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“What’s Happened to the Man Called Sundance?” – In the Eye of the Hurricane

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

After six-months of sailing on the toughest seas of my entire life, I find myself suddenly in the eye of the hurricane…the winds have momentarily stilled and I have a silent moment to contemplate a few thoughts and talk with you today.

My dad has passed away. There has been much ongoing drama along with the other hardships that we’ve had to contend with since he turned ill at the start of the year and as his journey ended this past Wednesday evening. Many of you are familiar with the story and for the new folks, it will take another post or two to get my thoughts out.

The last 2 weeks were extremely difficult on many levels…I don’t have the strength or energy right now to even be able to put in into words on such short notice. It was difficult to watch and witness and many emotions came to the surface during all of this part of both mine and dad’s journey.

The sicko adopted daughter has done some very un-christian like things…and like Phil alluded to months ago, she is the “Preying” type and not the “Praying” type.

What’s been lost through all of this is me. There have been lies, deceit, and manipulation through all of this – and I found myself once again staring at the ‘darker side’ of human nature.

And you know that I know where that side is, because I’ve written about it. But, it’s also why I try and espouse to write about the more ethereal and nobler virtues of our nature….’cause that’s where I like to be…and where I want all of us to be.

But, I can live on the dark side – and more importantly, I can fight from there…..I just don’t want to when I don’t have to.

And all of a sudden, my voice just went away…no more inspiration, no more signing, no more writing, no more nothing…just like I had been killed or something. The insides just went dead on me and I could not write a word…I could not muster a thought…and I could not ‘fake’ it….all of you know how I write and I know you’d know the difference.

I could to a point very quickly with all of this mess, that I just could not take on any more water or the ship was going down – with me and Kim in it. And dad’s life has consumed our every waking and sleeping moment and I just could not physically be here the way that I wanted to.

After living with my cancer for eight years and hundreds of cancer cases here for three of those years, my own life got so crazy to the point where I just could not handle anymore…I am just a man after all.

I’ve had a big fight – and still a big one to fight. Right now, I’m just concentrating on getting through the next few days. I’ve got the visitation and funeral dates set and the majority of the arrangements made.

We’ve got a couple of loose ends and meetings to tie up, but I’ve got everything planned. And I’m doing everything the ‘right way’ as I told you all a few months ago…I’m going to be able to live with this…and maybe if I can get my head clear, I can write about a lot of things. I so much would like to discuss a great deal - about a good many topics.

What has stunned me was how this just killed my ability to speak through my writing…as much as I’ve tried to give here over the years I’ve served, it went away so quickly.

And truth be told, I was afraid that I would never be able to write again…for in order for me to write, I have to feel, or I can never convey my message. And I was dead on the inside, which manifested itself on the outside.

I became hard again, because I had to…I built back up the fortress walls…isolated my thoughts and feelings because through all of this betrayal, it destroyed my TRUST in my fellow man…so many turned on us and this ‘sicko sister’ turned an entire church congregation against us and slandered my name from one hospital ward to the other….all the way through hospice. A case worker finally heard her….well, that’s another long story.

I found out what a joke the federal HIPPA law really is - and how easy it is to manipulate it.

I felt like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars – being ‘lured’ back to the dark side, but wanting to remain a Jedi and the forces of good.

And yet, I changed back…I had to …I could no longer trust anyone…and I was in the battle of my life…and I had to get stone cold and hard as a rock again on the inside – in order for me to be strong and battle ready.

I do know how to fight – and fight all kinds of fights – all different kind of ways. I'm quite good at it, too.

I just could not allow myself to be vulnerable…just no time for it when you’re in a firefight.

But, I got this opportunity to talk since Kim went to look for a pair of shoes for the funeral…and I found myself in a quiet moment….in the eye of the hurricane…..as the first wave of winds have passed through us….I’m in a brief catch my breath period – as we await the backside of the wall of the hurricane to slam into our backside once more.

Sundance is ready for anything…

I laid down a minute just to res, finally getting a small slice for myself – and I felt the rumblings of emotions gurgling in my soul – like the sounds of a brook echoing in your head…I suddenly felt compelled to talk to you while I had a rare moment.

