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What I Hope For After Losing My Father as a Teenager

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When I was in kindergarten, my dad had a massive stroke. When I was 15, I received a call from my aunt informing me that my dad was dying and that I needed to take the next flight out to Tennessee if I ever wanted to see him again. I flew out there, and got to be by my dad’s side as he took his final breaths. I told him I loved him, that it was OK to go. Of course, none of it was OK, but it had to be.

Ever since my dad’s death, I can’t help but feel I’m missing something massive. I go to the park, and see kids playing with their dads. I go out to eat, and see kids and their dads eating together. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I am reminded of my loss. I would not wish a life without a dad on my worst enemy, and when I lost my dad, I lost a piece of me. It’s been over four years since his passing, yet I still feel the weight of his absence every day.

A while ago, I texted someone and asked if they could pray for me, as I was going through a hard time thinking about my dad. This took tremendous courage for me, as I rarely like to admit that I struggle a lot with the grief and sorrow that has come from my dad’s absence. I will admit it though, I do struggle with the fact that my dad isn’t here, and that I will never get to hear his voice again, at least on this planet. Life without my dad is vastly incomplete, and it always will be. I miss his voice, the sound of him calling me his Superman, and the touch of his hand. On the day he died, I lost a piece of myself. A piece I will never get back, a piece that he now has.

Since my dad’s been gone, I’ve had numerous birthdays and other milestones that he has missed.
I’ve had nights where all I could do was cry, nights I thought would never end. I’ve thought about how much different life would be if my dad never died, and what I would tell him if we could have one last conversation. The nights always end though, and the sun always rises.

Even without a dad, life must go on, and I must try to live it as best I can. I know my dad would want me to live life to the fullest, but there are days when that seems impossible. Days where I wonder if I’ll ever stop grieving, or seemingly become less sad about my loss. I have come to the conclusion that I will never stop grieving. As long as I live, I will feel my dad’s absence, and there is nothing that anyone can do or say to change that. I long for the day we will be reunited. On that day, there will be no more sorrow or pain. Only a long embrace, and a million questions.

Until that day, I press on. I just hope one day, I can be a man that would make my dad proud. I want to be the type of father I never had, and for my kids to know just how much I love them. I’m doing my best to live a life my dad would be proud of, a life he never got to fully live.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” –Robert Frost

Originally published: September 7, 2016
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