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Unexpected

never thought the word I would use to describe your death would be 

"unexpected"

because you know

part of me has been expecting this loss for 22 years

(more than half my life)


from the day mom said "dad has cancer"

that August Thursday

every moment has been a bit of borrowed time

you beat the odds

more than once

you suffered through so many failures of your own body

and the treatment that harmed as well as healed.

voice forever changed

life purpose shifting

hearing constantly fading

from feeding tubes to PICC lines

radiation and TPN

24 hour antibiotic IVs in a fanny pack

hyperbariac chamber sessions

the transplant that gave you more time

so much more time...


a body, a life changed by the trials it survived

the workholic turned devoted papa

the actor, singer, speaker turned gardener, builder, scholar


you questioned your purpose

and wrestled with survivors guilt

you wanted to return to work

and grieved the limitations of a body and mind changed


a body and mind that radiated love

fed our souls and our bodies

repaired and improved our homes

healed the earth one native plant,

one butterfly garden, one rain barrel at a time


22 years of anticipatory grief did not prepare me for this loss

for your absence in this world

or the hole in my heart

I am grateful for all the borrowed time

for every important life moment

and good night hug

still I wish there had been more

each future moment of celebration will come with a dose of sorrow,

your absence grieved


as you find rest from your laboring

may we continue the work of loving,

growing and tending,

building and repairing

that you began.



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