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Losing A Loved One, Feeling The Loss + Finding The Wisdom…A Personal Story.

On this very day, December 12th, 19 years ago in 1997, my father passed away laying in hospice in the family room of my childhood home, the only home I ever lived in before moving to Los Angeles.

He died 3 years after I moved away.  He was 77 years old, had me when he was 50, and was my biggest supporter, my biggest fan and my biggest cheerleader.

My father never met the man whom I would one day marry.  I never got to do the father-daughter dance with him at my wedding.  And he never got to meet or hold either of his grandsons, who he would have adored.

It also hits me in smaller moments.  Like ones I’ve had this month, when I didn’t get to call him and tell him that I’m guest-starring, playing a pilot, on Grey’s Anatomy (he was a pilot in WWII)  or that I booked a recurring role on a new Netflix comedy series and will be shooting 3 episodes before mid-January.

I know he would have been proud.   He always encouraged me to “keep going.”

But his spirit has lived on within me every single day of my life. Guiding me, nudging me, quietly whispering to me to “keep going” despite setbacks, to get up when I have fallen and to keep shining my light, even on the cloudiest of days.


I grew up near the Glenview Naval Air Base, in a suburb outside of Chicago, and he and I would spend many mornings having breakfast nearby, while watching the planes take off and land. As a former Navy Air-Sea Rescue Pilot, the the sky was my father’s most joyful and greatest escape.

No matter where we were, he’d always stop and notice the small planes that flew through the air and could tell you exactly the name, make and model of each one.

Losing a parent is one of the hardest things you will go through in your life.  And there’s really nothing else to say to someone who has lost theirs except, “Yes, I know, it sucks.”

And when those milestone moments come along without your biggest cheerleader there to physically  root for you, I have found messages often  come in a divine way.

I always thought of my father as a wise owl.  Quiet, patient, all-knowing.   He was the kind of man who would think before speaking, listen before talking and always wanting to show you how to do something, so you could then do it for yourself.

When I was pregnant with my first son, and we lived in the Hollywood Hills, perched high above the valley, I never once saw an owl.

It was December 2008, I was 9 months pregnant and December 12th, the anniversary of his passing was almost upon us.  I thought, wow, how cool would it be to give birth on this day – as a way to honor and remember my father through the birth of my son.

I went outside for a walk, as they tell you to do when you’re 9 months pregnant and want to “move things along,” and a full moon lit up the entire street.  And there, perched high on a telephone pole right outside our home, was an owl, hooting.

It stopped me in my tracks.  It’s as if my father appeared to say, “yes, this is the time, I am here with you. I am rooting (and hooting) for you.”

Well, long story short, I went into labor that evening, but my son didn’t arrive until December 16th.

Yes, 3…..long…..DAYS of labor….later.

Looking back, I still think the owl was a sign of my father’s Divine wisdom, but instead of translating it from my ego’s point of view, wanting what I want when I wanted it, I think what he was really saying was this….

  • Let go of your ego’s need to control the outcome.
  • Life is unfolding perfectly and in divine order.
  • Your son will come when he’s ready.
  • Your son is here to ignite joy within you and teach you surrender.
  • The more you find inner peace, the more everything you want will find you.

I hear my father’s wisdom every single day.  And have taught my sons to notice little reminders that the grandfather they never met is always here with us.

And although the holidays can be tough without the physical presence of those who we hold dearest in our hearts, reminders of their wisdom and their love are everywhere.

And it’s moments when I’m playing with my children in our back yard as the sun is setting on a wintery day in LA, where my soon to be 8-year-old son, the one born on December 16th, will look up and see a small plane fly overhead and say, “Look mommy, you’re daddy’s here right now,” and I will know that he’s right.

And that I can access my late father’s wisdom and feel his love anytime I choose.

I’ve also  heard that when you’re thinking of a loved one whose passed, it’s actually because in that moment, they are thinking of you.

i have found comfort in that idea + will be smiling at the small planes in the sky today.

Hope this helps bring added peace to your December….or maybe inspires you to call your dad.

Sending you big love, deep gratitude and inner peace this holiday season.
(And yes, I teared up many times writing this one)

– Wendy.

permissiontobeatpeaceP.S. If you want help finding more inner peace this holiday…

be sure to download my latest guided meditation Permission To Be At Peace (Letting Go Of Inner Chaos).

It’s yours free in December only when you sign up for a free trial to my Spotlight Club 

Details Here.


  • Marina #1

    Thank you Wendy for sharing so generously your very personal experiences.
    Happy Holidays for you too!! Much success!!
    Marina Bakica


    • Wendy #2

      Thanks Marina! You are so welcome. It kinda just poured out of me one evening. So glad you enjoyed it. 😉


  • Lynndi #3

    Beautiful reflection and meditation. I recently lost my loving mother so I appreciate you sharing this spirit-filled inspiration and food for thought. I particularly chuckled at:
    “I’ve also heard that when you’re thinking of a loved one whose passed, it’s actually because in that moment, they are thinking of you.” If that is true, my mom is thinking of me a lot!

