Sunday, October 29, 2017


My father, George F. Sheehan, Sr., passed from this life on September 17, 2017.  He gently slipped away in his sleep, alone.  I don't really know about the "gently" or "alone" parts because I wasn't there.  He was in his little room at the Assisted Living place he's been in since April.  His aide, Val, had heard him talking in his sleep, as she did often.  When she went in to check on him, he was gone.

I had been working on a reunion for my Seminary, One Spirit, for the last year.  It came the same weekend in upstate New York.   I was woken up early that morning with a sweet voice that told me "Your Dad passed".  It was Val.  She later told me she sat with him for about two hours until my brother came to see Dad.  Then Doug stayed with him for another two hours until the doctor pronounced him.

It was surreal to me.  I prayed for his easy death; we all did. I saw how he suffered daily over the last five months. he made it to 95 plus 38 days!  It's been a tough month since and he is sorely missed by me and so many family and friends.

So, what now?  I think of him when I go to the grocery and see some tea or cookies he might like.  I smell his coats which will be donated to help the homeless this winter.  Each thank you note I write makes me grateful about all the people who showed up and still show up for us. But my heart is broken.  I feel like a huge part of it has been lopped off.  My father is no longer here to talk to about the World Series, about current events, about family drama, golf and friends.  I miss him when I think of old stories and want someone to affirm them.  I guess I'm the keeper of the stories now, along with my siblings.

I've been writing a monthly column for a local magazine for the last 14 years.  It's focus is on my reflections about growing up along the South Shore of Long island and the happenings of the past and present.  I would always write about my father--so many columns are written about him and focused on his influence in my life.  He would always say "Don't write about me until after I'm dead, Bob."  I'd laugh and keep writing about my favorite subject. I know the words will keep him alive in my heart and will let others know what kind of a guy he was.  So, Dad, now that I have your permission, there are so many more stories to come.  Life is Eternal and Love never dies.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Long time, no blog.  Been working on a book, a new website, journaling and trying to keep up with the weddings, funerals and blessings I've been asked to do.

This new year has been one of change.  An aging Father who is entering his last months of life.  His heart is like an old car engine.  It isn't performing as well as the chassis looks from the outside. If you see him, he's frail, smaller and can hardly hear a word.  But his beautiful bright blue eyes can flash with love at me and my heart melts. He's with a bunch of oldies in an assisted living place that is like the Taj Mahal!  It was the only place we could have him live comfortably. He has good, old friends who live there and tries to socialize as best he could.   I know he's waiting for August 3, 2017 when he'll turn 95.  He's told me that he can die on August 4th!

It's tough to say that this may be his last year.  I've known him for a long time!  We've gone through our ups and downs.  The last 23 years since Mom died, we have become closer and he depends on me more and more.  It doesn't matter what time of day or night, I can get his call and I'm there!  It's what I owe him.  He did a wonderful job giving me the guidelines for a full, fruitful, courageous life.  He taught me well how to give to others, how to extend yourself even though you don't always want to.  He was the leader of our gang and we did follow where he led, even though we didn't know it at the time. 

When Dad goes, I'll be sad.  I'll cry as I am doing now.  But I know--I KNOW--he doesn't want to be here in this physical body that is crumbling minute by minute.  He said to me recently:  "You live too long".  When that day comes, I won't agree with him.  I'll want to see those blue eyes flashing at me one more time, hear his voice say to me "Love you, baby". Love you, Dad.  Happy Father's Day!