Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Latching on and Letting Go

"Latching on" evokes in me memories of having a baby at the breast, an experience that fathers will never be able to experience. "Letting go" happens much later, sometime after your child's 18th birthday.

I thought of these two phrases today while deadheading the yellow rose bush in front of Tim Shannon's tidy house in San Jose. Tim, my son's high school drama teacher, dropped dead last Tuesday, at home, at the young age of 49.

At certain points in our lives, we all latch on to something or someone. I latched on to Tim after my son was killed in an accident in his senior year in high school. I latched on to Tim and his high school drama students and never let go. Tim, and his high school drama students, were instrumental in helping me to cope with my son's untimely death.

We all have to let go of something or someone in our lives, whether it be letting our aged parents move on to the next life, or dealing with our children leaving the nest for the last time. I had to let go of my corporate accounting image after I lost my job as a Accounting Manager over a year ago; it took months before I was able to accept this change, and I went through a significant depression in the process. But, I have had a chance to heal, and have come out of the experience a better person.

So, now I have to let go of someone, my good friend, Tim Shannon, who listened to me and listened to me and listened to me when I was grieving the loss of my son. My good friend, Tim, who gave me gentle advice after I lost my job and became depressed. I am not quite ready to let go of Tim, this wonderful man who was mentor/role model/father figure and friend to so many young people who rolled through his classes at Fremont High School. But, I'm working on it.

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