We have all lost people we love and if you haven’t been through that immense loss, you are one of the lucky ones.
As I write this article, my dad has been gone for exactly two years. And like anyone experiencing a big loss, you go through a range of emotions. Initially mine was shock. You see, not only was he my dad but I traveled with him for work. He was one of the most vivacious and young 75 year olds I had ever seen, and I saw him as a person that would live to be 100.
His passing took my breath away and for a while, I didn’t know how to cope. I knew I had to find a way to be happy again and just live, but it wasn’t that easy. Life doesn’t stop for tragedies — it’s always moving. As time passed, I started to feel ok. My life would be different, but I was so incredibly fortunate to have had a father like him, I felt gratitude more than I felt sadness.
But every time something big happened, I would be reminded that he wasn’t here to share the moment, and the pain would creep back in. I believe that my dad is with me, but the yearning for a physical connection overruled my positive thoughts sometimes.
Then the biggest life change happened — I found out I was pregnant. In the beginning, I constantly felt deep sadness that my son won’t ever meet his Grandpa and I let myself feel sad about this for a little while. I decided I will talk about my dad all the time and make sure that my son knows him through me. It won’t always take away the pain but it will make it easier.
I know I normally write three-to-five ways to improve upon some obstacle in our lives. In this case, all I can offer are my feelings and to emphatically state that there is no right way to heal from loss. Be kind to yourself — when you lose someone important to you, it’s a trauma and it takes time to heal. I bottled up how I felt and I believe that it stopped me from healing sooner.
My son is due this October and his name is Waylen in honor of my dad Wayne, but also in honor of my mom Marcelene, who my son will be lucky to have in this life.
I try to see the good in every situation now, which I wouldn’t have been able to without the hardship of this loss. I am filled with empathy and for that I am grateful. When we are in a state of gratitude, we are more loving and fulfilled people. If you take anything away from this article I hope that it’s to try to live from that space.
Skye Dyer is a singer/songwriter and a work-in-progress. You can follow along on SkyeDyer.com.