Never would I have ever thought that November of my Sophomore year of high school my life would talk a complete 180. Losing my dad at fifteen years old changed me in a lot of ways. I view the world around me differently than what any other fifteen-year-old would. The first year without him was a blur, everyone around me was lost in my own thoughts. I came out on the other side a year later seeing the importance in life and having learned things that I will hold close to me forever.
People say they understand when in reality they have no idea how much pain you actually feel.
It would either be someone who lost a pet, or just friends offering support will often say things like “I totally understand what you’re going through” They are saying this out solely out of love and empathy, I often felt frustrated because no one actually understood. But then I began to realize I should be glad because they didn’t and really should never have to face the pain of losing a parent or someone close to them at such a young age.
It hurts to hear other complain about their parents.
Kids argue with their parents its inevitable. When you lose a parent, it hurts to hear anyone say they “hate” their parents. On the outside, you sit there and listen to your peers, but on the inside, you’re screaming. I am even guilty of fighting with my parents, but once again its bound to happen, you won’t always agree.
Anyone you meet in your life you will never forget them.
When you lose a parent, it feels as though everything around you is still spinning, but you’re stuck at a standstill, and eventually you’ll shut down. It almost seems impossible but connection is one of the most beneficial coping skill. Whether it be counselors, teachers, or friends, I cherish the relationships I’ve made and the relationships I’ve recently made in college. It’s hard to let people in and gain their trust which makes connecting hard for anyone, but those who stick around are the best. I once realized how precious and valuable life is and just how petty teenage problems are. It’s frustrating, but eventually you’ll find people who care and who will listen and I am beyond grateful to call them my best friends.
Just because you aren’t crying all the time, doesn’t mean you’re not sad.
There are times when you feel so numb and the situation still seems so surreal. Even when you feel the strongest urge to just cry and breakdown, you can’t. It doesn’t mean that you’re not still broken. It is completely normal not to cry, this is because you feel numb and just still in shock. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen or heard something that reminds me of my dad, or someone just mentions him. I tell myself “you should be crying, people are going to think you’re not hurt over him.” When in reality you’re hurt, hurt at the fact that these emotions are so raw and it’s hard to let yourself feel. Don’t get me wrong, I still cry over him, but sometimes I honestly can’t cry anymore, not because I’m not sad, instead I was so broken down that I would shut down the pain. I felt like I needed to be strong while everyone was weak.
Milestones in life are going to be painful.
Special days are just a reminder that they cannot be here to share these memories. I think about the last birthday I shared with my dad. It was my fifteenth birthday and directly after school he took me to go get my drivers permit, I failed three times, went back the next day and passed on my first try. I still remember the tears streaming down both of our eyes, because I got my drivers permit. He realized I was growing up, and in all honestly, I realized that this was another step to adulthood. As far as holidays go, you are in the presence of your family, but it is quite obvious that they are not physically with you. High school graduation was even harder, there is that one seat that is empty, just makes you realize that life is short and you never know how short it will actually be.
Always remember to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to accept your emotions without bottling them in. You will make it through this, I promise. Grief will never have a timeline and only you know what is best. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn how to feel. And always remember it’s okay to not be okay