Farewell. Adieu. Adiós. 告别. Auf Wiedersehen. Addio. Nрощание. さようなら.

danny

7-year-old Dan on Spring Island, BC, his childhood home.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.  ~  from the musical  “Annie”

I have agonized over this day for some time. I’ve never liked goodbyes. But  they’re an inescapable part of our lives.

To all my readers and in particular my nearly 400 subscribers, I want to say how much I’ve appreciated your comments and support. I’ve always felt your presence as I worked away on my blog.  I feel badly that I must now tell you that this is my last post.

I’ll keep this blog alive for another year so that you’ll still be able to access archived material.  I just won’t be adding anything new.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.  This June marks my blog’s 5th year with   321,643 visitors , 704 posts, and 1,496 comments.

Why am I wrapping it up now? Several reasons. The most important of which is that I’ve pretty well said everything that I’ve wanted to say about personal histories. Increasingly, I’ve felt it harder to generate articles that had substance. I prefer to end on a high note rather than keep churning out stuff that is of little value.

As I rapidly approach my seventh decade, I  want to focus my energies. In this regard, I will continue to mentor and support the Victoria Hospice Life Stories program I founded over five years ago. And in the Fall,  I’ll begin writing a Hospice Life Stories training manual that can be used by other hospices that wish to establish a similar program. I’ll also carry on my weekly volunteer hospice shift. It’s work I find deeply satisfying.

I haven’t lost my interest in personal histories but now my focus will be primarily related to life stories in a palliative care context. I’ll continue my membership in the Association of Personal Historians. It’s a great organization. If you’re serious about being a personal historian, and haven’t yet done so, I urge you to join.

At the beginning of the year I wrote about my intentions for 2013. One of those was to create more spaciousness in my life. More space will allow me to pursue my creative interests in poetry and photography.

In addition, I want to have more time for contemplation and study with my Buddhist community at the Buddhist Insight Meditation Centre of Victoria. As a practitioner for the past 15 years, I feel drawn to apply more effort to my spiritual path. A repository for my creativity and my occasional Buddhist musings is my newly created blog, anicca.

It’s been fun writing for you and  a privilege to share some of the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years.

These words from Gordon Bok’s song Hearth and Fire express my wishes for you.

My love upon the path you tread
And upon your wanderings, peace.

path

divider

Top photo:  Dan Curtis personal collection                                                                 Bottom photo:  Robb North

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65 responses to “Farewell. Adieu. Adiós. 告别. Auf Wiedersehen. Addio. Nрощание. さようなら.

  1. Mim Eisenberg

    Dan, is there a way we can contribute to a fund that could keep the blog/archive available for longer than a year?

    • @Mim Eisenberg. Thanks for considering this idea. The cost of keeping the blog active is minimal. I just feel that one more year will give people enough time to mine the blog for whatever they need.

      Next year before closing shop,I do plan to gather a number of the posts into e-booklets.

      • Mim Eisenberg

        Mining the blog is what I suggested people do in my Facebook share, Dan. I will, too. And the e-booklets is a fine idea.

  2. Dear Dan,
    Thank you for giving so much of yourself through your insightful blog. I have been one of your biggest followers. I have recommended your blog to many along the way. You will be sorely missed. Blessings on your hospice work and all that your creative hands become involved with.
    Hope to see you at APH’s conference in November!
    Very best wishes,
    Lin M. Joyce

  3. Dan
    You’ve been a huge contribution to personal history and the exploration of its realms. Thanks for all you’ve done!

  4. Thank you for sharing so much with your readers over the years. You set the content quality bar high and consistently created thoughtful and thought-provoking posts. You will be sorely missed! I wish you well!

  5. Hello Dan,

    I have been a silent follower for about a year. I’d like to say thank you. I have learned so much from your posts and articles. I have been working towards starting up my own personal history business here in Victoria, although my own website is not yet up and I’m a few months away from launching, I feel like I’ve had an ongoing training course from you.

    Thank you and all the best as you move into a season of more spacious and creative living.

    Cheers,
    Robin Dirks
    Sage Memoirs

  6. Dan.. thank you for your generosity with this blog. I have already signed up for your new blog and look forward to seeing what comes in this new chapter of your musings. by the way, I love the photo of you at Saltspring!
    your friend,
    kay

    • @kay. Thanks, Kay. And welcome to my new blog! It’s going to be a quieter, more languorous blog than my previous one. Actually the photo is taken on Spring Island near Kyuquot on the NW coast of Vancouver Island. It’s often confused with Saltspring.

  7. Dan,

    As a new personal historian, I feel that you have contributed greatly to my education. Thanks for all that you have done. I will also miss your weekly link roundup. Can you reveal the secret of how you compile such a wonderful group of articles each week? Joanne

    • @Joanne McHugh. Thanks, Joanne. My secret to compiling my Roundup list was to have a roster of blogs that always had interesting articles – plus articles that I spotted over the course of the week and readers who would suggest items.