Maybe, I’m not completely dead after all…maybe this post is a sign that I will one day be back to what I was – probably an improved version I hope. I liken myself to the analogy I’ve used – where our personal growth is similar to the pruning of a branch.

The cut runs deep, but the process stimulates nature healing method to repair that cut and from that cut, a new limb or leaf blossoms from that cut. Life to me is all about that. That’s where our Personal Growth continues to come from – where it will always come from.

What I’ve learned, is that when we’re in the midst of the cut process, we don’t have the capacity to see through the pain to see how far we are going to come through all of this…you simply can’t see the forest because of all the trees.

So then, our personal growth then stems when we can walk away from that traumatic event – gather our senses and clear our heads – and then reflect back on what happened – where we are – how far we came – how much we overcame – how we thought we’d never do it – and then just by doing – we found we could do it – and then by doing so – we found empowerment – and through empowerment – we found that most precious gift – we found ourselves.

Uh, oh, Sundance ‘is’ trying to roll again - he's trying to dial back in, LOL!

Can still smile too, LOL!

I’ve got so many new topics I want to talk about this year – of all kinds – I had lined up almost a year’s worth of material for you – before the bottom dropped out, that is. I hope to get back to it – one post at a time…when some of this begins to settle down.
Visitation tomorrow and funeral Tuesday, so the next days will be particularly tough in ways that I cannot anticipate now.

A special thanks to all of those folks who have contacted me via PM to check in on me – you all know who you are:)

I’ve tried to give so much to this board during my years here…and unfailing even through all of this trauma, I’ve still responded to PMs from folks who have not known what was personally going on with me, but needed cancer help.

And I can never turn away my friends, even in my most dire time of need….and so I did my best to help them. Now, this is not a ‘pat on the back’ type of thing or anything. It’s just simply that I cannot ‘not’ help someone when they are crying out.

“Why?”

Because, if people are reaching out to me – then that is the ultimate compliment. To me, it means that they are entrusting themselves to me and respect me enough to want to solicit my opinion.

And that ladies and gentlemen…is what this life is all about right there.

I’ve wanted to talk, but things got to where I could not…and to some degree, I may still have to wait some….lots of stuff in play.

But, I found myself at a time in my life where I needed support…but found myself unable to ask for it from anyone…I can give, but I have a hard time asking for anything…I just feel as it’s always such a burden…and that as the Lion, I should be strong enough to handle any situation.

It’s a character flaw of mine – one of many…I am all f’d up…but then again, that’s “yesterday’s news” – especially to those, who have come to know me so well.

But, sincerely, thank you all that have gone out of your way to stay in contact and be with me…that is an important life-line to me. I can’t thank you nearly enough.

Stay tuned to the Sundance Channel
“Story Matters Here”

-Craig

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I've always been one to share my heart with everyone on this site. Since I'm trying to start the enormous healing process, I thought I would share this link with you. I don't know how to create hyper links - but just copy and paste this address into your browser if you would like to view it.

http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=TJ-Harrison&lc=2348&pid=157885732&mid=5125334&locale=en-US

You can click on the Play Video and it is a little montage of photos I found that they put together for me. Pictures of my dad holding a cat when he was a small boy - other pics of him - and pics of me and my sister together:) As well as those of herself.

There is also a guest book if you would like to sign it...you can show the 'evil church sister' that Kim and Craig have friends all of the U.S. and around the world...

I would just ask that you make no reference to CSN or anything like that - I like to keep our world as private and sacred as I can...it asks for a name so I'll know who you are.

It would be nice to see your smiling faces there...I'll show Kim as I'm sure it would give her some much needed strength.

The Sundance Army is an army of two - but now we're calling all troops to active service to help us get through this.

Participate only if you want to - I just wanted to make it available...and I'm trying to crack the door to my heart again.

Love you!

Craig & Kim

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1321
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts. May you remain strong in the face of adversity. Knowing you as I do, I'm sure that your short trip to the "dark side" is a temporary one. We all love you and will be awaiting your return when the fog clears.

