The Not-So-Good Goodbye

candle

By Joe LaGuardia

Authors note: This is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Daphne Reiley and Joe LaGuardia for people who are receiving care from others.  We hope the book will be published in the next year or two.  It is posted on our current book’s blog, A Tapestry of Love.

This past autumn I lost my father to gun violence.  A disgruntled citizen of the township of Ross, Pennsylvania, entered a public town hall meeting and indiscriminately fired off nearly 30 rounds in the crowd.

I remember the night vividly.  I received a call a little after 9 PM from my sister who was beside herself.  She didn’t know details but only knew that Dad had been involved in a shooting.

Over the next several weeks, I spent time with family in New York and Pennsylvania grieving the loss.  My father lived a wonderful life, and he didn’t have any regrets.  He was the life of the party and loved his Lord and his church; we grieved as Christians do: with hope and peace that all who call Christ Lord share in the promise of eternal life.

Yet, I am still bothered to this day that I never got to say “Goodbye” to my father.  As a pastor, I have sat with numerous individuals at their bedside and with families of loved ones whose hours on this earth were coming to a close.  I tell them that its important in those final minutes of life to say “Goodbye” and to confront any unresolved issues…Click here to read more.

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