I’ve heard many people describe the first year after a loved one’s death as the “year of firsts”, first holiday, first birthday, etc. without their loved one. As painful as these firsts can be, there is some small relief with their passing. While those special events are forever changed because Dan is no longer physically apart of them, the holidays continue and we learn to find ways to include Dan in new ways through our memories and actions.
As if we didn’t have enough work to do processing our emotions and loss, the Coronavirus has interrupted our grieving and remembrance process. Due to the cancellation of the NCAA season, we were unable to hold the Emerson Lacrosse home opener where a number of events were planned including organ donor registration, the raising of a banner signifying the partnership between Emerson Athletics and the New England Donor Bank in Dan’s memory, and a reception for the team and families. In the world of high school sports, Oliver Ames High School planned a special game with Hopedale High in memory of Dan with proceeds to go to the Foundation.
The postponement of the high school sports spring season is heartbreaking on many levels. I want to thank the Milford Daily News for publishing the following piece on how Hopedale Lacrosse continues to honor Dan’s memory. Dan’s love for the sport and his love for the team will live forever.