A father’s day note if you miss your dad

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by greatness.

Do you know of someone who misses their dad?

In the past year, several of my friends have had to deal with the loss of their father. Some fathers had suffered through a long-term illness. Others have died suddenly.

This father’s day, I prepared a note for my friends who miss their dad.

Feel free to download the note (398KB PDF) and send it to someone you know who is feeling at a loss as a result of their father no longer being around. It may provide a source of clarity, comfort and strength for them.

Also, it could be that your friend’s father is still alive, but they’ve fallen out of touch as a result of distance, busy lives, a degenerative condition such as alzheimers, or perhaps differences in opinion. It may help with this kind of loss too.

» download the Father’s Day note for friends who miss their dad (398KB PDF)

Here is the text from the downloadable note, in case you cannot access the document.

If you miss your dad…  by Suraj Shah | livewithloss.com | June 2012

How are you coping with the loss of your father?

Chances are that you’re thinking of your dad.  Perhaps you miss him.

  • It may be the date of his birthday or some other important date.
  • It may be that you’re attending a family occasion where he’s not present.
  • It may be that he’s not around to celebrate a major accomplishment with you.
  • It may be father’s day where many other sons and daughters are connecting with their fathers.
  • You may be facing a difficult situation and could do with your father’s guidance and support.

Whatever the reason, you miss your dad, and that’s understandable.

Fathers are incredible people.  They have worked hard their whole lives.  They have done whatever they think is best to give us, their children a good upbringing.  They have taught us how to stand on our own two feet.

Your father was a source of immense strength.  He had been through so much and yet continued to tap into a deep reservoir of love.

He may not have said much, but was quietly waiting… waiting to give support, to always be on hand when you needed him the most.  And you knew it.

For this reason, and this reason alone, you will always miss him.

Father’s values

Although your dad may no longer be around, there is something that will stay on forever: the values with which he lived his life by.

These very same values are growing stronger in you.

When you look deep within yourself and think about the values you aspire to live your life by, you’ll discover that many of them are the very same ones you’ve absorbed from your father over the years.

Everyone’s principles and values are different.  Here are some I’ve gained from my dad:

  • Have a positive attitude to handle any situation.
  • Face the world’s challenges with a smile.
  • Think hard about what’s important to you and make time for it.
  • Cut out all distractions that take you away from what is most important.
  • Family duty comes first — care for your wife, care for your children, care for those who depend on you.
  • Nothing is more important than your peace of mind.
  • When in a conversation, listen — listen properly — then respond as appropriate.
  • Talk to people of all ages and with all sorts of backgrounds — there is always something to learn.
  • Great service is more important than a quick buck.
  • Don’t forget to make money too — you need to support yourself.
  • Be fearless in life — no-one and nothing has the power to make you feel scared.

Live with the loss of your dad

On special occasion days or the times when life is sending difficulties your way, use these three steps to help the memory of your dad shape a better moment for yourself:

1. Remember your dad: Remember your father with all your heart.  Recall your greatest moments with him, what he would say, and what he stood for.

2. Recognise these values emerging in you:  These same qualities are within you.  Look deep within, remember times when you too have gotten through situations using those values.

3. Apply these values to your current situation:  Whatever you are currently going through, take those values you hold so dear and apply them to your present situation.  Think about what your father would have done and how he would have done it.  Magnify it.  Immerse yourself into it.

By remembering your dad, recognising these values in you and then applying them to your present situation, you will see yourself glide through the current situation with ease.

Additional resources

Let go of control to feel great

A friend whose father was very ill had found a way to let go and face the reality of his father’s imminent death.  Learn about how certain phrases from our heritage have been instrumental in helping us let go of control: livewithloss.com/let-go

Getting grief and bereavement support

Upon losing someone, do you feel there’s no-one you can talk to?  Even with loads of people around who try hard to make sure you’re not left on your own, it’s still so easy to feel alone. But there is a way through it: livewithloss.com/bereavement-support

If you found this note helpful, feel free to forward it onto friends who may also be missing their dads.

With warmth,

If you miss your father and want to share your thoughts with others, head on over to Google+ to write a few words for friends who miss their dad.

One calming word

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by greatness.

What one word will always fill you with calm?

We live in a busy world, with much to do, many people to see, multiple personalities to deal with and of course money to make.

In itself all that can be the cause of enough stress, but adding on the curve-balls that life throws us (health issues, someone close to us passing away, a fire at home, etc), it can really knock the wind out of us.

We get frazzled, overwhelmed, panicky and desperate.  We struggle to breathe, to think clearly, to talk or perhaps even eat.

During an overwhelmingly turbulent day, just one word is all it may take to bring peace to our minds.

The power of just one word

My friend Sharan (her name means ‘shelter’) recently introduced me to a marvellous word from the Sikh tradition:

“Waheguru” (pronounced waa-hee-gu-ru)

One way to translate it is if we break it down: “Wahe” means wonderful, awe inspiring Divine Force, “Gu” means spiritual darkness and “Ru” is the ray of light, brought to eliminate the darkness.  So “Waheguru” translates to “A Divine Light eliminating spiritual darkness”.

