Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who am I following Casey's death?

I have been struggling with my identity since Casey was killed . I am realizing that much of my concept of self- worth was based on being a father to an incredibly talented, gifted and generous young woman. I had always thought that part of my worth as a person and father was in the legacy I would create as a father through my children. Casey and Brett--I have incredible children. Very different but similar in their kindness and caring for others. After losing Casey am I less? Less certainly for not having her in my life and all the promise of the continuing relationship I would have had with her, with her and Di and her and Brett and all of us together. But also less for her not being here after I die. the number of different areas in which I have and can continue to contribute to the world beyond being a father to a child who has died. I think I now can do so much more effectively as a result of the course and focus on many other areas of my life in which I do and can add value to the lives of others. I am also able to look at the legacy my daughter has left, and continues to leave, in the wake of her death-scholarships, benefits, the activities of the Foundation created in her name and , most recently ,changes in pedestrian safety laws in New Jersey(you may have read about these last week). Similarly, I felt isolated at work because I went from being someone who was asked by his colleagues to help on their cases and solve difficult problems to one who was not consulted and left alone/ignored for fear of overloading me or adding to my burden. My colleagues, and a number of others, have been less adept at providing comfort than they could have and I have felt like a lost another piece of me after Casey died-my professional identity. I will also be better able to focus on what I need with respect to approval, and the belief that I am a critical cog in my firm’s success-I am able to look and see that while I am a good lawyer, the firm can get on without me in a number of areas and I have actually been able to have some additional non-lawyering time to pursue other activities that interest me, including counseling. Coincidentally, there will be an Op-ed piece in the Inquirer tomorrow, Monday, which I authored which discusses what has helped me in my grief process and what has not. It is very abbreviated and if you would like to see the full version let me know and I will be happy to send it to you.
I have heard so many times since Casey died that there are no coincidences. Perhaps that is why I did elect to take your course. Thank you very much.

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