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My dad’s funeral was Wednesday and it was surreal. We met in my childhood church and then went to the graveside service in a cemetery he oversees. Although he’s come back from the edge of death many, many times, this was the time when he couldn’t.

My sisters and I mowed this cemetery over 100 times when we were teenagers. It was very strange for him to be buried there in a place where he has been in charge of burying so many others. Many people came and told me stories of things that my dad had done for them.

He loved helping other people and did more good deeds than I ever knew. He lived with severe asthma and heart disease for many decades but was a fighter. The week before he died he told me that he wouldn’t stop fighting.

He was chronically ill, but he really didn’t accept it. He was determined to fight hard and go on with his life. There were plenty of times he was forced to rest, but he would get to work as soon as possible. Often-times he got back to work before the doctors wanted him to. But, he lived to be 86.

I need to try to fight a little more than I do. I often give up too easily. I hate pain! When I overdo it, my pain is severe. (It’s severe after the viewings and funeral services) I just want to rest, and I have my feet up right now. My ankles have been swollen all week.


There’s a balance I aim for: Self-care vs Fighting Through. Fighting through can be deadly. A fall with a broken bone has been the beginning of the end for so many people. I see many elderly people who fall and break a bone. Then, they get another complication and their body can’t fight it all.

Self-care for chronically ill folk is different than self-care for the rest of the population. We can not afford to neglect our self-care. We need extra treatments and times of rest and relaxation. Chronically ill people must deal with so many health conditions that are an annoyance, but can turn into serious problems quickly.

How do you balance self-care vs fighting through? Are you more of a fighter naturally or someone who takes really good care of themselves?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

@2022, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and experiences and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.

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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope all those stories about your dad and what a wonderful man he was help you find comfort. He sounds like he was a perfect role model.

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