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Monday, December 11, 2023

Art Talk — The art of letting go


In this crazy mixed up world when life is constantly throwing curve balls, it is sometimes difficult to make the right decisions. Do you stay or do you go? Do you love it or list it? Do you trust your instincts or look to a higher power for guidance?

Last December, I was involved in a particularly unpleasant break up and ended up staying with my dad in his retirement community until I found a place to settle. During that time, I got reacquainted with him as we shared laughter and tears, memories and ideals.

PaPa was always my rock: he supported me in adventure, held me in pain and once again provided a safe haven during my time of transition. I moved out 6 weeks later, but continued to visit him daily, watching as the weight of his 90 years began to wear heavily on his body and soul. His health deteriorated rapidly and within a matter of days, he quit eating and slept restlessly throughout the day. I pored over literature in search of explanations and comfort, and all the sources I found concurred: patients will hang on until they feel confident about the well-being of those they leave behind.

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I suddenly remembered a conversation I had with my dad where he confessed that he was worried about me. I knew then that I needed to be the strong one and give him the reassurance he needed. I leaned over and whispered in his ear, “I am brave and will be fine. You taught me how to survive.”

I kissed him good-bye and told him I loved him, departing with the realization that I had given him the permission he was waiting for. The next day, my dad, Eugene Venezia, passed away quietly in his sleep.

We had both made a decision to let go and in that moment the world I had known changed forever. And, even though I will never stop missing him, I know he is in a better place. My job now is to use the strength PaPa gave me and accept the reality that that place is no longer here near me.

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Debbie Venezia
Debbie Veneziahttp://www.artsdupage.org
Debbie Venezia is the Director of Arts DuPage, a DuPage Foundation initiative. Contact her at debbie@dupagefoundation.org or visit www.artsdupage.org.


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