[Video] My Father’s Final Words to Me

Sean and his Dad at Sean's wedding

Today is a very special day for me.  On Feb. 8th, 2011 my dad, Robert Craig Smith, died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

But not before he left me with 14 words that forever changed my life

In the days leading up to his death, he had given up the will to live.  He entered Hospice care 4 days earlier, on a hospital bed in our family room, and asked the nurses to medicate him heavily until he dies.

They gave him his wish.  Two adhesive patches stuck directly on his skin, constantly injecting his body with heavy pain killers.

He was still able to communicate and kept telling me that he wasn’t in any pain.  But he also wasn’t my dad anymore.

He was in some altered state of consciousness, not remembering where he was, or that he had cancer, or who my wife and children were at times.

I knew the end was near, and my unspoken words were beginning to crush me from within.  There were still things I needed to stay, messages he needed to hear.

Finally, I couldn’t take the anxiety anymore.  I called the nurse, told her I was emotionally incomplete, and asked if I could remove the pain patches for just a little while.

I wanted one more conversation with my dad

The love I still have for my dad is clearly as strong as ever, as I’m tearing up writing these words now.  I miss him dearly.  I wish I could give him just one more hug.

On Sunday morning, I took the pain patches off his shoulder.  By Sunday evening, he was himself again.

My wife and 2 children said goodnight to him, sensing it would be the last time they’d ever do that.

I stayed with him, held his hand, cried, and unloaded my heart.

I told him how much he meant to me, what kind of father he was, and the legacy he was leaving behind.  I told him I loved him so much, and was honored to be his son.

I asked if he was complete, and he said yes.

I asked if he needed to see or talk to anyone else before he goes, and he said no.

Then I asked, “Dad, how can I make you proud after you’re gone?”

He shook his head as though I had asked a silly question, and answered immediately.

“Be who you can be
Do what you can do
Live a good life”

I felt those words land on my heart.  He had given me a torch of true wisdom that I was obligated to share with everyone I cross paths with along my journey.

I’ll do my best, dad.

Sean and his Dad at Sean's wedding

Shortly thereafter I told him what I had done, taking off the pain patches for one final chat.  He said “Seanie, thank you son.  I love you.  Now put those things back on!”

When he said he was complete, he meant it!  =)

Thank you for listening to MY story.  This post might seemingly have nothing to do with building your business.  But in reality, it has EVERYTHING to do with building your business.

YOU are your business.  Don’t hide.  Don’t dumb it down.  Don’t lie.  The world needs YOU to be transparent, authentic and honest.

Tell your story.  Live your story.  Become your story.

10 thoughts on “[Video] My Father’s Final Words to Me

  1. Neel Raman

    Hey Sean,

    Excellent short talk with a very powerful and heart-felt message. The fact that you take your Dad’s message with you everywhere is great, which shows that you have really embraced it and are at peace with it. Thanks for posting this video!

    All the best,

    1. Sean Smith

      I appreciate your comments, Neel. Yes, I’m at peace for sure. Still miss him a ton, but at peace. SS

  2. Mona Hasler

    Sean, did you know that you can continue to talk to your late dad and ask him questions that he will ANSWER?! Just try and see what happens!
    And have you thought of saying ‘thank you for still being with me’ when you feel you’re missing him? This might change the angel of looking at a loss a bit …

    God bless your day, Mona

    1. Sean Smith

      Hey, Mona. Thank you for that reminder. I do feel the connection still, but I will do whatever you’re suggesting also, about asking him specific questions. Love it.

  3. Zalfa

    Hi Sean,

    Thanks for sharing this with me. Reading it brought tears to my eyes . This is a great post and reminder to say everything we have to say to our loved ones before it is too late.


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