    Peace & blessings,


    • Wendy #4

      So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. And, yes, I’m sure she’d LOVE that you chuckle at the thought of HER thinking of YOU first. Keep that light-hearted spirit that I’m sure she had – and allow that to carry you through the tough times. She is part of the light within you. Shine it bright.



  • Pamela Hill #5

    That was beautiful Wendy! I was close with my Dad & brother too…and see signs and messages from both of them! ♥ Blessings, Pamela


    • Wendy #6


      Thanks for your sweet thoughts. To nice you get signs and messages from them. Love that.
      Happy Holidays!
      – Wendy


  • Lizetta #7

    Wendy I only have gratitude for you. Always read your e mails and feel good.
    Looking forward to meet you in person.
    Have a beautiful Holiday season you and your family..
    Would love to say I BOOKED IT THANKS TO YOU
    Lizetta Romo


    • Wendy #8

      Lizetta! Thank you so much. So grateful that my work inspires you. And I would LOVE you to say “I booked it thanks to you” too! So keep on reading, keep practicing radical self-acceptance and keep knowing that you are on the right path + that all is unfolding in perfect order.

      Happy Holidays!


  • Christina DeRosa #9

    Thank you for sharing so openly from your heart. I am sending you a giant hug and knowing you, know how truly appreciated you are. Enjoy your little boys during the holydays!


    • Wendy #10

      Thanks lovely lady! I feel your giant hug + yes, am enjoying those sweet boys every minute of the day! Thank you + Happy Holidays!


  • Katya #11

    Dear, Wendy. I never write any comments and to be honest don’t read some emails all the way through, but fir some reason I wanted to read this one and now I know why. My father passed away 11years ago when I was 17 and it was the biggest loss of my life. So many things have changed since than, I moved to USA from Ukraine and here finally admitted to myself my dream, that I want to be an actress. I miss my dad so much and I wish I could talk to him and ask him for advise, he was my number 1 supporter in everything. Im going through some rough times right now and reading your email just broke me down and I do take it as a message from my father as well, I know that this is his way of communicating with me and telling me that i can do it. Crying though out reading your email and writing this. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.


    • Wendy #12

      Thanks for your heartfelt message. I’m so glad this spoke to you and you heard your own father lovingly reminding you to Keep going. Know that he’s here with you whenever you need him + the more we quiet our minds, the more we can access that wisdom. He’s within you. So whatever you are struggling with, ask him your questions and wait for the answers. They will come. He knows that all is truly well for you, even if you can’t see it right now. Feel his love + know that in your heart.

      My best wishes to you for inner peace this holiday.


  • Kate Danaj #13

    Very sweet post! I grew up near the Glenview Naval Air Base, too. My dad was in the Army, but loved to go over to the base to walk around. He passed away in Glenview two Decembers ago. He loved California but was too ill in his later years to visit us when my husband and I moved out here. Thanks for the reminder to pause and reflect. :)
    P.s. where did you go to school? I went to OLPH :)


    • Wendy #14

      It’s a small world after all! I went to Maple + the GBS. Sorry to hear about your own father too. Glad we both got to enjoy the Glenview Naval Air Base while it was there it in its entirety. The legends of our fathers live on within us. (and those deep midwest roots!) 😉

      Happy Holidays,


  • Liza Dealey – Thomason #15

    WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW 1st time reader, HOOKED FO LIFE!!! I believe in the law of attraction and because of my life experience have realized I find my acting career most fulfilling the SPIRITUAL way the ENOUGH worthy deserving and fun free way! Shortly after this self discovery explosion of clarity I stumbled upon your blog because I realized there must already be people like this in the word IN YOU WALK!

    I feel the need especially to reach out and tell you how moved I am BY WHO YOU ARE and what you are contributing to artists all over the universe because my Mother (my wise all knowing white mother who recited Martin Luther King and mother Theresa to me growing up to ensure her ethnically ambiguous daughter knew how beautiful and worthy she was) she was born in December and Christmas was her favorite holiday. She passed away when I was 12 and I’ll never forget her faith in my path. I feel I am getting a wink from from her finding this content RIGHT AFTER MY MIORNING MEDITATION!!!!!!

    THANK YOU FOR BEING WHO U R and being a light being! It makes me feel not alone and that there are other people in this world creating a better tmrw for our industry AND IT GIVES ME A GOAL of what to reach for! Can’t wait to DEVOUR all ur material and blog and continue to find others in this industry like u!

    And so u kno… I was brought to tears reading this too

    U r a diamond THANK U wow!!!


    • Wendy #16


      What divine timing, indeed! So glad you found your way to me in time for this post. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman – and that she instilled such goodness in you all before age 12, is so wonderful! Her legacy carries on with you as you continue to shine your light. So glad you reached out + shared your story too.

      Here’s to 2017 being your best year yet!
      – Wendy


  • Ana Dela Cruz #17

    Congrats with all your work. Many more blessings to u in 2017.

    Thanks for sharing ur stories with us.



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