My Dad passed away a week ago yesterday. He went peacefully in his sleep, the way we all hope to go.
I can’t go much deeper than that at this time because I’m just beginning to sort through my emotions. Right now, I toggle between feeling relief that he never has to suffer again and disbelief that I will never speak to or see him again.
That thought alone is too big to handle.
I don’t know what to expect moving forward, but everyone tells me I’m in for a ride no one cares to take. His presence has shaped who I am as a person and I’m certain his absence will do the same.
I’m thankful I can say with certainty that I have zero regrets about our relationship. I loved him with my whole heart for my entire life and told him every chance I had. That last thing he said to me was, “I love you so much.” It would tear me apart to think we wasted our time together or had unfinished business.
Dad lived a full life and the universe was kind to him. I’m just really going to miss having him there to talk to, to hug and to learn from.
Until I can dive deeper into this new phase of my life, I’ll leave you with two things.
The opportunity to learn from his quiet example:
Have a sense of humor
Stand up for what’s right
Take the time to appreciate the beauty of the setting sun
Spend a few minutes each night with a good book in bed
And the obituary I wrote for him that gives you a surface-level glance at the kind of person he was:
John (Jack) Pfeifer was a life-long Milwaukee resident. He earned bachelor’s degrees in history and business administration, as well as a Master of Business Administration. Jack began his career with the county as a lifeguard, worked for 25 years at Briggs & Stratton, and ended it with the county at the airport.
Jack loved teaching himself how to sail his Hobie Cats, riding his bike on the Hank Aaron State Trail, reading Sue Grafton novels, driving his little red Miata to Gilles for Jimmie sundaes and starting new building projects. But he loved nothing more than to drive to the family’s cottage on Fox Lake, catch a sunset from the pier, build a bonfire, then pull an air mattress into the front room to sleep under the stars.
Jack is dearly loved and missed by his six kids and five siblings, all of whom share his kind nature, dry sense of humor, and adventurous, slightly rebellious spirit.
I love you, Dad.