A Letter to My Dad (Franco DeNicola) on the First Father's Day Without Him
Two words into writing this piece and the tears are already streaming down my face.
Today, June 19th, 2022, is Father's Day, and while I know you were never one to care much for any publicly celebrated holiday, it still feels weird to not be able to call you and/ or see you to tell you just how much I love you.
Tomorrow, June 20th, 2022 will be 8 months since you've left your physical form. It will also mark just over 8 months since I last got to see and speak to you while you bravely and calmly defied the physical odds to keep yourself on this planet for far longer than anyone in your condition typically would.
My mind still doesn't know why you had to go. Why someone with so much to offer this world and with such a strong passion to make this world a better place would leave so soon. It's only when I quiet my mind -as you would so often help me to do -that I can see and feel why it makes so much sense. Your mission hasn't changed. You're just continuing it from a different state of being. One without the seemingly endless physical pain that no amount of hugs or talks (no matter how badly I and so many others want them) is worth asking you to continue to endure.
Dad, you profoundly touched the lives of so many people it's incredible. Your perspective (at the mind level) certainly wasn't for everyone, but man oh man could it dramatically assist those who were ready for it. Even to this day I still have people adding me on social media for the primary purpose of sharing with me just how much they miss you and how big of an impact you had on their lives. Whether it was helping to pull them through their darkest hour, shifting their perspective on a situation that had been plaguing them for years, or being the voice that finally made them feel like they were not alone, you helped so so many.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been one of those people, with the added bonus of also being able to call you my dad. Yes, you were certainly far from conventional, but what you "lacked" in terms of being there to watch my baseball games, you more than made up for in being the best resource imaginable when it came to attaining guidance and virtually all hardship in life.
You taught me so much. And that's why I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you and everyone else that takes the time to read this, some of the greatest lessons you taught me/ helped me to realize:
1. Everything Truly Does Happen For A Reason
It likely doesn't seem or feel like it, especially when the "wounds" of the trauma are still fresh, but everything always has a purpose that we at the highest level agreed to. It's up to us whether we choose to use this challenge as an opportunity to transcend and grow, or if we're going to overreact, play victim, and get locked up in an unhealthy state of being. Should we choose one of the latter option, chances are that we are ultimately going to invite the Universe to serve a similar challenge to us again in a different package.
2. We Are All One
We may all seem and look very different from one another, especially in a world currently fixated on dividing us by emphasizing our differences, but deep down we are all one. Therefore, we collectively are going to decide how things play out on this planet, and it's only in acknowledging our inherent oneness (your favourite word) that we will come up with solutions that take us all into consideration and truly make this world a better place.
3. Your Past Only Weighs You Down For As Long As You Let It
We all go through hardship in life, some of us in far more traumatic ways than others. But no matter the frequency or degree of hardship we are faced with, we are fully in control of how long we choose to let these past experiences hold us back. Some may see this as disrespectful in circumstances of severe trauma, but this insight isn't meant to disrespect the magnitude of the situation. It's instead meant to assist those dealing with the hardship to gather as much strength and understanding from the situation to move forward as best as possible, rather than choose to give the circumstances so much weight that it shadows over the rest of their life.
4. Stop Giving So Much Power To What Other People Think
I know that you know this is an ongoing challenge for me, which is surprising given that I had you as a father. Most people who had the pleasure of knowing you, knew that you never quite fit in. No matter where you went or what you said, it always ruffled someone's feathers. While most would cower in the face of criticism, you instead held steadfast to who you were and what you had to share, and in doing that allowed yourself to be yourself from a place of love rather than let your life be dictated by the reactions of others.
5. We Are Our Own Greatest Guru
While I'm sure that many people reading this would be quick to list you as one of their gurus in life, the truth is the only way you are their guru is if they are referring to the inherent oneness they share with you and everyone else in this world. Yes, you were and through your ongoing content you continue to be a wonderful resource to so many, but your intention was never to create a dependency on you, just as we should all never create a dependency on anyone or anything. Deep down we all have access to everything we need, and in one way we can choose to see your passing as a vote of confidence from you on our preparedness to take things over from here.
So Dad, how was that? Not too bad for the son that spent a bit too much time playing sports, watching sports and chasing girls, right? Man oh man do I miss you, and I know that I'm not alone in feeling that way.
To both further honour you and to serve as an additional resource for those presently struggling with grief in their own lives, I've recorded a guided meditation that utilizes a number of the techniques you taught me.
Dad, thank you for being my father. Thank you for helping me through my darkest times. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always knowing the answer when I was lost. Thank you for believing in me. And thank you for continuing to live on in the hearts and actions of so many people in this world.
I love you forever, Marky Sparky