  8. Best wishes to you, Dan, in your future endeavours. I have enjoyed your blog and learned a lot from you.

  9. I have enjoyed following your blog and learned a lot from you. Best wishes in your future endeavours.

  10. Your blog has made me think about a lot of things. I appreciate your focus on the personalness of history. Your work is a treasure to many, and I am sure you will continue to be a treasure in the future. :)

  11. Stephanie Nichols

    Dear Dan,
    I appreciate the wisdom as well as the difficulty of your decision to conclude your blog — and I will truly miss it! I agree with Mim that it would be wonderful to find a way to make your posts available to personal historians in the future. You’ve addressed a wide variety of useful topics that PHs may not know they need until some random moment when a question arises. E-booklets or something similar would be great, and the APH store would, I suspect, be delighted to sell them for you (wearing my APH education hat here).
    Thank you for giving so generously of your skill and spirit, and congratulations on making more space in your life. This is no small thing, for sure.
    All the best,
    Stephanie

    • @Stephanie Nichols. Thanks for taking the time to drop me a note. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful remarks. It makes the saying goodbye a little easier.

  12. Dear Dan – A wonderful post and the most gracious of exits. I know that whatever you choose to do next will be just as satisfying for you as writing this blog has been. And, it will be just as worthy of sharing. <3

  13. Thank you, thank you. And…thank you. Safe travels.

  14. Thanks so much for all you have done to support the personal historian community. You will be missed. I hope you’ll take some of your “extra” time to write your own history!

  15. I’m very sad, Dan :( BUT I understand your reasons for retiring gracefully from blogging. I found your posts last year when I was starting out in the personal historian business and you’ve been a constant source of encouragement – supportive if I’m doing the things you suggest and a prop when things are getting tough (my two year break-through barrier is coming up!). I’m now on a mission to print the posts which have meant the most to me…. job well done for you, and good luck in the future with your projects. Best wishes
    Hannah

  16. Dan,
    Sincere thanks for the past 5 years of informative and inspirational blogs. You set the benchmark for this style of blog within our APH membership and your wise words have helped many a newcomer to this profession find their feet and start walking along the personal history path with the confidence gained from your sage words.
    Good luck and best wishes, my friend as you now set off along a different path of your own.You’ll be missed.
    Annie

    • @Annie Payne. Thanks, Annie. You’ve been one of my faithful followers. I’ve always appreciated your comments and supportive words. I won’t disappear from the personal history world but the focus will change.

  17. Dan,
    I feel like all I can say is “me too!” I’m glad to know you won’t be leaving APH and I’m happy for you about your future plans. Just giving us a model of what “focusing energy” means on a practical level is a gift in itself. Thank you for your wonderful contributions and all the best in your future endeavors.

    • @cjmadigan. Thanks, cj. You’ve been one of my loyal followers over the years. I’ve always welcomed your comments and good advice. While I already miss writing for my blog, I look forward to the next chapter in my life.

  18. Dan, I wish you all the love and light in your new pursuits. This was a tough decision, but the right one. It’s been a pleasure reading your blog posts. I’m going to miss it. I hope you won’t mind if I continue to send you cool stories.

    • @Mary Danielsen. Thanks for your understanding, Mary. It was a tough decision. And I’m looking forward to new doors opening. I’ll miss writing for my old blog but I’ll still have an outlet on my new one. All the very best to you.

  19. I’d love to see a book(let) compilation of your posts!

  20. It is amazing how we evolve. Your blog was one I still read so it will be missed. But as someone who has moved to other things, I know that you will happy doing what makes you get up each excited for what you want to do. Enjoy each day.

  21. Laura Blumenthal

    Dan, thank you. Your blog has been a wonderful resource for personal historians and those who want to be. We’ll miss you but wish you the best on your new path.

  22. Dan, you wee so generous with your time when I first joined APH and answered all my questions. Your wise counsel about advertising still stays with me to this day. I’ll SO miss your posts, but it sounds like you have your future nicely mapped out. Best of luck with your journey.
    Dave Morrison

    • @Dave Morrison. Thanks, Dave. I’m happy that I was of some help. I’ll miss my connection with personal historians through my blog. And it’s time to move on. I have something of a road map for the future but then who can really plan when anything can happen at any time.

