Grieving a Deep Loss

My father became ill in May and complications with his health continued to worsen as the weeks went by. For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been at my family’s home to help my mom care for him. He was in and out of the hospital. At one point, he was in ICU and required emergency dialysis treatment. Within the span of a few weeks, the liver cancer was no longer treatable and hospice was called to the scene. My father passed away at home on June 30th just before 6am.

Below is the eulogy I shared at his vigil this past weekend:

My dad was from a different era. Typical of that day and age, he took on the ‘man of the house’ type of role. He supported his family well; the best he could in the ways he knew. He always made sure we were cared for, fed, clothed and healthy. He was loving and taught me responsibility and reasoning, as he did all us kids. He shared his love of camping with us and showed me as much car maintenance as I could handle. He taught us quite a lot and did so much for us as we grew through the years.

He took this role as father seriously, so much so, that he sacrificed quite a bit. One of the things that really made an impact on me was the fact that he gave up his hobby of motorcycle riding when I was a little girl. My dad loved to ride a motorcycle for most of his youth. When my brothers and I were quite young, he got into an accident and that is all it took… he chose to sell his motorcycle and never ride again. Not only did such an accident scare him, as it would anyone, but he knew he could no longer take the risk with a family that he loved.

Here are some of my memories of my dad:

He had a sense of humor and was funny. He enjoyed his time with us. When I was learning to read, I remember sitting on his lap reading aloud for him with one of his magazines. I got stuck on the word determined. I sounded it out as “determined” … and he had quite a laugh at my innocent attempt to sound out a big word… so I, too, laughed… and we giggled for quite some time. He helped me to learn the meaning of that word and how to pronounce it correctly. As I look back at that sweet, loving memory now, it seems serendipitous – the word determined has become so applicable in my life. And truly, all of my family’s lives.

An unspoken passion of his was music. He whistled or sang to all those 50s and 60s songs as he did his worked around the house caring for the home my parents so lovingly created for us.  I remember laying on his belly after dinner as he watched a skit show called Shanannana. He’d sing along as we laughed at the skits.

What I believe is that we come into this physical form to learn certain things that our spirit has set out to experience in this life time. And I believe that we have soul connections with others who are here with us on this journey… to exchange and grow in certain ways that we agree upon before we take on this life. Everyone we meet or interact with, whether the woman at the check-out counter or our best friend or our parent, offers something we can grow from. As with each of you, my father had something to teach me, and I him, in more ways than I can even comprehend as I write this.

What I have learned about him now that I’m all grown up is that my father was a sensitive soul with a big heart. I see now that as a stoic Italian man, he had to guard his sensitivity … so he portrayed a strong demeanor. But he is a gentle teddy bear under that armor and there were many moments when that heart of his shined through. I’m deeply grateful he was my father ….and so very fortunate to have had this precious last month by his side as we all came together to help him through this last stage of life. It was a time I will always cherish.

Thank you, Mom and Paul and John for being my family.

Thank you, Dad, for all that you were in my life. As you rejoin with your beloved son Anthony in the afterlife, I know that you are with us and always will be. I will miss your presence in my life.

Obituary:

http://www.conejomountain.com/tributes/Tom-BartiromoJr

Tom Bartiromo’s family describes him as: a loving husband to his wife Linda, and father to his four children, John, Gina, Anthony and Paul and brother to his sister, Sandy. He is now reunited with his deceased son, Anthony, who departed this world very suddenly in 2005 which was a very painful experience for the entire family and all of Anthony’s loved ones. Tom is also reunited with his beloved parents, Christine and Thomas and his Uncle Joe and Aunt Julie.

Tom was an excellent provider. He enjoyed yearly camping trips with his family and enjoyed visiting national parks to learn about the beauty and amazing history this world offers. He enjoyed boating and fishing. He liked target shooting and working in the garden with his family. He had a passion for music and joyfully sang along to the music of the 50s and 60s while he worked around the house. He also taught his 3 sons and his daughter quite a bit about life, including how to work on their cars and so much more. And being a true Italian man, Tom dearly loved Italian family dinners!

 

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28 responses to “Grieving a Deep Loss

  1. Well done tribute Gina… So glad you could be there for your Dad. Your remembrances are so heart felt. Continuing prayers for you, your mother, and all your family…

    Blessings!!!

    Namaste,

    Tom

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  2. Gina, such a beautiful tribute to your father. As always, you have a gift for expressing what is in your heart…It’s so wonderful that you had the chance to BE with your dad those past weeks. Love you..

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  3. Dear GinaSorry to hear of your loss, he sounds like a great man and a sweet father.I know you will take your time to feel all you need to feel about this transition. In my experience, grieving a parent is a time of many deep openings.Hope you are well!LoveTansy

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  4. Beautiful tribute for your Dad Gina, I’m very sorry for your loss. I can easily see that your father had a successful life with many lessons learned and given, and what a blessing to be surrounded by the love of his family at the end. You and your whole family are in my thoughts as you move though this difficult time. Positive thoughts and energy your way. And many Blessings to all of you….

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  5. I am very sorry for your loss Gina.  It’s heart-breaking.  Please give my condolences to your family. Big, big hug, Krystyna

    From: The Unfolding Self To: krystyna.nitschke@sbcglobal.net Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 12:39 AM Subject: [New post] Grieving a Deep Loss #yiv7951940431 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7951940431 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7951940431 a.yiv7951940431primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7951940431 a.yiv7951940431primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7951940431 a.yiv7951940431primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7951940431 a.yiv7951940431primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7951940431 WordPress.com | Gina Bartiromo posted: “My father became ill in May and complications with his health continued to worsen as the weeks went by. For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been at my family’s home to help my mom care for him. He was in and out of the hospital. At one point, he was in ICU and” | |

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  6. Clearly he was a blessing to your family. The precious memories of his beautiful life will bring comfort.

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  7. Hi Gina, it’s Jami from yoga at the Y. I’m so sorry about the loss of your father. Your eulogy was incredibly touching — I loved the part about you and your dad watching Sha na na! We’re all missing you at the Y! I’m glad to hear you’ll be returning soon. Sending love and positive energy to you and your family!

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  8. So sorry for your loss, Gina. You have some wonderful memories of your father. Keep them close. Thinking of you and looking forward to seeing you soon. We all miss you.

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  9. BELOVED Gina,
    Thank you for sharing this priceless heart to heart tribute to you Dad. Captured Graced moment’s, you express so beautifully. Namaste Hugs!!
    Deepest condolences to you, your Mom, brothers and family!! Blessings of Love All Ways

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  10. Dear Gina – I am your Dad’s cousin Elvira from New Jersey. Just want to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your Dad. What a beautiful tribute expressed so beautifully to your Dad. You have so many great memories to cherish. I wish you and your family peace during this difficult time knowing that he is free of pain and suffering. My love to all. Love, Elvira

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