Living Through Loss

JUNE 5, 2021  |   BY KIM DAMON

I feel as though I must start with the experience of caring for and watching someone you adore at the end of their life.  It is bittersweet for many of us.  It’s as precious as giving birth, yet there is little joy in what comes after the loss.  My Dad was a great father.  He had a sense of humor that could quickly reach a person's nerves.  As he declined, his sense of humor rarely waned.  Sometimes he would break out into a song, he would flirt with the nurses and once he joked about his missing pants with enough detail that shouldn’t be shared in this blog.  He made me laugh, cry and he even made me angry.  

In his last 6 months of caring for him, there was never a day that he didn’t say to me “I love you kid” and many times with tears in his eyes.  This was a gift that I will never forget and one that will help me through the pain of loss.


I knew what was happening in his last week of life.  I knew because I’m someone that prepares.  I want to experience every second of it, even if it’s painful.  There can be so much joy in our lives when we decide that we are going to be 100% engaged in loving another person.  If it brings on more sorrow, at least the joy of loving was equally intense as the grief we feel.  


Remember, I’m a preparer…. So when he passed, I looked up the 5 stages of grief.  I wanted to be sure that I understood my emotions through the process.  I wanted to be prepared to forgive myself when I became confused, angry or wondered what I could have done differently to prolong his life.  I wanted to give myself the gift of compassion and understanding.  

I quickly realized that these 5 stages of grief were not at all unfamiliar.  We go through losses throughout our lives and experience these 5 stages with many different circumstances.  For me, I experienced many in my lifetime and every one of them brought me many years of joy and happiness.  

  • Loss of my Mother

  • Loss of experiencing a divorce

  • Loss of a great job

  • Loss of my children leaving home

  • Loss of the dreams I had

  • Loss of health

  • Loss of Pets

  • Loss of youth

  • Loss of relationships that were important to me

  • Loss of my Dad

  • Loss of losing my childhood home

Whatever your loss has been or will be in the future, you will experience these 5 stages of grief.  It will likely be a loss you had no control over.  When you experience this loss, it’s perfectly normal to be shocked..  It’s normal to want to find blame for that pain and question yourself on what you could have done differently.  It’s fine to move into a place of processing your emotions so that you can begin to move forward and live again.


I encourage you to ask for help when you get stuck in one of these stages.  I encourage you to choose to remember the joy.  I encourage you to love big again. I encourage you to avoid minimizing your loss, but instead have compassion for yourself.  I encourage you to make healing choices in stage 5 and live your best life.  



Kim Damon

Midlife Discoveries

335 E North St.

Grafton, NE 68365

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