After eighty-five years on this earth, my father died March 5th, achieving a goal he had set for himself decades ago - "I'm going to live to be 85." An adventurer, life-long scholar, health conscious man with a can-do attitude, he lived a long, full life. Fortunately, he did not have to endure a prolonged period of suffering before he died.
The last time I saw him, before visiting him in the hospice the day before he died, was at my son's funeral, five years ago. The difficult relationship between my father and I resulted in estrangement from one another for the past seven years. However, I am grateful for the many opportunities he offered me for personal growth - no regrets. And he excelled at being an Opa, throwing himself fully into that role with his five grandchildren.
Still enjoying downhill skiing a couple of months before he died, it was fitting that he was buried with his ski poles. May he rest in peace and fully experience love on the other side. I continue to send him mine.