Your sister was a beautiful girl and is remembered also.

Luv,

Wolfen

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

I signed it Craig...it was the least I could do to support you.
Take GOOD care,
Tommycat

relaxoutdoors08
Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

Craig,
I signed the book and today I lit a candle at Mass for all of us here who share this journey. I appreciate all you have done for us here and hope you will heal and return to us with your wonderful, supportive writings.
NBrandt

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I am so sorry Craig.It is hard to lose a parent, no matter the situation.

The obituary is very nicely done and you honor your Dad, and more importantly yourself, by taking the high road.

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Kim.

-Pat H.

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I just posted to the guest book.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Thank you for sharing the tribute with us. Makes me wish that when one of us passes away that there would always be someone in their family to let us know how to express our sympathies on-line in their funeral registries.
You're not an army of two, you're an army of 100's. We're there with you.
Crack that door buddy, we're waiting to get in again.
I'm sorry for the loss of your father and all you're having to go through. Hanging out there with you in spirit buddy.
Love you,
Winter Marie

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

Well Craig, I am all over the place. I wrote a message. Then saw the request not to mention csn. : (
So I went back to see if I could edit. I uploaded a picture thinking my name might bring up my original post. No such Luck. So I apologize. If anyone asks, just tell them it means "caring srs. network"! (Did I get a tiny smile here?)
I am sincerely sorry you are going through so much. Thank you for sharing the link. I loved the pictures.
Take care my friend, your heart will come back into the light. Your too good a man to stay in the dark.
Love, Judy

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

I signed your Dad's Memorial Craig... I know how it feels to feel like you can't trust anyone, I have been there. I want you to know that I think there are lots of people in this world that deserve our trust but sadly a few can make us shy about giving that trust to anyone. You are in the a very tough time so soon after losing your Dad so I am not surprised your head is spinning with it all. Just know that you have people thinking about you and Kim and praying for your strength. GOD's blessing to you.
Brenda
P.S I loved the pic of you guys in your swim trunks... too cute!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6249
Joined: Feb 2009

Knew you were going through some major events in your life and I'm sorry that your father has passed. There has been turmoil in your life - that's for sure. Craig, no matter what you believe about you not helping anyone out because you aren't physically on this board daily, you are wrong. Every single previous post that you have on this board is a tremendous help to the newbies on here. You have put so much of yourself out there in so many ways and all that ever needs to been seen is for someone to type in a single topic and a post usually shows up with your name attached to a comment. I'm so sorry about all that is happening with you and Kim right now and pray for your comfort and extend my deepest sympathies.

Hugs! Kim

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Dear Craig, Please know that you and Kim are in our thoughts during this very difficult time. And the obituary and photo memories were a very nice tribute to your Dad.

With sympathy,

Cynthia and Rick

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

for letting us share in some of the better times. Sorry lately there has been so much turmoil. Take a breath now and take care of yourself.
Do it!

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

for your loss.you always will have that gift of writing and the dark side will not take that away from you.thanks for keeping us updated and fight on....Godbless....johnnybegood

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I just wanted to take a moment between rounds to thank everyone who has responded to this post - and for also going to the website and lending your support there. It is comforting to see so many friends there.

And if there is one thing I need right now - more than ever - is a friend...

Thank you for taking your time for me and Kim.

Sincerely,

Craig and Kim

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Prayers to you and all of family Craig. I sympathize with you, as my dad passed 8th of last month. Often wondered if he would outlive me when 1st dx.

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

Know that I am thinking of you and praying for you during this time of loss. No matter how complicated the situation, losing a parent is difficult.
I posted on the guestbook and appreciate your letting us into your life in this way.

Blessings on you and Kim.
Cathleen Mary

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

Know that I am thinking of you and praying for you during this time of loss. No matter how complicated the situation, losing a parent is difficult.
I posted on the guestbook and appreciate your letting us into your life in this way.

Blessings on you and Kim.
Cathleen Mary

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide some support, as you do so often for others here at this forum. Hugs-Ann

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, time for the Visitation is rapidly approaching...now I see how everything turned out with the choices I made...I do hope I did well and that he looks 'good.'

