One minute, life couldn’t be going better. You are the happiest you’ve ever been in your entire life, and then out of nowhere, your father dies. Nothing can possibly prepare you for the loss of a parent. It is shocking, traumatic, devastating, and something that I wish no one would ever have to experience. The feelings that accompany the loss of a parent can be likened to having the soul sucked out of your body, put into a blender, and then placed back inside of you. Everything feels like it is spiraling out of control.
Losing a parent is perhaps one of life’s hardest obstacles. You are left feeling as though your entire world has done a 180 and that you may never feel truly happy or complete again. It’s been four weeks since my father’s passing, and it still doesn’t seem real. I find myself glancing at my phone, expecting a text or a missed call from him, even though I know I won’t be getting one. While these past few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life, I remind myself that I now have an angel watching over me. When I wake up each morning, I think of the many mottos that my dad lived by, and they help me get through the day. My dad, an avid golfer, often said, “Swing hard, because you just might hit the ball.” This inspires me to work hard every day, and to not give up when life gets tough. As he also frequently said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
I gained a new perspective on life in the days after my father passed away. I realized just how short life really is, and how important it is to take advantage of every day we are given. As cliché as this sounds, life is a gift that is not meant to be wasted. We are all faced with a plethora of challenges throughout life. Sometimes it may seem nearly impossible to get through a certain event or experience; however, with the love and support of family and friends, it is possible. I know that my dad would want me to be strong and not let this horrible time stop me from living and enjoying life. While I am still struck with pangs of sadness at random times throughout the day, it helps to know that my dad is in a better place now, which is all I could ever want for him and more. I am truly honored and blessed to have been given such an amazing father and to have known such an incredible man.
Overall, the loss of my father has taught me a lot. Cherish every moment you have with loved ones. Those “I love yous” and big, warm hugs mean a lot more than you could ever imagine. Don’t hold grudges. Life is far too short for drama and resentment. Be kind to people, because everyone is going through something different. “Keep working hard because you’ll sleep better.” You only get one life, so take full advantage of it.