Thought Catalog

The Unedited Truth About What It’s Like To Lose Your Father

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Val Vesa

One of the biggest fears in anybody’s life is losing someone they love, but losing a parent is something nobody can prepare you for. It seems as if life tells you it’s natural, but nobody can prepare you for the emptiness and change you’ll feel.

Every girl’s first love is her father. My dad wasn’t only my first love, he was also my hero. He was the one to show me how things should be done, and why they should be done. Always providing moral and meaning, not just showing but explaining.

I lost my father a year ago to lung cancer. A year later, it hurts pretty much the same. Life goes on spinning while you’re standing completely still. I was 21, I had finally made a move to New York City and was just beginning to see what adult life out of your parent’s house really meant. I was happy, excited, independent, and in love. Life was on the come up until it came crashing down. Everything happened within two months, the cancer had come back, and spread like wildfire. Stage 4—not much left after that. It was the most life-altering year I will probably ever experience.

A year later, all that’s left is the memories and lessons, the love and the morals that my father so dearly instilled in me. He did everything for his family; he stripped the clothes off his back to warm us when he was cold. He put in extra hours of the day just to get us that thing we wanted. He went not only above and beyond, but far and beneath. He taught me how to love, and accept love.

He taught me what a man should be.

Sometimes, I feel guilty for going away the year that he got sick. Not that I could’ve ever predicted this, but it still gets to me. Sometimes, I feel guilty for not staying longer at hospital appointments, but I loved my dad so much that it hurt me the more he got sick. Things that will alter your mind but you can’t let them get you. There will always be what we could’ve done more, but life can and will never prepare you for this, and it’s more than ok to cope YOUR way.

So, does it get better? Will that void heal? The answer is yes. You just learn to live and cope with the absence, as time goes on your heart grows with acceptance and you learn to live with that person inside of your heart forever. A year later, I still have moments of grief or sudden crying attacks. It just hits you; and is unpredictable. I am pretty proud and content that my father is watching over me and with me throughout my everyday life, carrying on the lessons and morals he has instilled within me.

I love you, Dad. TC mark

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