From my perspective, this one word takes on multiple additional meanings which all contribute to calmness:

  • One God (i.e. I see God in everything): God is within me and in everything around me – I have nothing to fear or lose.
  • Wonderful Lord: A deep appreciation for the qualities and virtues of God.  It is an affirmation of sorts, like reciting “Amen!”  This genuine appreciation of virtues would help to cultivate these same qualities within me.
  • Surrendering thoughts, words and actions to Guru: The fortunate position that this moment presents me with is all down to the compassion of a great being.  So let me bow to his greatness, let go of my negative emotions, and appropriately respond to the situation I’m in.

“Waheguru” is a word that my friend recites daily, in the morning and the evening, commuting to work and back home, and any other opportunity that she gets.  Her grandma even uses it as a greeting towards other people.  Many others in her community do the same.  You may consider it a relaxing soothing meditation mantra (YouTube link).

This one word “Waheguru” could set you up for the day, give you bouts of strength and equanimity throughout the day, helps you reintegrate with family life after work, and then helps leave all the problems of the day behind as you gently drift off to sleep.  How wonderful indeed!

There are numerous phrases from other faiths, religions and traditions that bring about a similar sense of balance and peace.

What is your one word or phrase that consistently brings an immediate calm to any turbulent day?

On Google+, share your one calming word as well as your own thoughts on the above.

Last day living

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by the enlightened.

How would you live if this day was your last?

For the past few days I’ve been living just like that and I’m loving it. I feel great, relationships are so much fuller, and the most ordinary of tasks are intensely engaging.

Our mundane lives and routines

So many days we waste and so much time we throw away living our mundane lives.

Our days are fixed with routine, jam-packed with activities, loaded with reality-numbing habits of too much food and far too much TV.

We indulge in regrets of the past and we scheme plans for the future – but what about the right here, right now?

Our days tend to be spent getting jolted out of bed, sleepily getting ready, commuting to the office, working just enough to stay out of trouble, commuting back home, sitting in front of the TV all evening while inhaling down masses of food, and then drifting off to sleep. Weekends are almost the same, perhaps minus the work part.

We’re constantly wired on the net and on our phones, trying to keep up with our ‘friends’. Yet we know, deep down, that it is all a distraction — a way to shelter us from facing up to our mundane lives.

So what’s the alternative?

Throw away the TV, switch off the net, sell your house and all your possessions, leave your spouse and kids, drop all duties and go spend a few dozen months in some ashram in Rishikesh?

No, that’s not the answer.

Duty comes first. Matters of the home and the family take priority.

Why duty takes priority

We are bound by the karma of our past actions. This bound karma comes to fruition as situations and relationships in our day-to-day experience.

Everything we perceive and experience is down to karma we have previously bound. There is no getting away from it. All we can do is face up to the situations that arise, calmly, patiently, lovingly. That calm response contributes to more fruitful future situations.

So how do we have a great time, regardless of the situations that we find ourselves in?

Joy within a duty-bound life

In amongst the seemingly ordinary family life, there is a way to love and enjoy every single moment of it.

When you wake up, realise that this day is your last — and live accordingly.

So does that mean drop everything, indulge in all kinds of sensual pleasures, and say “to hell with the consequences”?

Well, it didn’t work that way for me.

In fact, when I thought that this day may be my very last, I thought less about all the things that I would want to see and achieve and do.

Instead, I had a strong yearning for seeing what came up, who called for my attention, and I put my focus on that.

And something magical happened. My thoughts, attention and love honed in on that person, that situation, that event.

It was an unusually gorgeous sunny day in London, so I prepared three delicious vegan meals to enjoy in the garden with my wife.

The next day, the fridge was almost bare (after all the homecooked meals!) so I went grocery shopping. After a long day at the office, I was hungry and tired, but found myself playfully attending to the usually mundane task of shopping.

Throughout the day in the office, I was flooded with inbound emails and requests for support — but worked through them one by one, enjoying collaborating and troubleshooting with my colleague. The work day flew by and I loved every minute of it.

During the drive home from work there were patches of traffic, but I turned the radio up (I usually drive in silence) and cruised through enjoying the journey home.

Last day living

When you spend each day living as though it’s your last:

  • you willl prepare your meals lovingly, and then slowly enjoy the feast.
  • you will gladly wash the dishes after dinner and enjoy a clean kitchen sink.
  • everyday routines will feel brand new each time.
  • work, nomatter how boring you thought it was, will become fulfilling.
  • home life will transform into a warm energy-filled environment.
  • day-to-day tasks such as grocery shopping will become joyful.
  • your relationships, all of them, from the most intimate through to casual interactions with colleagues, will feel effortless.

Are you prepared to live today as though it’s your last?

Share your thoughts about it on Google+.