I stayed with him after he passed - "we talked." This will be first time since that evening to see him again...I'm sure it will still be a shock no matter what I tell myself...I'm going to be there alone for a few minutes privately before folks arrive...a little window to see what comes over me.

I want to thank everyone again who has signed or will sign that guestbook...it warms my heart to see all of you there - "with us." It is providing a degree of comfort that makes me feel connected...and I've felt so disconnected from you the past six-months.

And Cathleen Mary - first, "HI." And second, just thank you so much for your entry on the guestbook and on this post. I thought by sharing this with my friends, it would help me start the healing process...the more of you on board does nothing but help me even more.

Well, it's about that time...it will all get a little bit realer now and through tomorrow. We'll have lots to talk about. Until then, thank you for your kindness and graciousness...I sincerely appreciate your time in signing the guest book.

Now that I think about it - your participation is a very special part of these proceedings...your presence is very special to both Kim and I.

I'll close with this last thought....

"Do we measure our lives by the days on the calendar - or simply hold onto the special moments in our lives that we can grasp along the way?"

All my love and respect:)

-The Lion

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Still so lovely to see your faces on the guestbook. It just gives one a warm glow to 'just know' that someone has touched...just touched.

Last night was good...I thought I handled myself well and made sure everyone felt appreciated for taking their time to stop out. The casket spray is unbelievable....I went all red roses - and no kidding, I've seen a few sprays, but this one is a stunningly beautiful....2 more pots of red roses, one on each side to frame it perfectly.

A really incredible story happened last night...a really good one, but I'll have to circle back to tell it...heartwarming and reaffirming once again some trust in people - which right now, is worth more than its weight in gold. I've found that trust is such a 'volatile commodity.'

So, Kim and I 'represented.' If dad could open his eyes, I don't see how he could not have been more pleased. I even got to the details where we placed a 'fork' in his hand...it holds some signifigance for him - yet another story to tell but not enough time right now.

And then there was another good story as were leaving...I'll get to this one too.

Exhausted this morning, but now showered and dressed, I find mysef ready to embrace the day and I know we'll see it through with the class and dignity that we've exhibited thus far. I'm so proud you know the story and therefore all of this carries more signifigance.

And the why is because I've been carrying all of this around for fifty-years by myself - and even though we've not met, it lightens my load and empowers me to know that folks and friends of mine understand my position. It has really helped me.

Hopefully, later this afternoon we'll finally be able to heave a sigh or two and just collapse. We've sure earned a breather. I've not been emotional at all, no tears shed. I talked, I said, I resolved temporarily what I needed to do.

But, honestly, it has been such a montage of decisions, errands, and burning the rubber off the tires backtracking everywhere, that I've just been in business mode the entire time.

Oh, one preview story.....the funeral director got a "Taste of the Lion"....and that's another good story.

Kim and I have overcome much...it's been about the emotions, about the caregiving, about the crucial decisions, about walking in and handling another's life, it's been deceit and treachery in the churchouse, it's been about an obsessed woman bent on hurting us, and then finally it's about the last preparations.

Six-months worth of stories and reflections that I'll just need time to go over...maybe I'll talk about some of those - they might be relevant for someone. And I learned more interesting things about the violations of the federal HIPPA act...and the unscruplous dealings I've seen in the hospital communities, and just so many things...concerning aging and healthcare etc.

It's been an eye-opening experience...if I'm fortunate, there's another book there, LOL!

I just peed my pants, LOL....no I didn't...let me check...no, I'm good, LOL!

Well, I better wrap up and finish getting ready...I hope it's a lovely service and everyone gets what they need from it....I will go to bed tonight knowing that I did everything possible from the moral side all the way to my dad's wishes with his healthcare and his funeral.

I did do it right - it was the only way - the right way - and the only way that I would ever be able to live with it....I need to be free from the emotional shackles now and begin the healing process.

And if cancer eases up on me, perhaps Kim and I can begin a new life with hopes of brighter tomorrows combined with newfounded optimism that I find myself yearning for once more.

