On Monday, May 15th my dad Curtis Lee took his last breath in my mom’s arms with my brother Gregg and me by his side. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in March, received one immunotherapy treatment in April which unfortunately had some serious side effects, and he spent the last week and a half of his life at home in hospice. While he struggled a great deal during this final phase (going in and out of the hospital), we were so grateful that, in the end, he went peacefully and that we shared such a beautiful and profound moment that brought our family closer together.
My dad was a fighter having already endured a brain injury from a major fall in 2013, open heart surgery in 2015, and then the cancer diagnosis this year. He was 80 years old and lived a full life.
Despite being a man of few words, my dad was a devoted father and probably best expressed his love through his delicious cooking and baking (he became a professional chef after 30 years of being an engineer). His courage to follow his passions helped to inspire me to take the leap from my corporate career to pursue my own dreams of living a more creative and authentic life.
I’m so grateful that during his final days he and I developed a deeper understanding and connection that helped to make his remaining time more comfortable and meaningful. Those were some of the most touching moments of our relationship and I will treasure them always. Even in his passing he’ll continue to teach me about compassion and how important it is to listen deeply and create space for and give voice to the unspoken. He is missed dearly.