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Jennifer Garner announces the death of her father with heartfelt tribute and family photos

Grief and gratitude might seem to be in opposition to the other, but in times of loss, they both work in tandem to help us process our pain. As the “Ten Percent Happier” blog eloquently puts it, “grief embodies our humanity even as gratitude allows us to embrace pain and hardship.”

Actress Jennifer Garner recently gave a poignant example of this.

On April 1, the “Alias” star took to her Instagram page to share the news that her father, William John Garner, died “peacefully” in the afternoon on March 30.

Though her tribute expressed the loss she felt, it made plenty of space for humor and appreciation for the precious memories she got to create with her “kind and brilliant” dad.

Garner began her caption with a joke, saying, “We were with him, singing ‘Amazing Grace’ as he left us. Did we carry him across or scare him away — valid question.”

The lighthearted moment was followed by a nugget of heartfelt truth. “While there is no tragedy in the death of an 85-year-old man who lived a healthy, wonderful life, I know grief is unavoidable, waiting around unexpected corners.”

Still, Garner noted that “Today is for gratitude,” reminiscing her late father’s “gentle demeanor and quiet strength” his “mischievous smile,” and “for the way he invented the role of all in, ever patient girl dad.”

She then sent thank-you’s to the medical staff that helped him during his final chapter, helping him get a few more days to spend with his grandchildren.

“There is so much to say about my dad— my sisters and I will never be done talking about how wonderful he was, so bear with us,” she concluded. “But for today, I share these memories with my appreciation for the kind and brilliant man, father, and grandfather he was, as well as the loving legacy he left behind.”

Along with the tribute, Garner shared a carousel of images of her dad, including a clip of their iconic Capital One commercial spot, where her father got to deliver the famous “What’s in your wallet?” tagline.

Garner aimed to honor her father in her tribute, and she succeeded.

“My heart aches a little because you lost someone so incredibly special, but also celebrates the comfort you must have in knowing what a precious and wonderful human being he was here on Earth. I am now singing to him as well!” one person wrote.

Another added, “What an amazing father and beautiful example.”

It prompted a few to reflect on their own relationships with their father.

“Dads are so precious. Sorry for your loss.”

“A father daughter bond is like no other — I’m so very sorry — sending love and prayers for your family.”

“What a lovely face he had! A wonderful father is a tough thing to beat. I had one too and know in my bones how lucky I was — how lucky you were— thinking of you and sending buckets of love.”

Part of being human means eventually losing everyone we love. We can choose to focus solely on mourning. We can also choose to try to bury the pain. But neither of those options helps us fully experience our own humanity. The hidden opportunity of grief is to feel gratitude at a profound level, as if to say “I am now more fully aware of how precious our time together was, now that it is no longer here.” May we all have the grace to embrace both sides when the time comes.

Source: Upworthy
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