The Loss Of A Loved One

The Loss Of A Loved One

...Because some things never get any easier.

This past Saturday, August 20, marked five years of the loss of four beloved boys who lost their lives far too soon in a car accident. Those boys were not only my dear friends, but also siblings, cousins, sons, and brothers of many others. They were athletes, boyfriends, a reason to smile, and a face to remember. Their vanishing from our lives shook the very ground we were standing on with not a hint of ease. Looking back on that day never becomes easier. The hardest part about losing someone is having to do it every single day. There is a part of you that’s missing and can’t be replaced. No matter how much you try to distract yourself or “let time heal all wounds,” the pain remains. And it’s a pain that can’t be described in words, you feel this pain. You feel it in your eyes as soon as you open them in the morning, and you feel it in your legs with each unwilling step you take back to reality. You feel it in your ears when you hear unpleasant sobs, and with your hands when you give comforting hugs. It’s an overwhelming sensation that you feel in your heart every heavy breath that you take and it doesn’t go away overnight, let alone, over months, and even years.

If you have lost someone, you know this reality all too well and have fought to be at the point you are at today. Whether you are content at this point or not, I promise you that you have improved because, whomever you may have lost, you know they would want you to try to be happy…and I think that’s one of the hardest parts about recovering from losing such an important person in your world. Being happy without them feels wrong, sometimes cruel, and at times selfish. However, that does not make you any less decent of a human nor take away any ounce of love that you have towards them.

The death of a loved one changes you. It takes your world and flips it inside out and backwards. It leaves you hanging upside down and falling forever. It makes you question everything you’ve ever known, experienced, learned, and loved, and it creates a remarkable appreciation that you never wish you knew; an appreciation for life. Although you have been through your own personal hell on earth, you owe yourself the chance to grow and wholeheartedly smile at the joys of living again. Looking back five years ago, I couldn’t fathom the places I’ve gotten to and the obstacles I’ve overcome. Of course, it did not happen quickly and it was not the slightest bit easy, but it did present me with the person I am today, which I wouldn't have any other way.

If I could give a single piece of advice, after living and managing, sometimes merely, to survive the same things you’re going through, I would tell you every day, for the rest of your life, “Don’t give up on yourself.” There are going to be days you cry from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until the second you let them rest at night. The even worse days will come when you’re too numb to cry…you’re too numb to do, feel, or express anything. These days will come more often than good days, or even decent days, but I'm telling you now to push through. Because when you’re out of the dark and can finally see how far you’ve come, every hour of those bad days will be worth it. You will lose hope, you will lose faith, you will fight the hardest arguments within your very own head and you will lose, but one day you will win. You will trust, you will believe, and you will thank every cell in your body that you didn’t stop fighting, that you didn’t give up on yourself, and that you learned to fall in love with life again.

Cover Image Credit: NY Times

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...


There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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