The Kind One

On Monday morning, right before I dropped off my son at school, I got a text from my sister saying my dad wasn’t well.

A few hours later I found myself on a plane to Switzerland and arrived at the nursing home just in time to say good-bye. My sister, her husband and I were gifted the experience to witness the sacred moment of my dad’s passing.

All his life, my dad believed in and studied reincarnation and in particular the moment the soul leaves the body. Here he was, living it.

My sister and I have learned so much from him just by overhearing him talk about death. (He had an entire library on this topic and I remember reading books by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross at 16!) Yet, as much as I knew about the process of dying, nothing prepares you for being in the presence of death.

That sacred moment of that last breath, when that deep quiet hits. And you find yourself crying in ways you never have.

It felt as if his soul pulled mine out to give it a squeeze and then let it bounce back into my body.

My dad was a force. A man of many interests and talents. A successful (and ruthless) entrepreneur, yet a soul that got gentler as he got older. I often described him as a ball of love in these past few years.

As he aged he became blind and eventually needed to leave his beloved house to live in a nursing home. Even though in younger years he would moan and complain about a bad cold, in this stage of his life he, with so much of his body giving out, he never complained. New nursing staff, not familiar with his name yet, would refer to him as “the kind one”.

My dad has shown me what it means to dream big, to live a courageous creative life. And in the end, he taught me the lesson that life is one big journey of finding back to your truest self, being and living love. He found it. He lived it. (Maybe not in the early years, but definitely at the end!)

What a blessing to witness his passing.

I miss you, dad.

Ps: Please call your parents, if you still can.

This photo was taken a mere 5 weeks ago, when my kids and I traveled to the Swiss Alps.

58 Comments leave a comment below

  1. What a gift he was.
    🙏

  2. Liebe Tina, mitfühlende Grüße aus München.
    Germar Wambach

  3. Thank you for this touching text. My condolences from Geneva.

  4. I dont think I’ve ever commented, but I read this space every week. What a wonderful description of your father and your experience as his daughter. Thank you for sharing and I’m sending heart-love your way from Tennessee.

  5. Thank you for sharing, sending love from London .

  6. I never comment, so perhaps this is a first.
    Deepest condolences to you, surely a kind daughter.
    Sending love from Paris.

  7. Liebe Tina, das hast Du sehr, sehr bewegend geschrieben. Vielen Dank dafür. Viele Grüße aus Warschau.

  8. Thank you for sharing your profound experience with your followers. How good that your father could mellow into “the kind one” and set such a loving example. You have my deep sympathy.

  9. You look so much like your dad……

  10. What a beautiful reminder to appreciate the preciousness of life, the natural but profound mystery of death, and the gift of family. Wishing you beautiful comfort in your memories. Thank you for sharing this moment with us. <3

  11. Wow that was so beautiful and so true. Thanks you for sharing your heart.

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your Dad in such a beautiful way. Condolences to you and your family. May The Kind One enjoy his journey.

  13. His sweet memory will live forever in your heart.

  14. My heart to you and yours — and his in the next journey.

  15. ❤️❤️❤️

  16. Thank you for sharing this intimate moment with us, Tina. You moved me.

  17. I’m so sorry for the loss of your lovely daddy….. I am passing on the same information to my son. Thank you for this post….sending love in truckloads.

  18. My deepest condolences to you and your family. His soulful awareness of the nature death and rebirth, kindness and graceful transition is beautiful and inspiring. What a gift to be able to witness the sacred rebirthing to spirit of your beloved father. Much love ❤

  19. He sounds like an amazing person and dad. Sending you strength and wishing you joy in your memories of him.

  20. Lots of love to you! I enjoy your blog. Your father will be honored by these beautiful memories shared of him <3

  21. Sending you and your family a lot of love

  22. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad 🥰. Made me cry.
    I’m terribly sorry for your loss Tina.

    I know people have different way to cope with the loss of loved ones. My heart fills up every time I look at a digital clock and I see the same number for hour and minute i.e. 16:16, or 21:21. I imagine it’s my Dad saying hello. I know it’s very childish, but I can’t help but smile when it happens.
    Hope you’ll soon find a way to ‘connect’ with your Dad.

