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I wanted to take the time to talk about the loss of a loved one. It’s something no one ever wants to address, but in fact, it’s a reality that we face everyday. The truth is, we never know when a day could be our last day that we spend on this earth. When we see that family member or friend, we never truly know whether we’ll see them again. Death is one of the things that is the hardest to deal with, and what most people refuse to address. So many people don’t take the necessary steps to set up life insurance policies, and when a loved one is gone the family is struggling to take on the responsibility of a proper burial/cremation. It’s a necessity to think of those things and to plan, including putting life insurance policies in place for small children. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I started this post long ago, but have just worked up the nerve to finish it. Losing someone that’s very close to you can hurt to the core, and can definitely change your life in unimaginable ways. Just ask me, I lost my dad when I was about 5 years old to a heart attack. Something no one saw coming.

My dad was very young and only in his mid-thirties when he passed. He had just moved my family into a home and shortly thereafter, he was gone. He left behind two young daughters, the only fortunate part for us was that we had an excellent mother and family. Losing my dad not only weighed heavy on us, but on her as well, as she was left to raise two young daughters on her own. I wanted to share a little about the changes that losing a loved one can make, what you should work on within in order to handle the loss and how to push through in a positive way.

The Changes, Coping, and Pushing Through

There are lots of changes that happen when you lose a loved one. When we lost our dad, we felt like we were missing out on so much! We didn’t have a father there for us anymore, if we got married, we didn’t have our dad to walk us down the aisle, what we thought would be our future changed, our kids would never know him, family shifted, that voice of reason was gone, and with every decision we were wondering if we were making him proud.

I think one of the hardest changes for me was since I had lost my dad when I was so young, I was missing a lot of the memories that other people had about him. It became a reality that my memories of him were really everyone else’s memories that were just shared with me. Basically, their memories became mine even though I hadn’t really remembered the events for myself. I realized very quickly that since I was so young when he passed, I didn’t remember very much at all about him and that hurt because I wanted to know who he was as a person. I wanted to have my own memories, yet, I could barely remember anything, and that was hard for me. What I do remember is having to rush down the driveway and flag down the ambulance because they passed our house on that day. As far as growing up, I remember my mom saying that anytime my dad worked on a car, I would be outside with him trying to help. He was a tractor-trailer driver, and I’ve been told about the times that I rode with him, but those are things that I don’t really remember for myself. I only know of it today because I’ve been told.

Some people have the mindset that when a child loses a parent when they are young, they aren’t affected as much. Mainly because the child would pretty much spend the majority of their lives without them, rather than having already spent a lot of time with them and being used to their presence. I’m here to tell you that’s very untrue. I spent a lot of time thinking about how different my life would be if my dad was still here. Would I be where I am today, or would I be farther in life. I wondered why everyone else had a dad and I didn’t. He definitely had a plan for us, but his unexpected passing in 1993, changed all of our lives forever. When my dad passed, we (my sister and I) experienced shifting in the relationships that we had with his relatives. His side of the family was already small in comparison to my mom’s side and when my dad passed, a majority of them became more distant than before.

The bible says at Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

What I want you to know is, the Lord will provide us with the strength that we need to push through. Have faith.

When I lost my dad, we knew that the Lord was always there, but at the same time, it made me truly appreciate the family that I still have here with me. I learned to love them while I still have them and to also let them know just that. So many people don’t tell family members that they love them often, but then when they are gone, wish they could tell them one more time. Don’t make that mistake. So many family members won’t speak to one another over something petty that nobody can really even remember later on, but are too prideful to apologize first. That’s ridiculous. I’ll be the first to tell you if I’m wrong so we can move forward. Nobody said to forget, just forgive. It provides peace of mind to everyone, yourself included.

I couldn’t be more thankful for my mom’s side of the family. Her sisters (my aunts) are like our mothers too. When I go to their homes, I don’t even knock, I just walk right in. They have always been and will continue to be supportive to us. One of the things that truly helps me push through each day is knowing that I’m making him proud. I feel like God gave me an angel very early in life and for that I’m grateful. When you lose someone, 9 times out of 10, they would want you to continue living your best life. It’s okay to mourn their loss and no one is ever telling you to forget them, but you have to work on pushing through and making them proud. I spent a lot of time praying for my dad even after he was gone. One of my favorite things to do to cope with his loss is to hear stories about him. I LOVE when my family decides to reminisce and talk about the funny, crazy things that he would do. I learned through that, that he and I shared similar interests. We both loved cars and racing. I’m that girl that will stop at a stoplight, look over at the person in the car beside me and then take off to see if I win, ha. Apparently we are one in the same when it comes to that (my sister too!) The crazy part is my mom seems quiet, but she will race you too, haha. I love hearing about those memories!

As hard as it is to push through, you can and you will. As hard as it may be, try to focus on the positive. Try to do things that you know would make that loved one proud. Do something special in their honor. I saw something recently that said “only if Heaven had a hotline,” and while we all want to hear that person’s voice one more time, we never will be able to. Continue to keep that loved one in your life by continuing to tell their story, continue to do the things you know will make them proud, continue to talk about them to your kids so that generation after generation will continue to remember them. As hard as it may be, always think positive. It’s also important to know that everyone heals differently. Don’t base your progress on someone else’s.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 says “for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

Basically there is a time for everything. God has a plan for each and every one of us.

My dad is not physically here, but he will live through my sister and I. Knowing that helps a lot too. We carry the legacy he left behind and for that, we couldn’t be more proud!

Continue to rest easy daddy, your girls love you! Mama too! ?

My Sister, My Dad and I

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