I hope someone is reading this - because this is some pretty good stuff right here:)
:)

Take care once more and as I head out later, I'll take your presence with me comforted in the fact that you have been concerned. Once again, thank you for your friendship.

Now, where's Ralph? (an inside joke for Phil should he pop in)

-Craig

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3332
Joined: Jan 2010

Please know that your friends here stand beside you in spirit.

Hugs and love,

Marie

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

CHERISH ORDINARY MOMENTS
by Pema Chodron

"In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts. We can take joy in that. I find that it’s essential during the day to actually note when I feel happiness or when something positive happens, and to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness. (From Taking The Leap)

Ride on!
Leslie

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

Craig, I am so sorry for the loss of your Father and all that you and Kim have had to endure.
You talked about not being able to write. After my Grandmom died, more than 13 years ago, my brother had told me later how he was unable to play his upright bass for awhile. My brother plays jazz bass (not his primary occupation but should be; he loves it and he is an excellent musician) and has played with a community (semi-professional, if there is such a thing) orchestra. For writers, such as yourself, and musicians, like my brother, I believe that grief can express itself this way.
Holding you and Kim in the Light.
~Aud

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Hugs so sorry about your dad. Sorry for all that you are going through right now. But Craig you along with many on here, are one of the strongest people I know. You will get through this. Losing a parent is never easy, no matter what relationship you had. Just know what you are feeling is ok, just take each day as it comes and write when you feel up to it. When I'm down I draw or write, but then if my mood is up I don't feel the need to. Weird how our brains work, but I suppose it's why I'm studying psychology. Love ya.

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

SOrry to hear of your loss and all the inevitable family dynamics that get tied up with these events. I hope you find a way to grieve your loss and escape from any of the unhealthy vibes others may bring. Your strength and your immediate family will see you through and failing all else you know your colorectal family are always here.

steve

mukamom's picture
mukamom
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

to hear of your father. I pray for you strength, wisdom, patience to see you through the extra turmoil plaguing your family.

God Bless
Robert and Angela

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

So nice to see you again, Angela...thank you and thanks for signing the guestbook...give Robert my best.

Thank you guys too: Steve, Sonia, Marie:)

And Leslie:)....."ride on."

-c

AlinaM's picture
AlinaM
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2012

You're in my thoughts. This makes your advice on my thread even more poignant and important. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, you're a true gift. Take things as they come, and let yourself feel what you need to feel. You'll be amazed at what comes up when you let yourself breathe. Take care of yourself and know that your presence is felt here even when you may not be able to write. *hugs*

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Dear Craig and Kim,
Before I left for a short vacation I signed the guestbook. So well done. You are unbelievable strong in word and in silence. Rest assured that your CSN family is standing with you.
One of my favourite quotes is:
Life is nor measured by how many breath you take
But by the moments that takes your breath away.

I wish you many breath taking happy and memorable moments in the future.
Love, Marjan

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

You have my deepest sympathy during this time of loss. I pray that you and your family will find Peace and Love during this time.

Sincerely,

Philip

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

craig,

sorry your dad's passed away, but in another way now you can focus on you. As you have got a few cells being a pain in the ***, literally for crc. the chance to focus on you is essential.

so i know you owe your existence to your dad and its bitter sweet, seems more bitter than sweet. but thats your life.

smile, breathe and grief. get your emotions written down when they come. its proven therapy that helps me cope well with the unlimited challenges that this life gives us.

hugs,
pete

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Craig and Kim,

I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a parent brings so many mixed emotions and the numbness of grief you describe. Wishing you peace.

k1

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi Craig! It's been a while since i've come to CSN, and i'm glad to see you're still on here, checking in and keeping us updated. I'm sorry about what you're going through w. ith your dad and sister. What a nightmare. You seem to be handling it very well under the circumstances. I wish you much luck with that, sweetie. Keep your chin up! You will rise above it..

Hugs,
Krista

karen40's picture
karen40
Posts: 211
Joined: Aug 2011

I previously posted to your dad’s guest book. Even though, I don’t post very often, I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. I hope things are moving along and that peace finds you soon.
Karen

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