by Ilana Shapiro Yahdav
Have you ever wondered how to measure a year? How Do you measure a year?
The lyrics to the theme song of the 1994 Broadway hit, Rent, keep going through my head:
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in life?
How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.
My thoughts are: how do you measure 8 years? How do you measure all the missed moments? The missed laughter? The missed tears?
It’s so hard to believe that today marks the 8-year anniversary of my father’s passing. Sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday. Sometimes it feels like another lifetime ago.
Sometimes, I can barely remember the sound of his voice. I can barely remember the sound of his very loud laugh. I can’t picture the way he used to raise one eyebrow and look at us quizzically if he didn’t quite agree with what he was hearing. It feels like another lifetime ago when we were going on one of our long wogs (walk/jogs) together and able to talk about everything - even boys.
Perhaps, I’m not looking at it in the right way.
As Stephen Dubner, author of Freakanomics attests, oftentimes, people are asking the wrong questions which lead them to the wrong answer.
Maybe, I’m not asking the right questions.
What if I did not try to measure the past 8 years by all the missed moments, but by living life to the fullest, and continuing his legacy? What if I tried to measure the past 8 years by all the joy and outpouring of love in his honor?
What if I just didn’t try to measure the time? As my father always said, ‘time is non-linear and he will always be with us’ regardless of how much time has passed.
So, is he actually missing these moments? Doesn’t he live on in the hearts of all those that knew him?
Doesn’t he live vibrantly in my heart?
We think about him every day. Sometimes we cry. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we laugh and cry. But, he’s always with us in our hearts, helping us move forward.
This year has by far been one of the best in a very, very long time. My older brother and sister-in-law gave birth to my beautiful baby nephew (named after my father), my little brother got engaged, and there were many more new beginnings, all around, for my family. And, the fund that I created in honor of my dad has surpassed the $80,000 funds raised and is making a positive difference in the lives of people in the developing world. Isn’t that a better way to measure a year?
We can cherish living life to the fullest and miss our loved ones. I miss my dad, each and every day AND am also so grateful for the life I have.
So today, through the tears, we will celebrate the memories - both old and new. We will eat lots of pizza (no counting calories!) and drink lots of Coca-Cola from a glass bottle. We will honor a life well-lived, despite ending too young.
How do you honor your loved one’s legacy? How does your loved one live on in your day-to-day or year-to-year?
Originally written by Ilana Yahdav on April 28, 2015
We all have many layers of loss and change - and not just from the pandemic. Click here for your Grief Awareness Worksheet.
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