What I've Learned About Grief Since My Dad's Suicide


February 7.

This is a date I will always dread and never forget.

A year ago that day, my life got turned upside down. A year ago my dad took his own life. But I didn’t just lose my dad that day — I lost my hero, my biggest supporter and inspiration, the funniest person I’ve ever known and the one person who could make me smile without saying a word.

If I were to be completely honest, the past year has been one big blur that has all rolled into one, and I’ve really struggled to adjust in a world without him in it.

Over the past year, I have learned the true meaning of grief, for me anyway. It’s different for everybody, of course, and I’m still learning. But I’ve learned grief isn’t what I thought. I’d lost family members before, but this loss took it to a new level.

Grief is, well, it’s far from easy. It’s guilt. It’s constant chest pain. It’s always there, and it pokes its head into the most unwanted of situations and has the ability to ruin the few good times manageable in the wake of death. It’s not being able to sleep through fear I’ll lose somebody else. It’s telling my story as if it was happening to somebody else, not me. It’s having a few moments of reality but still not being able to believe it. It’s complete and utter disassociation, defense and heartache.

But it’s also continuing with my degree, using it as motivation and doing everything I can to make my dad proud. It’s reaching my goal, helping those who, like my dad, struggle to help themselves and helping to improve mental health services and in turn (and hopefully) reducing suicide rates.

Suicide is often associated with selfishness by people who don’t understand it. This isn’t true. But in saying that, if you ever think the world will be better off without you, I can assure you it isn’t. There will always be somebody who loves you & will miss you.

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Please, ask for help.

You are worth it, and you deserve to live, I promise. It might not be easy, but it’ll be OK — some day!

Dad… a year on from losing you, I’ll be forever thankful for the time I had with you and proud of your achievements and bravery despite your pain. I miss you more than you could ever imagine.

All my love,

Your Little Girl

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If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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