Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

Fol­low­ing dad’s pass­ing, reader must find own hap­pi­ness

DEAR HARRIETTE: My fa­ther re­cently passed away, and his death has been hard on me. Grow­ing up, we al­ways talked about the future and what it will bring. Ev­ery­thing I have done in my life has been to make my fa­ther proud. I was his only daugh­ter, and he wanted noth­ing but the ab­so­lute best for me. He al­ways told me that doc­tors make good money and I should con­tinue to work hard to be one some­day. I am a suc­cess­ful or­tho­pe­dist, and I am very proud of how far I’ve come.

A few days ago, the re­al­iza­tion fi­nally hit me: I have done ev­ery­thing for my dad to make him happy. Mak­ing him happy made me happy, but since he is no longer here, find­ing my own hap­pi­ness has been dif­fi­cult. How can I be­come happy with my­self and live for my­self from here on out? -- On My Own, Min­neapo­lis

DEAR ON MY OWN: Your fa­ther laid a tremen­dous foun­da­tion for you that in­spired you to be your best. You will for­ever have his love liv­ing in your heart, which should help in dif­fer­ent ways to ease the pain of los­ing him.

Now is the time for you to re­mind your­self that you are pre­pared to live on your own and ful­fill the dreams that you and your fa­ther had for your life. You don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to think of his loss as you be­ing to­tally alone. Your fa­ther’s spirit will al­ways be with you. You can think of this as the next chap­ter of your jour­ney.

Make a list of the things you en­joy do­ing -- for work and for plea­sure. Who are the peo­ple you en­joy the most? Sched­ule qual­ity time with them. Ex­pand your cir­cle of friends. Try new ac­tiv­i­ties. You may also want to see a be­reave­ment coun­selor to get ad­vice on how to han­dle your fa­ther’s death. You can find them at your house of wor­ship or through your pri­mary care physi­cian.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams.You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­ette@har­ri­et­ or c/o An­drews McMeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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