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One Year Without Dad

Looking back on a beautiful end-of-life voyage with my dad, and thanking my Beauty Hunter community.

Dear Beautiful Friends,

A year ago today, at around 7:30 am, I was getting dressed after swimming, in the club locker room, talking to swim pals, when the phone rang. It was my mom, and I knew what was coming.

My dad passed away at the age of 97, after several years with dementia (a word I still can’t spell). In the last four years he’d also lost his eyesight (wear your sunglasses!) Today is a tribute to my amazing dad and human Boris Mishel (born Boris Bistritzky), and to my mom who endured eight years of watching the love of her life retreat from daily life in slow motion. Thanks to all of you Beauty Hunter readers who came along with me as I wrote about the surprising experience of finding beauty in the last few years of my dad’s life.

The first reaction upon hearing my dad was off on his next adventure: “Way to go Dad, you did it.” In the hospice pamphlet, it tells you that the act of dying takes effort and energy. So in some cases, we can consider death an accomplishment.

My Dad was such a profoundly beautiful and spectacular human: kind, nurturing, strong, intelligent, artistic, book-smart, wise, a linguist, opera singer, Boeing careerist, cook, athlete, funny, and in the end he was much-loved in his favorite role of all a devoted family man.

To celebrate, I’ve unlocked these posts about my dad and our time at the end of his life. And, my mom, Steve and I are going out for a fancy lunch, something my dad LOVED to do.

As we approach 2023’s finish line, a big burst of love to those of you who have lost a loved one or are in the process. The Beauty Hunter community is there for you; I’m there for you. Email me if you’d like to connect and talk anything out during this tricky time of year.

Here’s a menu of Dad posts:

The first piece includes a video of the last time I saw him.


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Beauty Hunter
Beauty Hunter
Conversations with friends about beauty & play in everyday life.