Grief 2.0

Spoiler alert, there is no real thesis in this post. English gurus would say I need one but sometimes thoughts don’t make total sense. And today, here are my thoughts.

photo cred: Brady McCloskey Photography

With grief on my mind this week, as it’s the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing; I think about the victims, families, helpers, witnesses, and everyone in Las Vegas. Thousands of people are heartbroken, confused, upset and mourning. I remember the extreme difficulty of the days, weeks and months after Dad died and now I feel helpless in knowing there are so many more people who are in that situation right now around the world.


I don’t know why the shooting in Las Vegas feels more…. personal? (is that the word?) than other tragedies. Is it because I have been to Vegas and I love country music and I could see myself at a music venue? Is it because I have death on my mind this week anyway? Is it because it occurred on the heels of the terrorist attack in Edmonton, which is not that far from Yellowknife? Perhaps it is the combination of all. I find myself reading articles about the victims, the heroes and the aftermath of a mass tragedy.

Jimmy Buffett concert, Vegas, Fall 2013

As life passes, I forget details of the little things (what year I went to Bali, the address of my first apartment, etc.) but I don’t forget a lot. There are a few wow memories that I have with my Dad that I would like to share, to help me heal and to help all those who loved him too.

  • Waking him up at 5:17 am to get me to 5:30 am swim practices. This was such an act of love. Who wants to get up at that hour! (and then back at 7:00 to pick me up) But it’s a strong memory for me because we had fun on those rips to the pool and sometimes we would even run a red light or two….shhhh…  (Also, I was hardly an athlete so all these extra practices weren’t going to make or break my swim ‘career’. I could organize a hell of a bar/house crawl though. #goodatotherthings)
  • The first time he dropped an ‘F’ bomb. I was maybe 7 and he came home from work and there was no peanut butter left. I remember feeling shocked that my Dad knew how to swear.
  • His twitter account. When Dad got twitter, he liked to believe all the tweets he was reading were sent just to him. So in the mornings, he would say, “let’s see who tweeted me today”. His hashtag game was on point and his love of twitter was pure joy. 
  • Roadtrips. We went everywhere as a family. He (and momma!) instilled a love of travel in my siblings and I. To never stop exploring- be curious, be kind and be open to new things always.
  • His love. He loved life. He loved my momma, my sibs,his family and everyone I loved. One of my last great memories is when Jeff and I were home on PEI and we had a ‘drop in’ night at my parents place for my friends. He helped teach my friends how to shuck oysters, he had some drinks with us and it was so much fun. Having my parents, Jeff and friends all together at my childhood home was magical. What a night to remember- or forget. Dad was never stingy with the tequila in a margarita either.

 While we are all trying to get our heads around the horrible things going on around the world, let’s remember all the good things in the world too. I know this is far easier said than done on those extra tricky days. For all those who need it, I’m sending you love. Oh, and call your parents- tell them you love them.




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3 thoughts on “Grief 2.0

  1. You don’t need a thesis Janna. Your love and compassion came through. Remembering John and all of you today.
    Love Donna

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