3 lesson I learned after my dad died

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2019

My father passed away unexpectedly two years ago today. One is never prepared for a parent's passing.

My dad survived two heart attacks: one at age 47 and the other at age 71, followed by triple bypass surgery. My dad had such a will to live that I often thought he was immortal.

I think my dad knew when it was his time. It was as if he planned his final day of rest - three weeks after his 84th birthday and three months after his dream vacation, a family cruise to Alaska.

My dad awoke, sat at the edge of the bed and then fell backwards and died beside my mom who was sleeping.

The cause of death? Intracranial bleed. My dad hit his head on his night table a few days before he died. He minimized the severity of his accident; however, his Google search history prior to his death indicated that he had been researching concussions.

So why am I sharing this information with you? Here are 3 lessons that I learned from my dad:

1. Practice Self-Care

My dad was my mom's caregiver for over 10 years. He had a genuine interest in taking care of my mom's health needs, often times prioritized over his own. My dad admitted that he neither accepted nor managed his adult-onset Type 2 diabetes. Following our Alaskan cruise, his Type 2 diabetes evolved into Type 1 diabetes. Learning how to self-inject with insulin and use a glucometer at age 84 was no cakewalk!

Bottom line: Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. You can't help and support others if you don't take care of yourself first.

2. Prioritize Disease Prevention

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of chronic diseases are preventable. Many of the risk factors leading to illness and premature death are lifestyle-related and modifiable.

Lifestyle risk factors (smoking, diet, physical inactivity and work-related stress) were all associated with my dad's first heart attack. While he quit smoking and changed his diet, it wasn't until after my dad's second heart attack when he started a regular exercise program. Type 1 diabetes may have been prevented had my dad accepted and managed his diabetes by following a Type 2 diabetic diet meal plan. It starts by building a healthy balanced plateClick here  to grab this healthy eating tip sheet.

3. Practice Gratitude

Following my dad's first heart attack at age 47, his business went bankrupt, we lost our home and moved to the west coast. We lived frugally and learned to appreciate the simpler things in life: health, nature and the outdoors, social connections, and cherishing memories and experiences over money and material things.

My dad ignited my passion for wellness and gave me many gifts: his long life filled with love, resilience, courage to show his vulnerability, and comfort knowing his spirit is with me always.

Here's my gift to you: My updated healthy eating tip sheet "BUILD-A-PLATE. 6 STEPS TO ORGANIZING EACH MEAL." Click here to grab it. If you want to know how to build a balanced plate to keep you healthy and energized throughout the day, this gift is for you! I hope you enjoy and use it.

Be well,


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