How Losing my Dad has changed me

Today marks two and a half years since my dad passed away. And like people told me would happen, never has a day gone by without thinking of him. If I had known he was going to pass away before he did, I think it would have been much harder. Who knows. I held fast that there was no way I was going to lose him, right up until he took his last breath. And in some crazy way, I accepted the loss right then and there as well. When he died, when I fell to the floor with literally no strength to stay up, crying with the most helpless sense of sadness and despair I’ve ever felt, I accepted that this was his time. God had his plans and this was all part of them. I knew if I didn’t accept this, I was going to spiral downhill. It was either sink or swim.

My family is very lucky in the sense that my dad was such a happy and easygoing person. He didn’t fret, didn’t worry where it wasn’t due, didn’t cause drama, never looking for sympathy, and never uttering complaints. He always wanted the best for us. And this came up many times as we prepared for his funeral and just helping with the strength to keep on. We knew what my dad would want of us. His life mission had been to keep his family happy and loved and taken care of. I think we are still doing decently well considering. Squeaking by at times, but getting by.

The ease with which one could fall apart from losing someone is scary. One tiny step in the wrong direction. You have to just make the choice to not go there. No matter what it takes. I’m so grateful for the lessons about life my dad taught me during his time here. I can almost know what he’d say in many situations and it’s helped me so much. My dad lost his own dad in a car accident when he just a small child and I believe that was a major contributor to his outlook on life. He was a light to everyone.

I think a lot of people who have lost a special person can attest to this. Your sense of empathy changes. You’ve had the worst form of heartbreak. You know the feelings of bottomless sadness. Hurt. Pain so intense that it almost feels physical. A loss that is forever there. The path of life has been altered. There’s a hole that will never be filled. And you’re going to try your hardest to never cause another person pain. I’ve sometimes looked at the way that people can treat others and I just think, they’ve never experienced loss. I would never wish anyone to deal with loss, but it is a very big eye opener to life. Respecting others, having a selfless heart, and loving with all you got.

Ive had to kind of do some growing up and start dealing with life and adulthood on my own. Where before my dad was always a phone call or text away for help with a simple question that I knew he would have the answer for, google has become a very close companion. I’ve learned a lot, especially about vehicles in particular 😂 and sometimes I just have to wing it and hope for the best! How else do you learn than by trying and making mistakes? Honestly, I feel older than I am now. Too much adulting.

Even though I’m at terms with him not being here, it doesn’t make it easy. There’s times where it feels like it freshly hits me, that he’s really gone and I will never be in his presence in this earthly life again. It’s a weird surreal feeling that kind of makes your heart catch. There’s times where it’s a bit hard to go back home because it’s just not the same without him there. He was always there to greet us at the door when the kids and I would show up after our ten hour trip. But that’s gotten easier too. It’s still my favorite place to be. There’s times where I feel so utterly alone and in despair wishing I could just talk to him, but I can’t. The tears have gotten farther and fewer. Although they seem to strike when I’m least expecting it. And I think it will always be this way and that is okay.

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed as a change, however, is that where I used to be a bit insecure and worry what people thought of me, I’ve lost that. I don’t care anymore. My life is for myself and loved ones. Life is short and can be taken when you least expect it. I will do what makes me feel like I’m being true to myself and happy. I will keep company with those who make life good. I will confront those who find it okay to be rude or mean to others and protect my loved ones at all costs. There’s no time for pettiness.

Drink all the coffee, catch the sunrise, marvel at the sunset. Let go of your worries and carry on. Enjoy this precious life we have been given. I imagine my dad on the shores of heaven waiting for the day we are all together again. Until then, I’m going to be happy, let myself be sad when sad, and accept that this is life now. And it’s all my choice how I go on. I choose a life well lived.

2 responses to “How Losing my Dad has changed me”

  1. This is so beautiful – I lost my dad almost 2 years ago and relate to every single word ❤️ Thank you for writing this.

  2. This is a heartbreaking and heartwarming post! How true your words about loss are! We must go on and live our lives to the fullest and remember our loved ones forever! I love you Bethany!

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