Three Years Later: My Broken Heart

Today is my dad’s three year death anniversary. I still feel the broken heart. I think of my dad and his lively personality and selfless heart and genuine smile, and I feel a broken heart. There are no words to describe this feeling, but all I know is that my heart is broken. It is so broken. I still miss my dad so much and I wish I knew how to cope with this feeling. Sometimes I cope by trying to keep myself so ridiculously busy so I just numb out the pain and sometimes I try so hard to feel my feelings and cry everything out. No matter what coping mechanism I use, I still feel my broken heart.

I feel my heart sink every single time I think about the pain my dad was in. I feel my heart sink every time I have the urge to call him (which has been quite frequent recently). I feel my heart sink knowing he won’t be there for the major life events. I feel my heart sink knowing that so many people go through this.

Three years later, my heart continues to sink and I continue to miss my best friend.

The last three years have flown by, but there are those days where I feel like everything is going by so slow and my grief is so deep and my pain is indescribable. Despite it all, I am still so proud of myself. In the last three years, I have accomplished so much for my academic and professional life, while learning so much about personal growth and my soul. I wish I could share all of it with my dad. Every single day when I’m walking to class, or work, or extracurriculars, I have this urge to call him. I keep staring at my phone secretly hoping I’ll see his name pop up calling me.

Although I take pride in the person I am today, there are so many days where I want to throw in the towel. Sometimes I am just so exhausted from…school, jobs, internships, and life.

Three years later, and I still need time to grieve. I still need time to digest all my life changes. 

I hate to admit it, but much of my anger has yet to disappear. I have triggers that really set me off and I wish I could control it, but I cannot. Some of the smallest things make me so upset, or sad, or emotional. I am still pretty sensitive and I noticed as soon as my dad passed away, I became so sensitive, self-conscious and lost all of my self-esteem. Although my self-esteem is slowly but surely coming back, I am now struggling with aspects of life that I never used to struggle with.

Three years later, and I am trying to find the self-esteem that was lost. 

Three years later and I am still grieving. Like I have written about before, grief doesn’t get easier but you get stronger. In the grand scheme of things, three years really isn’t that long. I take full pride in the person I am today. I am still as motivated and driven to constantly give back to the cancer community. At the end of the day, I am so happy with who I am, the people in my life, and how everything has panned out. Days like today push me to do some extra reflection and I am just so thankful!

Three years later, I still feel the broken heart, but I continue to grieve in a healthy way and progressively move forward with the amazing life I was blessed with. 

Today I had a picnic in SF and thought only the happiest thoughts about my dad.  

DNR: It’s Not Just a Form

DNR – It stands for Do Not Resuscitate. The DNR was created to help patients during terminal illness and it basically declines the patients of life-saving measures. I watched my mom sign this form the day my dad was admitted to hospice care and didn’t really understand it, but also didn’t have the energy to ask any questions about it.

Only later during the minutes of my father’s death, I understood what my dad told my mom to sign. It took my awhile to comprehend why my dad made this decision (and why mom supported it), and now I see how selfish I was being. I wanted my dad to live longer, but he was in so much excruciating pain. Of course he didn’t want to be living in more pain and now that I understand that and the point of a DNR, I feel much more at peace.


Signing a DNR is a patient’s choice. My recommendation is to support your parent or loved one in whatever decision they make. The sooner you realize the point of a DNR and where your parent/loved one stands on it, the situation becomes easier to cope with and the death becomes more peaceful.