Something really cool happened to me this week.
I heard a new story about my dad.
This might seem very simple, and, in a way, it is.
It’s also incredibly complex.
I’ve written about my dad a handful of times in this space, but for new readers, I lost my dad 16 years ago when he chose to take his own life. Because he chose suicide, he hasn’t been discussed consistently within my family since his death.
Here and there, we remember. But we don’t often talk and share.
So, mostly what I know about my dad is what I can remember, and each year, those memories fade as I move further and further away from Feb. 24, 1996.
But this week was different.
This week, I learned more about my dad and how he shaped the life of another person.
Out of respect for the person who shared this story with me, I’m not going to recount the details because they shared with me to share with me, not necessarily to share with the world.
But here’s why I’m sharing with you.
Grief awareness can be conveyed in many ways.
With a hug.
Through shared experience.
And it can be conveyed through storytelling.
Because if you can tell a story about someone that has been lost, there is often a high likelihood their loved ones may not be aware of that event.
As you share with them, for a moment, you give their loved one life as they experience a story they’ve never experienced before.
As I sat listening, mesmerized by this new story about my dad earlier this week, he was alive again for a moment.
It was simply exhilarating.
If you can breath life into a person who has been lost by someone you love, you shouldn’t hesitate.
It’s a priceless gift.