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Counting the Loss

Remembering loved ones lost and why it matters

My dad with my eldest daughter on one of their shared birthdays.

May 17. The day Dad passed away in 2012. He would have been 86 years old later that summer. Yes, he was ‘old’ but for those that loved him, we still miss him…

I think it’s why, during this Covid 19 crisis, we need to have a little more sympathy, if you will, for those who have lost loved ones. The majority of them were old, granted, but they were still important to those they loved and who loved them. They were people who lived and loved; accomplished things and made mistakes. Their lives mattered.

Dad was always a very active man, golfing, skating and even playing hockey until his eighties. He suffered a couple of minor heart attacks and strokes but didn’t let that keep him from his love of sports, or his love for family. He was an entrepreneur with exceptional sales skills, liked by most people that met him. Unfortunately, he made some hurtful mistakes along the way, too. I know what it feels like to suffer pain when your parents divorce… Some of those emotions run deep, even now, but I also have such a profound love for him, still, that I can’t help shedding a tear when I think about him. I am glad he gave his heart to Jesus in his latter years, and look forward to seeing him again one day.

These ‘anniversaries’ are markers in our lives that have lasting impact. My list includes my Mom, who died in 2007. She was vibrant, creative, artistic and sometimes ‘quirky’ and I owe so much of who I am to her, including my faith.

Both my husband’s parents also have passed on, my mother-in-law in 2004 after a battle with dementia, and my father-in-law who passed suddenly of a heart attack at age 66 back on New year’s Eve of 1993. Probably one of the most heart wrenching was my brother-in-law who died in a car crash at age 29 in 1983. My husband also lost another brother more recently to a heart attack when he died in 2014 at age 66, just like his father…

Like most people, the list could go on. I’ve mentioned my immediate family, but I’ve lost cousins, friends, and colleagues, as I’m sure most of us have. I don’t write about it here to make you feel sad, though. Instead, let’s celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost, never forgetting that just as their lives matter to us, so the lives of those around the world who have lost loved ones, be it to Covid 19 or by other means, matter to those they affected. They aren’t just ‘old people’. They were someone’s people.


  1. Jane Park says:

    Thank you for sharing, Tracy, and for posting the photo of “the 2 stones” that mark the memory of our precious dad and mom. Yes we miss them & will always love them.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Thank you guys for getting them placed.

  2. Sharon Espeseth says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful, loving and poignant story, Tracy.. Our loved ones matter to us and to the world. Each of them has held a place in the world. They loved. They worked. They suffered gains and losses

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Yes, this is the point, as you so well know. No one is discounted…

  3. Cynthia says:

    Love this tribute story Tracy😍

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Thanks Cynthia.

  4. Pam says:

    So true Tracy. They all belonged to someone and were important and loved.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Thanks for responding Pam. That picture of my parents’ graves is at Palmer, not far from you.

  5. Pat Gerbrandt says:

    So true, Tracy! Thanks for reminding us to be compassionate. I’ve been thinking of Naomi’s lonely grief. When Elimelech died in Moab, she still had her sons, but when they died, she had none of “her people” around to help her deal with grief. There are restrictions on our gatherings due to COVID-19, yet we can be thankful we still have ways of hearing and seeing those who care most about us.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      So true Pat! God bless.

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