I wish I could tell everyone that loses a parent at such a vulnerable age, that the pain becomes easier to cope with. I wish I could tell them the pain goes away… but it doesn’t. The pain will always stay with you. But there is a silver lining, and it’s that you will get stronger.
I have been going through so many changes in my personal life lately and figuring out what I really want in my life (hence the lack of recent blog posts). I’ve also been unbelievably focused on my career goals over the last couple of months and through that, I brought myself to believe that I was completely done grieving. I kept telling myself to get back to the ‘old’ me. I kept pushing myself to my limit every time I was feeling low. I kept believing that my time for grieving was over. But in the last few weeks, I realized that the grief does not go away, nor does it get easier. I realized I can never go back to the ‘old’ me. The ‘old’ me had a different life – I was in high school with two parents. I didn’t have so many stresses of the real world. Due to the family dynamic changes and the move to college, there would never be an ‘old’ me again. I’m now coming to the conclusion that I’m making a ‘new’ me. I am making my life and figuring out who I want to be and what values I hold. I am figuring out how to create a career for myself. I am defining my own happiness.
Lately, I’ve been keeping my grieving moments more and more to myself. I can also finally talk about my dad in a positive and normal way. I don’t feel like I’m stepping on eggshells anymore. I always used to feel guilty talking about my dad to others because I thought I was putting friends/family in an awkward situation. And sometimes I still feel that, but I’ve learned how to get past that feeling of guilt. I’ve learned who I can talk to about my dad and I learned who genuinely cares about my feelings and my pain. I still break down about him and I still dream about him all the time, but I am so much happier with who I am and where I am in my life. Although I am still trying to figure a few things here and there, I’m finally starting to see my victories as accomplishments and my failures as steps to success. I have finally defined what happiness means to me. I can confidently say I have gotten stronger when it comes to dealing with grief and adversity. I’ve learned what I can handle and what I need to be able to get through tough times.
The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your mental health. I do what makes my soul smile and my heart happy, and I don’t care if I disappoint somebody or if somebody judges me for that anymore. Remember that you define your happiness and you are the only person who knows what you need. Realizing this, will help deal with any grief or adversity and make you stronger.