Death is a part of Life

Two-thousand eighteen was already looking to be one of the most memorable years of my life with the upcoming birth of my son in June, and in addition the universe conspired to add tragedy to this year ensuring that 2018 will forever be tattooed onto my heart. On February 7th at 3:49pm EST my father, Bob Kukan, passed away in a Pittsburgh hospital surrounded by his children and siblings. No one saw this coming, and it was only a little more than a month ago that we all got together along with his closest friends to celebrate his 70th birthday.

This is one event in my life that I could never have prepared for. Similarly to becoming a parent (so I hear), the feelings associated with losing a parent are only understood once you experience it, and now that I’ve experienced the latter I’m even more curious to experience the former.

You can listen to other people’s stories and read up on grieving the loss of a parent, but until you’ve gone through it, it’s all a mental exercise. The emotional and physical pains that were present for me were overwhelming at times and still tend to come and go, and from what I hear they will continue to come and go for a long time.

Through this loss however, I see a silver lining. I am reminded of the fragility of this precious human life that we have and the finite quality of it.

The truth is that we are all going to die one day, and we must not turn away from that truth. Many of us fear it and never want to talk or think about it which prevents us from ever truly accepting and embracing it. By doing so we may be holding ourselves back from saying the things we want to say and doing the things we want to do with the expectation that we will live another day and get to do those things sometime in the future. Without exploring and accepting this truth how can we ever truly live our life to its fullest potential?

Read More