  23. Dear Dan, I understand when other interests beacon and some others must go. As one of the ‘original’ APH members (1997), I retired from writing folks’ life stories last October. However, I still teach 12 “Your Life as Story” classes a year in Feb., May, and Oct. So I have always channeled some of your thoughts and ideas on writing life stories. I will miss you and your blog. Good luck with your future interests and endeavors. Since I always wrote an example of the suggested topic from my own life, I have plenty of stories to make my own life story book. Also one never knows what one trips over on the way to writing other stories. I had a client who wanted me to write stories (in rhyme) about two dogs, a circus horse, and a mother duck and her babies, and for a reason that I have no explanation for I wrote my own children’s story…to be illustrated and published in the fall. (The circus horse book, Sensational Sidney, is selling at the Ringling Brother’s Museum in Sarasota, Florida.) Writing my own children’s book will be new for me because when I write for my clients, I’ve always been ‘a pen for hire.’ This means I never asked for a contract for royalties or expect recognition.In fact, my client’s name is the author–I’m listed as the editor. Now I will write my own book with my own name as author…just for fun. Anyway good luck, happy landing wherever you go.
    As silent member of your blog, I give you many thanks!
    Pat Kuessner

    • @Pat Kuessner. Thank you for your understanding and good wishes. It’ll be an adjustment not sitting down to write posts for my blog. But as the saying goes, “When one door closes another door opens.” I’m looking forward to some new doors opening. Congratulations on your children’s story! All the very best to you.

  24. Dan, Thanks so much for all your thoughtful and informative blogs over the years. When I first started writing personal histories, your work provided insights that helped me grow and mature in my PH work. In particular, your articles on Ethical Wills led me to eventually offer workshops to spread the word. Best of luck with your new endeavors. You will be missed!

    Beth LaMie

    • @Beth LaMie. Thanks, Beth. I’ve enjoyed writing my posts over the years and I’m happy that you and others have found them of some help. I will miss you as well. You’ve been one of my faithful readers.

  25. Your blog and archives have been one of the most helpful things for me to peruse for personal history information, guidance and especially inspiration. You will be missed very much. Thank you for all your generosity and blessings on you in your continuation with hospice. Hospice was so wonderful when my precious mother was dying; I appreciate your choice in supporting individuals and their families while they leave this world for the next.

  26. Ever since I discovered you via APH I’ve made a point to come over and read your posts. You have done a wonderful job of providing relevant and well-written information. Although, I’m sad you’ve decided to close this chapter I’m glad for you that you are making open spaces for other things!

  27. Hi Dan,
    Like everyone else, there is a bitter sweet taste in the mouth on hearing you have made this your last blog, but Thank you. A couple of years
    ago I began as a volunteer biographer for our palliative care in the home team (in Melbourne, Australia), and took along your ’50 best life story questions’ to my very first client. We’ve had little training, so your blogs have helped me expand my repertoire and become more confident – seeing how others do things is is always a great help. Definitely put my name on the list for your ebook! Also when you develop your ‘Hospice Life Stories Training Manual’, I’d love to know if you’ll be selling copies so I can use it over here. It would be like gold dust! I wish you a happy and enjoyable future concentrating on the things you love, and thank you for the encouragement you have given, probably without even realising it.
    All the best
    Kaye Nutman

    • @knutman. Thank you for taking the time to drop me a note. It’s very gratifying to hear from you and others about the value you found in my posts. I’ll definitely get the word out when the manual is ready for publication.

  28. Dan,
    I want to add my voice to the chorus about how meaningful I’ve found your blog. It is the ONLY one I read each week! I have gotten great ideas from your thoughts and the links you have posted. I will miss it and wish you much success and happiness in the future.
    Best regards, Deb Moore

  29. Dan, you’ve been so encouraging and inspiring. Know that you have touched many, many lives in the most positive way. All the best to you and I hope our paths cross again soon.
    Jennifer
    xo

  30. Hi Dan,
    I have been a silent follower for a while now and whilst I am saddened by your decision, I totally understand. I am new to PH but have found your site to be such a wonderful source of information. I love that you are doing palliative life stories. Having recently lost my mom to cancer, I still grapple with how little I really knew of her childhood, in particular. You have spurred me on to do something similar for hospices in my local area (in Melbourne, Australia), although I don’t have any video production experience. Good luck with your future endeavours and as a fellow follower of the buddhist tradition, I wish you much loving kindness on your journey.
    Sarah xx

    • @ Musings of Sarah. Thank you for your kind wishes, Sarah. I’m pleased that you’re going to introduce the idea of Life Stories to your local hospice. I should add that the program I started here is only audio recordings not video. I’ve trained 16 volunteers and realized that for both the volunteers and the patients, the best way to go was audio. I’ll let everyone know about the manual as soon as it’s available.

  31. Also, I echo Kaye’s request for your manual, when you have developed it. It would be so helpful.

    Sarah x

  32. Just found the blog today, and now found the end. Thank you for keeping this up. I’m going to be reading and using these tips to interview my father I haven’t talked to in 24 years and is terminally ill. I wish you a long life, joy and happiness!

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