Dan Fischer, 43, created the One Last Wave Project in January to use the healing power of the ocean to help families coping with a loss, like he was. After losing his father, Karl Fischer, to pancreatic cancer, Dan struggled for years trying to cope with the complicated grief that came with his dad’s death. Eight months after his father’s death, Dan then lost his beloved dog Rudy to cancer as well. Not having picked up surfing avidly until just eight years ago, Dan decided to salute his father the only way he knew how–by taking him (or rather his name) for one last wave on the ocean. Videotaping the experience was all it took for the intimate moment to go viral and giving Dan a purpose while finding hope in the midst of his grief.
The One Last Wave Project allows people to share stories of their deceased loved ones. Dan etches each name onto one of his surfboards and takes them out in a spiritual way, for “one last wave,” as a way to memorialize them, connecting with nature and with the universe above. Each board fits 2,000 names on it and three boards are currently filled to the brim with names.
Many that have reached out to Dan lost loved ones to cancer. Some have been as young as four years old.
Fischer continues to accept names through email and social media. He plans to keep making surfboards for as long as it resonates and helps people, and includes his young daughter in the experiences.
You can learn more about One Last Wave @onelastwaveproject. Listen to his story now on The Game On Glio Podcast.
**images courtesy of Kelle Soucier
Season 2 Sponsor:
Resources from SEASON 2 Ep. 4:
Confessions of a Funeral Director Blog- I don’t Want Anyone to Know I have Cancer,
The Game On Glio Podcast: Grace. Guidance. Gratitude,
Hope and Grief Blog: Continuing Bonds of Love After Loss
Amazon: How to carry what can’t be fixed: A Journal for Grief by Megan Divine
Amazon: The Other Side of Complicated Grief by Rhonda O’Neil R.N.
Laura Thomas TED Talk: Navigating the World of Grief
For more resources, visit our resource page here.