Coping With Loss

Life After Death

Here's to two kids who had no idea that life could change so quickly.


When I was twelve, the world ended for most kids my age when our parents found our notes (that's right folks, we talked shit with pen and paper back in the day), or our parents found our report cards with C's in History because Heaven forbid we go over the "Declaration of Independence" again.

Most of us stressed about those God-awful essay prompts that asked middle schoolers, "What is one thing that has made an impact on your life?" Like how is a middle schooler supposed to have something to say other than they won some contest for *insert extra curricular activity here*.

Ironically, I was a twelve year old with an essay that caused an after-school meeting with my mother and English teacher. I guess when talking about death, I wasn't supposed to have so much to say.

I was eleven years old when something inside of me died...I don't know if it was my faith in God or maybe the loving world my parents made me believe was ruined or maybe I was just introduced to the real world. Either way, I wrote about it and my teacher pulled me aside. I won't give you the version I wrote out for my teacher but here's what happened:

Four family members went on a road trip. One came back.

I have written this story many times. I have cried, screamed, cursed at God, and took glass shards to my skin. (I did it once and it really hurt more than I thought it would so never do that again but nonetheless, self-harm is NOT OKAY).

I think I saw pain everywhere I looked after the accident and I just didn't care to try to make it better. I reached out to my mom and she shoved me to my cousin Joshua (the one to survive). I reached out to my brother and he wasn't there, he was with Joshua.

At the time, I think the family majority vote was, "Alyssa is closest to Joshua so she can make him happy... you know since he just lost his mom, dad, and brother." Truth be told, I only saw Joshua a couple of times prior to this incident. And another truth is... I was scared of him. I felt like everyone was thinking I was going to make him happy and if I didn't.. then he wouldn't want to live anymore. I was scared of him because I didn't know how to make him want to live while he was laying in a full body cast.

I wanted to be with my mom but she... wasn't there. I would wander off and find her in a corner crying. Other times she would be there getting ready for work and she looked like a ghost of my mother. For a little while, I think every aunt cousin, grandparent, and even my parents were slowly dying inside.

It has been a long time since they passed. If I could write an essay about how this impacted my life at twenty-four instead of twelve, then I would say:

I am no longer afraid of love.

Losing so much in an instant taught me that every moment I have with my family and cherished friends is a blessing.

I have come off very strong in my life and this is why. I am not going to hold back because along with not being afraid of love, I am afraid of not having the opportunity to tell someone what they mean to me.

I hope one day Joshua understands that his life saved all of us. I hope one day Joshua understands how much we love him.

I pray one day Joshua understands that I, Alyssa love him more than he could ever imagine.

Being able to become* his sister is the greatest blessing God has ever given me.

This is for my grandparents, my parents, my brother, and Joshua.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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22 Times Mom And Dad Were Right, Even If I Hate To Admit Being Wrong

You have always been there for me, no matter what, and I appreciate it with my whole heart.


I have been blessed with two amazing parents. Since the day I was born, they were always there to support me in the big ways and the small ways — from always cheering me on at my volleyball games to sending me care packages at school to calling me for encouragement before an interview to sending me daily "good morning, have a good day" messages.

The lessons that they have taught me in my 22 years on this beautiful earth have not gone unnoticed, even though I may not have always listened to them.

1. When they told me that I will never disappoint them, as long as I am trying my best.

2. When they told me that I deserve to be treated with respect.

3. When they told me that I would survive heartbreak.

4. When they told me that some friends are not life-long friends. 

5. When they told me to bring a jacket whenever I go out.

6. When they told me that growing up is not all fun and games and to enjoy the present moment.

7. When they told me that some people in life are just, well, mean and bitter. 

8. When they told me that it is okay to take time for myself and to put myself first sometimes.

9. When they told me that people need to earn my trust. 

10. When they told me that God has a plan, even though it may not be the same as my plan.

11. When they told me to treat others the way I want to be treated, even if they treated me poorly.

12. When they told me to always send a thank you note, email, text message, or phone call.

13. When they told me that honesty is the best policy and that karma will bite me in the butt.

14. When they told me to be humble, but to be proud of my successes. 

15. When they told me to love my body and my brain just the way they are.

16. When they told me to find my passion and to follow it with all of my heart.

17. When they told me to think before I speak so that I do not say anything that I will regret.

18. When they told me I would survive, even when I thought something was the end of the world.

19. When they told me to learn from my failures instead of ignoring them. 

20. When they told me to stand by my beliefs, even if that meant standing alone.

21. When they told me that small gestures go a long way. 

22. When they told me that they will always love me, even when I am being stubborn or mean or disrespectful or annoying. 

Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. I love you so much.

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