My family life hasn’t been perfect. My mom died of cancer when I was 5 years old. I have a younger sister, so my dad took care of us both for 3 years, and then he married another widow. She eventually became my stepmother, but she’s more like a mother to me now.
It feels like our family is a bunch of broken pieces pasted together—it isn’t perfect, but it works. My dad was an alcoholic, and he was also abusive. But of course, he’s always going to be my hero no matter how dark his behaviours were.
July of last year, during the early morning, he woke me up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him to the nearby stadium. I was really sleepy that day, so I declined. He took off without me. What I didn’t know was that it was the last time I was ever going to see him alive.
The Call That Changed My Life
About half an hour after he left, my mom received a call. My dad had been in an accident. By the time she reached the site of the accident, he was lying on the ground dead. Immediately after she found him, I received the call.
It was surreal. I couldn’t believe it. I kept telling my sister that everything would be alright. But it wasn’t. That was the most vulnerable state I’ve ever been in. It felt like my whole life was being torn apart. My biological mom and dad were both gone.
Since the death of my father, we’ve been affected both financially and mentally. My mom wasn’t employed, so funds were limited. I had just finished high school and was about to go to college at the time.
I’m a science lover, and I planned to pursue aerospace engineering. But after my dad passed away, it was impossible to pursue my dreams because of the cost. It was way too expensive. So, I had to give up on my dreams and change tracks.
Grief Is So Personal
What I learned from the loss of my father is that grieving is so personal. But, I feel better now because grief is just temporary, and life does go on no matter how much it seems like it won’t in the moment. Once I accepted the fact that he wasn’t going to come back from the dead, I was able to make some peace with his loss.
With that being said, the major takeaway came when I was comforting my mom while she was in deep anguish. I wanted to take away her hurt. I told her everything would be alright, and I told her that I would help her overcome the grief while creating a successful life for myself.
Consoling my mom was when I realized a transformative lesson; the pain from my loss could be converted into something positive. It could become a powerful driving force to push me to achieve my goals. My loss isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s shaped me into the person that I am right now—strong and supportive.
Now I know that I can overcome any kind of loss because I’ve been through such a hard loss already. I’ve also learned that just because we lose someone we love, doesn’t mean that we should lose ourselves too. We can find a way to overcome our grief, and we have to overcome it. We have to keep pushing, because we need to live our lives.
And that’s the way I managed to convert my grief into the driving force to succeed in my life.
This story was selflessly submitted by Monissha D.
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