Students who attend classes here may notice in email responses I will close correspondence with the sentiment lovejustlove. This is the message I once received from my Dad in a lucid dream a couple of years after his passing. Following a 10 year battle, Dad succumbed to cancer a few months after Mom slipped away from a massive pulmonary embolism that came about from a broken ankle. Dad was 57 and Mom was 55.

Such loss is beyond the description of heartbreak for those left behind. Yet, there are breathtaking revelations in moments of tragedy. These moments of profound loss have the potential for change.  Change can offer new perspectives on life that are vitally important in acquiring deeper meaning and purpose.

After Mom departed this life, Dad told me the circumstances of her passing. As Mom fell unconscious my Dad desperately attempted to revive her with rescue breathing and she awoke momentarily as if to say goodbye, looked deeply into his eyes, smiled and said, “Don’t worry about me Terry, I’m just fine,” then closed her eyes forever. Paramedics soon arrived and attempted to resuscitate her but she was gone. When Dad told me what had happened it was evident he was suffering from the excruciating pain of losing her in his arms and we both wept bitter tears.

My Mother and Father grew up next door to each other and were high school sweethearts, together for all of their years. Our house was always full of sounds as my Dad loved to play music, sing and dance, and Mom liked plenty of conversation. When I think back there was a lot of love in the house amongst the ups and downs of life.

So, it would seem to be obvious that my Dad’s message from the other side would be lovejustlove, but for some reason it wasn’t obvious until I heard the words. I remember hugging Dad in the dream, and his big bear hug back felt to me like I was the most treasured thing he’d left on earth (although my Sister Nikki would be equally treasured by him of course… perhaps more!).

Our conversation seemed to be forever, and then in a blink of an eye he had to go. He floated up toward heaven, and I realized I had not asked that most important question I had intended to. I cried out, “Dad, Dad, what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?” Dad smiled and shook his head gently as if to say Son, you should know this, and then he spoke, “Mike, lovejustlove…” and then he was gone.

It felt like it was the first time I ever knew what love really was. I realized love is not transient and not conditional, but rather love is all-encompassing. I awoke from the dream with powerful emotions that had left me with tears streaming down my face, filling my ears and soaking the pillow. I realized love is the only thing that matters and all of life can be seen through love’s lens.

To love this deeply, where everything is wrapped in selfless behavior, continues to be profoundly challenging. In times of trouble it is easy to slide into despair and when times are good it is easy to become selfish. This lovejustlove serves as my perennial wake-up call.

I am reminded every day of my Dad’s words and feel strongly about placing them at the end of correspondence to those who know me. If you receive an email from me expressing lovejustlove I hope you may take heart that this is heaven-sent. I have no doubt it is the message I am to carry with me even though many times I fail to live up to its profound meaning. My hope is that I may live these words in each and every moment of life.


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