After Dad Died...

June 28, 2004

Dear Kimball,

I was greatly saddened to hear about the loss of your dad on Sunday. I was in Rhode Island with my family for my cousin's wedding, and it came as a shock to all of us. My parents remarked that it looked like he had been doing a lot to help Adrian move, and I'm sure that he was excited to help get ready for Cameron's wedding. I've always admired how much your dad loves all of you, and how it always came through loud and clear how much you all mean to him.

I'm sorry that you are hurting right now and that there may not be a whole lot that I can say to make thing better. I wish it could have been less sudden and easier for you and everyone. I don't know all the details, but my understanding is that he did not suffer, and I know in my heart that he is with God now. I am confident that you will find solace in your own family and in the strong faith that you and your extended family share. I'm sure that you've felt a lot closer to your dad over the past few years, becoming a father yourself, and being better able to relate to his responsibilities and how badly he wanted all of you to be provided for and to have a good life. I feel very strongly that you and your brothers and sisters are a great tribute to how successful he was at handling those responsibilities.

I know that some dads often work so hard at the office that they neglect their families, but I always thought it was admirable that your dad managed to keep such a great balance: maintaining a great work ethic in his professional life and yet always giving so much of himself to his family. Having such a large family (compared to mine anyway), I have a great deal of respect for how much love there always was to go around. Everyone was always included, so much that there was always room for more, be it your family friend Karen, me, or even the family dog. It was a tribute to the example your mom and dad set for your family. You should feel very proud of that. Not everyone is so lucky to have such a great dad. He was truly a blessing, as you are to your family. The lessons that he has passed on to you, you will do the same to your family: good people making the circle of life go around.

I also always admired how your dad was always such a man of great faith. His belief in his faith was demonstrated in his day-to-day life. Standing by his family always, he found his purpose in life and lived it to its fullest. I hope someday that I can be as great a dad and husband as he was to your family. He always had good intentions and was always quick to forgive. He seemed to keep his life simple, enjoy the little things, and always was willing to go the extra mile for those he loved.

I hope that all the happy memories you shared with him may help you through this difficult time. I know they will make you miss him more at first, but those small examples of how important you all were to him have stuck with even me to this day. I remember how he was always excited to have a house full of people around during the holidays, how he was helping take the initiative with family projects around the house, how he didn't tear your head off when you called him and told him that you had sheared off the driver's side door of the K car wagon by backing it out of the garage with the door open. :)

I am sorry that you are hurting, and I will give you space to grieve. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and I will be praying that your period of mourning is no longer than it has to be.

Peace and nachos,

Mark Breaugh

Longtime Friend and Neighbor


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