The passing of someone you love changes you; anyone who has suffered a deep loss will tell you this. There is something about you that is just not the same afterward. There is pain, an ache, that never goes away, no matter how much time goes by.
Loss is a constant presence in the room, causing you to look for the one you lost, playing a cheap trick and laughing when you realize that they are not there. Loss is a hunger, a need for one more moment together, one last “I love you” that you know will never come. Loss is excruciating.
In the days and weeks following my father’s death, I wondered how I would go on for the rest of my life without him. I contemplated possible scenarios that may come my way and how I would handle myself without my most trusted advisor. I prayed, and still do, for the strength to find myself in this new world, this new reality that I can’t look in the eye.
I never thought that I would have to go through life without my Dad. Losing him when I was 30 was incomprehensible to me; there was no way that this could be real. I’ve come to learn that even though I’ve accepted the fact that my father is no longer with me, I still haven’t come to terms with it completely. I go on with my life as if nothing happened, but inside, I know the truth.
I know that my heart has been broken and a piece of it will never be repaired. I know that this quiet, gentle man who I called “Dad” took a part of me with him, but also left some of himself here for me. I don’t think that you truly ever move on from such an immense loss. Maybe we learn to cope and function, but we’re never really the same.
If there is one lesson that I can learn from my experience, it may sound cliché, but it’s that life is truly short. I believe that we are each given this beautiful gift of life, and with it comes an amazing opportunity to make someone else’s life better. Don’t be afraid to do great things.
Let the change in you, the one resulting from loss, motivate you to make your life the best it can be, and share that with everyone around you. Be an example of kindness in the face of adversity, love when you are in sorrow, and peace when everything seems to be falling apart. Be a spark of hope, show loss who’s boss.