In One Moment
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Health and Wellness

In One Moment

The acceptance of the loss of a father and a best friend.

In One Moment
OSV Weekly

“In one moment, I lost both my father and my best friend.”

I have read the speech I wrote for my father’s funeral over 200 times, and, in my 700 word funeral speech, reading this particular sentence causes my heart to descend beyond my feet; my throat to tighten as if I am suffocating; and my eyes to shift to the lightest shade of blue in a desperate attempt to fight back tears.

Chris Kanthack was two separate but uniquely consubstantial people. He was a father first. He taught me how to tie my shoes because no one else retained enough patience to teach me; unfortunately, I still tie my shoes with two bunny ears. He curled my hair every day before school until I was in 5th grade and I can only ever remember being burned by the curling iron once. He coached all of my sports teams. He helped decide on both of my prom dresses. He bought me coffee almost every Saturday. He once left work to bring me a box of tampons, a latte, Midol, and a sandwich when I was suffering a visit from Aunt Flo. He taught me that love is about finding your best friend and creating a life together. He reminded me constantly that patience is a virtue.

Despite the million instances that depict his role as my father, his greatness as a father came from one incredible and empowering moment. A couple of months before he died, he lectured me for over 20 minutes from my usage of the word “can’t.” I remember him looking directly in my eyes with this piercing look of disappointment, but genuine concern. He said, “Don’t you ever say “can’t.” You, you can do anything.” I can still hear the honesty and certainty in his voice. He not only convinced me that I could accomplish anything, but he actually believed it.

He was my best friend second. I remember weeknights of us just lying on the living room couches watching the Food Network. Sometimes we would drift off into deep intellectual conversations covering an array of topics, and other times we would sarcastically joke about the simplest of things. I confided in him with petty high school drama and problems regarding my boyfriends. I shared with him my ever-changing dreams and goals. I told him everything.

I could hardly say that our relationship was perfect; it was far from. But perfection remains the most misused measure in life. Perfection is an un-ideal term used to describe the impossible and unobtainable; moreover, perfection in relationships is a naïve notion adopted by those ignorant to the true concept of love. We strove not for perfection, but acceptance. Our relationship embodied acceptance – learning to love each other’s flaws, learning to forgive the deepest offenses, and learning to value each other.

“In one moment, I lost both my father and my best friend.”

On March 4th, 2015, I lost two people. The first year of grieving I felt the loss of my dad, but the second I began to grieve the loss of my best friend. It is far from easy to grieve the two roles of one person; likewise, it is far from over. Recently, I have begun to accept the loss as one. I lost Chris Kanthack – not just a best friend, father, husband, brother, business owner, coach, and community member – I simply lost Chris Kanthack. My hero. My everything. In one moment, I lost everything.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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