  23. My deepest, heartfelt condolences to you and family, Tina. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute about your father. I’m so inspired by the way he lived his life. Sending love from the West Coast. <3

  24. Beautifully written!
    I send a big hug to you and your children from Sweden.

  25. Thankyou for making a difference.

  26. <3

  27. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your dad—sending so much love from Texas.

  28. Sending love from Idaho.❤️

  29. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and vulnerable tribute to your dad. My condolences to you and your fam. Sending hugs from Massachusetts.

  30. Having lost a parent a year ago, I would suggest you continue to be gentle with yourself for some time to come. Losing a reference point like your dad can be such a breathtaking shift in perspective. I’m so sorry you had to lose him but grateful you got to be with him as he moved on. Take good care, Tina.

  31. I’m so sorry to read about your dad’s passing. He sounds like a wonderful man and father. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  32. To a life lived and given to others. All the best to you in those difficult times.

  33. What a beautiful text. It really impress me the amazing way you speak about death, so direct, so row but yet so inspiring. How lucky to have a father that has died in such a dignified way. Thank you.

  34. What a beautiful tribute- you and your family are i. my thoughts ♥️

  35. What a wonderful way to honor your dad. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable. I visited my family in Switzerland just a month ago (I live in CA), my dad is 93. He’s been telling me at the end of my visits for the list few years that I might not see him again next time. At first I was taken back and thought what a morbid thing to say. I grew to understand him and I treasure each moment with him. I’m glad you got to go see him and be with him when he passed. Sending light and love

  36. What a beautiful way to experience your dad moving to the next plain (or being reincarnated, if his hopes were right). He lives on through you and your kindness. Love from Orlando, Florida, USA.

  37. That is a beautiful tribute to your father. Deepest condolences on your loss. One is never prepared to lose a parent, especially one so dearly loved.

  38. My condolences on your family’s loss. Thank you for sharing those lovely reflections on your dad and kindness.

  39. My deepest condolences to you and your family Tina.

  40. I am so sorry for your loss. May his soul Rest In Peace and I am sure that he will find a way back in your life soon enough..

  41. One Art

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

    Lose something everyday. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    –Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

    —Elizabeth Bishop

  42. The moments you shared are eternal. You and your dad will always be back then :)

    Deepest condolences, and lots of love to you and your family.

  43. Deepest condolonces from Croatia. Hope his new journey will be adventurous.

  44. touching, thanks for sharing and for the reminder.

  45. A beautiful remembrance, Tina. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  46. Long time reader, first time commenting. I’ve shared the experience of being present for a loved one’s last breath, which you’ve beautifully described in this post. Thinking of you and your family – thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  47. May he rest in peace and know all that he studied as a reality for the Highest Good.

    Bless you and your family.

  48. Beautiful testimony. He lives through you and the ones you touch. Sending love your way.

  49. <3

  50. ihow beautifully written.
    greetings from Austria,
    Verena

  51. Dear Tina,
    My deepest condolences to you and your family about your father. To have such a loving and close relationship with your father is a true gift. He sounded like a force of nature. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your family’s life.

    Sincerely,
    Cynthia

  52. Tina:
    So sorry for your loss. Your Dad sounded like a warm, wonderful man. Take Care, Darlene

  53. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such your beautiful thoughts.

  54. Gosh he sounds like an amazing role model and what a kind face and smile.
    Sending so much love and warm thoughts to you and your family <3

  55. i just started following your blog about two months ago — this post hit me particularly hard as I lost my 91 year old young father just weeks ago on September 25th due to breakthrough infection of Covid. Your father sounded much like mine with similar kind, sparkling blue eyes. Our loss is profound and what we can treasure is the memories and positive impact they had on our lives and others. Love lives on. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family as you grieve and love. Pam

  56. Thanks so much for sharing. You’re blog is so powerful. And, fun! I get the feeling your family might be the same. Best to you and yours.

  57. Sorry for your loss.

  58. Oh Tina

    I am in your father’s age group. Fingers crossed that my people and I may pass into the future with as much equanimity!

    Thank you (and your family) for being “Swiss Miss” and yourself.

    Theo