Me and My Shadow

Written by Donna Star

March 15, 2022

It is beautiful in Boston today, and for the first time in months, I went outside to my favorite spot and walked for an hour. I could have called a friend and spent this time catching up, but I wanted to spend time with myself. It felt normal, and I haven’t felt this way in 2022.

If you haven’t followed me in a while, I lost my dad two weeks ago. We knew his health was declining, but we found out he did not have long to live in early January. My brothers and I went into type A overdrive, covering all of his needs and care and support 24/7. Each of us with very distinct roles. It was the most intense time I can remember in my adult life because we wanted to enjoy the time we had left while it was still possible. And we didn’t know how long possible would last.

Massages – check; Visiting his childhood summer home – check; IV drip to increase hydration – check; dinners out – check; brunches when dinners were no longer viable – check. People and relatives coming in when going out was no longer an option – check check.

We have the most beautiful, loving, imperfect family who gave everything to my dad because he deserved that and more. Now, it is time for us to try and figure out a way to return to the land of the living without guilt, without regret, and without him.

It will be so hard since we have had my 90-year-old dad in our corner for a very long time. That is why today, I took the time to return to myself. Just me and my shadow trying to figure out how to take one step at a time, one day at a time.

Usually, my posts tie into some aspect of your life. Today, though, I wrote for myself. Today, I wrote to ensure that I remember that however I feel, it is ok. That life takes twists and turns. That grief has no adequate words. That the cost of love has an unquantifiable entrance fee. But that the cost of not having this love in your life is infinitely higher.

If you feel so inclined, please donate to the American Cancer Society. My dad’s name is Abba Appelstein.

I appreciate your support over the last several months.


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