An Open Letter to my Siblings as we Grieve

An Open Letter to my Siblings as we Grieve

"Everybody has a chapter they don't read out loud"

This will not be easy…

Many people asked me prior to the death of my dad if I ever thought about how it would be when he actually passed away. I am not going to lie, I did, and maybe you did too. But nothing could have even begun to prepare me what I am feeling, thinking and experiencing right now. I always had an idea on how I would take care of myself. But at the end of the day, I always was more worried about you guys. There has not been a day where dad hasn’t crossed my mind in one way or another and I can only assume you guys have experienced the same thing. Nothing is more frustrating and heartbreaking than having the urge to call dad and tell him about my day or just to see how he is doing. In a weird sense, each day becomes both a little easier as well as harder. Just know that the three of us will one day make it out of this brutal battlefield as one.

…but it also will not be impossible

Following the news of dad’s passing, did you begin to think how the hell you were going to make it out of this crazy journey? Trust me, I did too! Look at us now, weeks have gone by and we have continued to handle this in our own ways. Moment by moment, day by day, we have managed to move forward. Does that mean it has been easy? Far from it. But at the end of the day, through the drive of ourselves, each other, and the ones around us, we have completed the unfeasible. This roller coaster ride is far from over, just promise me you will hang on tight, okay? We can do this.

Don’t ever be scared to show your true emotion

Trust me, if it is any trait that the three of us received from dad it is that we all are horrible at talking about and showing our true emotion. I know it can be uncomfortable or even weird to express what we truly are feeling. But don’t allow that to be the reason you continue to hold back what has built up inside of you. Crazy enough, I have showed by emotions in the craziest ways since dad’s death; finding sick humor in non-humorous scenarios, crying in class, crying in public (restaurants, malls, bathrooms, coffee shops) the list could go on. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to laugh, laugh. Have the urge to scream, do it! I promise you, the satisfaction of spilling out your emotions is indescribable. Find someone you trust and know that you can reach out to them at any time. You are surrounded by so much support—take advantage of it!

Everything happens for a reason

Such a cliché saying, right? But at the same time, it is incredibly true. I don’t know about you, but I have continued to think about ‘why.’ Why dad? Why anyone? Why us? Why didn’t he survive? Why now? Why ever? It is frustrating to think that answers to all of this questions have continued to be unknown. Yet, I always find comfort in the idea that one day, all the answers will arise. Until then, just remember that dad forever is cancer free and in the best place this world has to offer.

Know that we will always have each other

Just when you think that you don’t have anyone who truly understands what you are going through, feeling and dealing with, remember you have us. As we all continue to live our day to day lives in different places, in different phases and surrounded by different people, that never will take away the fact that the three of us will forever be siblings. I love you guys.

Dad will forever be looking down on us

Right when you believe that dad isn’t with you, think again. During times of success, failure, happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, good and the bad, he is never too far away. Whether it be when you receive an awesome grade in school, a promotion in work, graduation, weddings, etc., dad will always be there. Let’s continue to make dad proud, hand in hand, together.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Stossel

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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To My Baby Sister, Here Are 18 Nuggets Of Wisdom To Keep In Mind When You Turn 18

You're an "adult" - but you're not really an adult.


Turning eighteen is a big deal but it doesn't have to be so scary when you keep a few things in mind. I gathered some advice from some friends and family to help you be less anxious about it all!

1. It's okay if you don't know what you want to do with your life yet - you've got time!


Wise words from your eldest sister.

A fellow creator, Lora, added, "It's okay to not have your whole life planned out at 18, even though society expects you to."

2. Love your Mama.

Advice from none other than your very own...mama.

3. Treat yo self!


Ate Lauren said, "Treat yo self whenever you can, by yourself! Take yourself out to eat, take yourself to the nail salon, and go by yourself! Enjoy time by yourself to relax and not have to worry about pleasing another person."

And while you should do this, my fellow creator Jillian warns "Also, don't spend all your money on Chick-fil-A and Chipotle."

4. Don't rush into a relationship for the sake of having one. 

We all deserve a love like the Obamas.


Another fellow creator Monica warns.

And Ate says, "The love of your life will come into your life when you least expect it." And I mean...can we blame her for this advice?

Keep working on you and loving yourself.

5. Be patient with yourself.

"With relationships, with school, with beauty, with growth. You have a world of life in front of yourself so there's no need to rush acceptance and achievement." Wise wise words from my editor, Larissa. You'd love her!!

6. Be gentle with yourself. 

Be Bob Ross...but yourself too.


From your big me: Things can and will get stressful and the pressure to be someone/do something will always be there, so sometimes you just need to let things go, turn social media off and try to relax and take care of yourself. It's okay to say no if you're mentally and physically exhausted. Give yourself a break. Treat yourself. Read a book, bake, paint or whatever it is that puts your mind at ease. Do something you've always enjoyed doing. It's definitely something I wish I did more of as I stressed through high school and college and now a professional career. Be gentle with yourself, because you're doing the best you can.

7. Be careful with credit cards. 


Any debt is really not any fun. Use credit cards wisely and only if you have money to pay them back! I know shopping is fun especially but we gotta be careful!

This one and the next few nuggets are from your lovely eldest sister.

8. Travel as much as you can. 


If that is something you want and desire. It's important to see the world for different perspectives.

9. Listen to those older than you. 

They only nag because they know from experience what they're talking about!

I know we're annoying but's because we don't want you to make the same mistakes as us.

10. Start exercising now and learning how to take care of yourself!

This is you, probably.


Ate says our metabolisms start to slow down at your age, so enjoy it while it lasts, but don't lounge around lazily. You've been warned.

11. Tell the people in your life that you love them.


Do it often and never feel like you're overusing "I love you" or "I appreciate you."

12. Don't compare yourself to others.


Erin says this: "I know it's hard, but don't compare yourself to others. You are your only competition and it's okay if you aren't exactly on the track you want to be on. That's life. Take detours and have fun doing it. Don't take life too seriously we are all working at our own pace and that's okay."

13. The world is not against you!

Jady says it's important to remember that. And know always who is going to be there for you and treat them accordingly.

We're all living our own lives and it's hard to remember sometimes when things can get hard but you've got this.

14. Be happy. 


Create your own happiness. The world is tough so sometimes you are the only thing you can depend on for happiness.

15. Turning 18 does not mean you're ~really~ an adult. 

Ena says, "You're nowhere near an adult yet at all, it's okay to not know what you're doing or what you wanna do and it's not a shameful thing. Also, it's not shameful to ask for help!" (She also said you won't be for decades, but you know, this is her advice, not mine to you).

16. When it comes to life after high school, don't fret.

I know right around my 18th birthday I was plagued with the idea of what the heck do I want to do with my life? I wanted to do something that helped people was all that I knew. And it's confusing and scary, I know. I had no idea where I wanted to go or school or what I wanted to go to school. And it's okay to not know what comes next. And I know this seems like a reiteration of things that have been said previously, but if you don't want to go to school immediately-- that's alright too. As long as you're doing what you're passionate about I think that everyone will support you.

17. Reach out if you ever feel alone.


I know it's hard to sometimes, but it can really help you so you don't spiral.

18. Ask questions!

Ate Caroline says, "Throughout school, you're so many things, but they never teach you adult things: like taxes, managing bills, and balancing relationships. So, ask questions! Be patient with yourself and remember your self-worth."

You're incredibly cared for. So know that you can lean on anyone for help and guidance.

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