1 Month Ago Today … everything changed

1 month ago, today @ 1pm – my brother called me …

Robin: “Hi Kyle, how’s it going”?

Me: “good Robin, what’s up”?

Robin: “dad has passed away” …

(Our conversation continued, but you get the point … not easy to take …)

A couple week later a friend from Florida asked me “what happened”; here’s my reply …

My dad fought cancer for over 2 years. Cancer of the esophagus. As the months closed, so did his throat & his ability to take on food. The last weeks were painful. At one point he said to me “every moment bleeds into the next” … he never said it explicitly, but I could tell it was hell. Very much.

He used to be 240 lbs; died at around 150 (at best). I said good bye to his physical body, the day after he passed. First with my mom & brother as a family. Then one last trek in to say goodbye to my father. The hardest moment of my entire life to this point. As I once again feel the agony of the experience – I close in saying, thank you for your friendship & sharing in this opportunity we call life.


In the last 30 days, here are some things that are real for me …

1) It’s said “when the WHY is strong enough the HOW will show itself”. The passion inside to really “go for it” in life – the WHY, is stronger then ever for me. As Dr David Wolf tells, living with a sense of “urgency”, is the idea that “every moment counts”. David lost his mother in early February, making the theme of urgency relevant for him as well.

2) People are inherently well intentioned, even through layers of advice, like “stay strong” and “he’s in a better place now”. Tip: 80% of people have some type of advice around death – on the whole, as survivor it’s quite relentless … 5-10 ppl/day with advice is difficult to deal with. Please consider the power of this “The First Duty of Love is to Listen”.

* Note: the tone in the linked blog post, is considerably stronger then the message here. Different circumstance. So it’s clear I am grateful for all the support. Also I’m aware, death isn’t an easy thing to handle, regardless of proximity. Goal here is to be honest & shed “light” on the experience & topic … maybe to help others in the future.

3) Further to that, having great friendships really showed its worth – thank you to these countless people!

Enjoy your day & the moment,


PS – the message isn’t necessarily “don’t give advice” … more so to consider reducing “it” especially around times of extreme hardship.


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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kyle

    Thank you for sharing your story. It puts things in perspective for me. I appreciate your honesty.

    • You’re welcome Kim. When the time is right, I’d love to hear more about what you’re getting at. Until then, take care 🙂

  2. Wow, it cannot be easy going through a time like this. I am not going to offer you advice like stay strong, as I know how hard it is when people say things like that when you a going through such a rough time. All I would like to do is offer you my condolences in the loss of your father, as I know how difficult a time it is!
    Regards, Laura

    • Thank you Laura 🙂
      I get that you can really relate …

  3. Hello Kyle.
    So sorry to hear of your dad passing and in such a painfull way. I hope you had a real celebration of his life and will look back on great memories and the legacy of you he helped create.

    • Thank you Bruce. Absolutely, many incredible memories. Not sure if you’re familiar with this song, but it takes me to the memories you speak of, in a heartbeat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrTidoW2Erc
      Appreciate your words,

  4. Thanks for sharing Kyle. I’ve never lost anyone close to me, but this certainly gives me a new perspective… especially when it comes to the part about giving advice. I really like your quote… “The First Duty of Love is to Listen.”

  5. Hey Kyle, I lost my mom last summer to a brutal cancer. I my heart is with you.

  6. Hey Kyle,
    It’s good to hear your thoughts. If you have a few minutes and would like to read on, I would like to share my thoughts to you. I could write much more but this is enough. I dont want to torture you. haha

    This morning I had breakfast with a wonderful friend of mine who I love dearly. And during this blessed joining of two souls, she revealed to me quite plainly that her dad just found out he has cancer as well. She continued on with the events of that past several days explaining of being at the hospital for hours and hours trying to get some direction but by the end of it all, the nurse indicated that the only course of action was to take him home and think about quality of life. she went over common “treatments” and why they were not options

    Her mom died many years ago which devastated the family so it’s only her 2 sisters and her dad. Soon just 2 sisters. Soon after just one sister will remain due to her oldest diagnosed with a type of cancer that is very slow and painful – as if they all werent slow and painful. I had a stressful couple of weeks with business and got some things off my chest before she revealed this new information in her life. I contemplated on what were the best things to say but to no avail. Pity is the worst. People despise being pitied so that was never released. After many thoughts I came to believe that she really just wanted someone to listen to her heart and be supportive. I finally told her that if she ever needed anything she knows who to call.

    Time passed thoughout the day until I met up with my business partner still trying to overcome the current business troubles, when all he seemed to do was listen to my heart and support me during a point of – perhaps my own psychological cancers. We talked about how to yield and overcome. We talked about many things. Eventually as we parted company in the parking lot, I left with a Regenesis of hope and perseverance. Thank you Derek.

    This evening while at a concert at the Winspear, I met someone who seemed to know me in a way perhaps only Zoe can explain – how one stranger knows another through the universal highways. we spoke a few minutes about the concert and when asked what I do, she interrupted with the words, I’m sorry but I only have a few minutes and what I have to say is important.
    “this is my last time here (on earth). Your words are extremely important. You have the power to influence and inspire thousands of people. That’s why there were so few of us chosen. I see in you a spirit radiating high energy; so that when you speak with your heart, people listen and something inside connects with the inner lessons that they hear, along with the lessons they don’t hear but feel around them. It is very important that you choose your words carefully becuase so many are watching you. They feel your spirit as a teachers, leading them to higher knowledge.”
    It was very surreal and yet I understood. Most of my life I have felt on the outside, different… and basically like I was never meant for this world. But something inside always kept nugging me that there was a purpose for me.
    Anyways, perhaps it was timing for me to listen and support my friend, just as it was a few hours later for my partner to do the same for me. As it may be now for you to share your thoughts with us, and so it is my turn to share my thoughts with you.

    Stories sometimes teach. And I hope I have taught you something about what I see in you, just as someone saw in me. Take care Kyle. I hope these words find meaning in your heart.

    With Love my Friend…

  7. Thanks for the post Kyle. Really appreciate the articles that you linked to as well. Has been quite the journey…


  8. Hey brother,

    Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed the part about how 80% of people give advice around death. I look at my own life through these goggles and notice I have the tendency to do that as well… I wonder why “we” do that?

    Deep down every man/woman is well intentioned and think it may be because we want to help the other with the pain. For me I know the best advice I’ve ever received around a death was in the other person’s reaction to me telling them the situation. Their reaction would teach me volumes because I wasn’t getting advice, I was learning about their relationship to death, and that gave me a new tool to put in my arsenal.

    Sometimes we’re so awkward 😉

    Hoping you have quite an arsenal by now,
    With love,

    • Fascinating perspective Samuel. I do believe everyone is well intentioned too. With the 80% thing, it’s not so much that people give advice … more the volume of advice that one gets in such a short period. At the same time I acknowledge the realities. It’s *not* an easy time for anyone. A lot of emotions are involved.

      The arsenal of understanding & experiences is growing. Indeed it is.

  9. I unfortunately only heard of your dad’s passing a few minutes ago Kyle and first of all want to pass my condolences to you and your family. You dad is a great man, and always treated me with respect and above all friendliness.

    I read your blog, can totally relate, and want to congratulate you on being such an upstanding young man who your dad was no doubt very proud of. Take care.


    • Thanks Coach – I appreciate your words very much, they were very touching.

  10. […] large part of my “why” is fueled by the loss of my father, in addition to a deepening appreciation for life. It’s through this experience, I know life […]

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