing.

In light of this, I've decided to redesign my father's website. I don't have a specified deadline because I want to spend some time doing some thorough research. However, I NEED YOUR HELP. Here is how you can help.

  1. Your prayers for wisdom, creativity, and the ability to develop something that connects with those facing great loss or grief.
  2. Suggest new ideas that aren't currently on the site. You don't need to have lost a loved one to give input. Anyone can suggest something.
  3. Add to the existing resources section (i.e., movies and books). Right now it's very limited.
  4. Suggest new resources (e.g, credible websites, etc.).

You can use this form to submit your thoughts and ideas. I will add more requests as they come to mind. But for now, I certainly welcome your prayers.

Thanks for your help,