Losing my dad when I was 13 was a tragedy. I had to grow up faster than my friends, and it was not how I pictured my eighth grade year to play out. Losing a parent changes you so much, you really start to realize what is important in life, and what really is not. I learned a few things after losing my dad…
1. You are stronger than you think: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” I seemed to hear this quote everywhere I went after my dad passed away. I did not realize how much strength I had until I lost my father. I knew I had some strength in me, but I did not realize how much until this event in my life. Strength is something that grows with time, and it is amazing how much strength that I have acquired in these 5 years.
2. God IS on your side: I really started to doubt God after he took my dad from me. I honestly did not think He liked me anymore. Walking around with that mindset really got me nowhere, and just separated me even farther away from God. I soon began to realize that I was wrong, and my assumptions of God were all wrong. Even though God put me through a tragedy at a seemingly young age, He is still with me, and filling me with His love everyday of my life. He supplies me with the unending strength, and faith that I need to tackle this new life style He has placed upon me.
3. You learn who your real friends are: After losing my dad, I also lost a lot of my friends. I mean I was only in 8th grade so I knew a lot of my friends would not stick around through high school, anyways. I was really bummed after losing some of the people who I thought were my best friends. After losing a parent, or really anyone… people always say stuff like oh I will always be here for you…or I’m so sorry for your loss. After a while, I became numb to those phrases, and I found out who my real friends were. My real friends were the ones who were there for me no matter how I was feeling. They were the ones who tried to pick me up out of the hole I was in. I am still finding my true friends, even now in college. I am so blessed with the people GOd has given me. He is still doing good in my life, even though I doubted Him so much.
4. You will cry at random times: yes this will happen. This has happened to me on countless occasions. I cry when I am driving, or listening to music, and even when I am completely happy hanging out with my friends. Sometimes things will just spark your unconscious and you will get emotional. I am already an emotional person, I feel for others when they are emotional, so when I am sad, FORGET IT. I just let myself cry it out. Sometimes it hits me so hard, I have to stop what you I am doing to catch my breath, and send a prayer up to the Lord. I have realized that it is important to have true friends to lean on.
5. You will be okay: yes it may not feel like it at first but you will. It might take a lot longer than you thought possible, but healing takes a lot of time. It can take up to years to feel fully healed again. The one thing I have learned is that you will never be completely the same and that is okay!!! I can attest to the fact that I am a completely different person than I was in the 8th grade. I have grown so much in strength and faith. But I have gotten so much out of losing my dad. They say that something good always comes out of tragedy and to be honest I used to hate hearing that, but today I can agree with it. I see what God has done in my life by putting the right people with me, and giving me a lot of positive life changing experiences.
Losing a loved one definitely does NOT define you, but it will certainly change you.