These past two months have been the most difficult, emotional, and emotionless months of my life. Two months ago, my father passed away unexpectedly sending me into a whirlwind of emotions. It’s hard when a loved one dies, let alone a parent, let alone when you’re only 21 years old. You really do feel like there’s something else you should’ve said to them that you didn’t, there’s always a nagging thought in the back of your mind if they knew how much they meant to you, and there’s always that feeling of utter dread picturing a future without them.
I’m only 21 years old. I haven’t even graduated college- I haven’t even started my life. And my dad won’t be here to see me do all the things I so desperately had wanted him to see me do. He’ll never get to see me grow into the woman he raised me to be. He’ll never get to hold his grandkids, or walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. These thoughts tug at my mind every single day- it doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter when, these thoughts creep up on me whenever they please.
Some days I try to block it out of my head. I understand he’s gone and of course I’m sad, but I push all my thoughts, regrets and despair way into the back of my mind so much so that I almost feel okay again. And then a day comes where there’s nothing I can do to keep these negative thoughts away. And I’ve learned to understand that’s okay.
It’s easy to feel alone losing a parent (or anyone close to you for that matter), but trust me, you are not. There are so many other people who are feeling a lot of the same things you’re feeling. Take comfort in that- you’re never alone.
It’s easy to question if there really is anything after death- especially after a loved one’s passing. This seems to be my greatest internal battle. Some days I feel better because I think of seeing my dad again in Heaven and I think of him watching down on me every single day. Other days I question if there is anything at all, or if when you die, that’s it. These days are my worst. But we will never know for sure until we’re on the brink of death ourselves, and it’s not something you can control, so why dwell on it? One thing that keeps me hopeful there IS something after life is actually a scientific concept, the Law of the Conservation of Energy. This law states that “energy cannot be destroyed or created, it can only be transformed from one form to another.” This keeps me hopeful that our energy, our soul, does end up somewhere else after our physical bodies give up on us. I hope that if you’re struggling with the thought of what really comes after death (even if you’re a scientist like me), just that one concept alone can give you some hope.
Talk to your loved one. I talk to my dad every day. Whether it be out loud, in my head or by writing a text message, or just a letter to him. This really does make you feel connected to your lost loved one in some way- it’s like talking to them. And feeling like they’re listening.
Keep your mind open to “signs”. I always see a large, red dragonfly whenever I think my dad is sending me a signal to put me at ease (and they really do). The red dragonfly doesn’t just dart past me, he lingers. I can get so close to him and he won’t fly away. Whenever there’s a heavenly sunset I like to think it’s him as well. I’ve always been a sucker for sunsets, and the sky, as well as my dad so I like to think he’s sending that pretty sunset my way. The prettiest of sunsets seem to happen on the days I need them most. But, I’ve also known some passed loved ones to leave pennies in strange places for you to find or even send a rainbow. Whatever you feel is a sign, is their sign.
Make a playlist of songs that remind you of your lost loved one. On my Spotify, I have a playlist of all of my Dad’s favorite songs- as well as songs that weren’t necessarily his favorite, but just remind me of him. Listening to the playlist either puts me at ease, thinking of all the happy memories and my dad’s free spirit- or it can make me cry simply because I miss him (and I also never appreciated/truly listened to his favorite music until now). Either way, it’s a good emotional release and way to connect with my dad when he’s no longer on this earth.
Cry. Cry. Cry! Crying is good for the soul once in a while. You need to cry. Don’t feel like you can’t or shouldn’t cry when you feel it coming on. It’s a cleansing of your soul; it needs it.
Family is everything. It sometimes can take a death of a loved one for you to realize that saying you love someone everyday is never too much. Spending time with the ones you love is most important, and never rely on tomorrow to tell anyone you love them, to shoot your mom/dad a text even though you’re busy at college, or stay an extra hour with your loved one even though you’re itching to get some work done or go out with your friends. You’re never too busy for the ones you love- for they are most important. And tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us.
Surround yourself with a support system. Whether it’s a friend, a significant other, your family, or a therapist, find someone you can talk to when you need it most. (If you ever need to just talk to someone, please feel free to contact me as well.)
Look at old photos. Remember old memories. I love looking through old photos of my dad at his happiest, most carefree moments. I love the memories that come flooding back just by a glance at a picture.
The pain won’t ever really end. Accept it. I’m going to miss my dad forever, I’m going to think about him every day for the rest of my life. I’m going to have moments where I cry about it for the rest of my life. Your loved one was important to you, and going on without them won’t be easy.
Find comfort in their peace. Their suffering is no more.
I wish I was posting on better terms, Beauty Bugs. But I know that there were times I’ve felt like no one else in the world knew how I felt, and I didn’t know how to cope with my dad passing at first. Although it’s only been two months, I’ve learned how to cope much better than I did before just in this seemingly minute ways. I hope this post can help someone feel less alone at the very least.
I love you forever Dad. Everything I do is for you! Rest in peace, I’ll see you again some day. 6/6/1958-08/10/2017.