From Grief to Growth: How My Father’s Death Helped Me Transform My Life

My three biggest takeaways

Andreas Westerlund
2 min readMar 20


Photo by panyawat auitpol on Unsplash

My dad passed away a few years ago, God rest his soul. It is one of the worst things I’ve experienced. Since then, I’ve noticed a few mindset shifts I’ve made as a result of that experience.

As always, it isn’t as black & white as I will make it sound here. My father’s death wasn’t the only thing that made me realize these things, but a big part of them.

Health is everything

My dad had been smoking for 50 years. He died of lung cancer.

When he passed away, I was already working on improving my health. I was drinking less, sleeping more, exercising more, eating better, had quit smoking, etc. But when he passed, I doubled down on health.

Up until that point, I had only been thinking of doing it for myself. When he passed, I saw it from another perspective. The pain all his loved ones felt, that’s not something I want my family to feel. Obviously, you never know when it’s your time to go, but I will make sure to do everything I can to minimize the odds of it happening too soon.

If there’s something you can do now, do it

My dad was retired when he passed. Mom was a couple of years away from retirement. During the last years of his life, they often talked about things they wanted to do. And it was always “when mom retires”. They were going to do everything then.

Well, all those plans went to the grave with him.

Don’t put all eggs in one basket

My mom and dad were a pretty typical couple, I think, in the sense that they were all in on the family.

They did everything together. Not a lot of time was spent with friends, without the spouse. No personal hobbies or interests.

When your whole life and your happiness are tied to the other person, it gets really dark when that person suddenly disappears.

That’s why it’s important to keep doing your own things throughout life. Keep doing your own hobbies, keep seeing your friends, etc.



Andreas Westerlund

Endurance athlete, digital nomad, nerd. Just a normal guy trying to figure out fitness, business, and life.