It is a girl’s dream to walk down the aisle with her father’s arm wrapped around hers.The picturesque of a father surrendering his daughter to the man she will spend the rest of her life with is lovely, beyond romantic.

I had that kind of dream too, but it was shattered when my father succumbed to depression and put an end to his life more than a decade ago.

It is almost half of my lifetime that I have lived without having a father. It is difficult to cope from the death of a loved one, more so when the cause of death is tragic, beyond controversial.

No words can explain how painful it is to go on with your life not having a father.  I grew up blaming myself for any unlikely things, whether it is great or small. I became control freak, hard on myself, because I am afraid that something might happen if I will not give enough.

All because I blamed myself for what had happened.  I could have stayed home that Saturday, I could have shown him how wonderful he is as a father, I could have cheer him up when he was depressed; I could have done something to stop him but I did not, so he ended his life.

When I was still in a state of shock, crying a river for a father whom I thought can see me grow old; an older cousin came and hugged me tightly and said,

“You have to accept that people leave. Life is like that, someone should die so others can live”.

I was unaware that that piece of advice was embedded in my subconscious.

I grew up afraid to be attached to people for I am afraid to get hurt whenever their time to leave shall come. At a very young age, I built walls to spare myself from life’s cruelty that people create when they leave. I have this in mind, “when I allow myself to be emotionally attached to anyone, I am giving him or her the right to hurt me”. So I either allow myself to get close to a few or I am the one who leaves before they will.

I was living a life with so many fears. Fears are mostly product of traumatic past, whether rational or irrational ones. But living with these fears paralyze and desolate us. I was living with so many defences that hurt the people who means to me and hurts myself in the process.I put rigid boundaries that enslaves me and injures others. I was living with so many fears that it deprives myself from experiencing the fullness of life.

When a person leaves, it only happens for a day, but the number of days that he or she was with you is greater than a day, so why ruin that greater number of days with others just because for a day of loss Focusing too much on the grief, on the pain, on the loss is dwelling on misery. Focusing too much on what you have lost, is devaluing what you have.

I have an incredible mother and a loving brother to start with, but I was then distant to them for I was seeking for my father’s presence that can never be attained. I had missed a lot of things while I was dwelling on the grief.

Moving on is never easy, but we cannot take a step backwards while the world is revolving forward. You count what you’ve lost in the past but you discount the opportunities that you missed at present. Dwelling on our brokenness decelerates our pace towards a great life ahead!

At 25, there are still moments that I miss Papa. Whenever I do so, I no longer dwell in grief and despair. I had the best 12 years with my father. It was short yet sweet. Some time within those 13 years after his death, I became tired of living with so much fear, of being rigid, of desolation. Life is lived best when we choose to be better even in bitter circumstances.

Have you experienced loss, grief or pain? 

Please remember that life is beautiful!

Life is short! Live! Love! Be joyful!

You are blessed!

“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” – Psalm 30:5

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

-St. Catherine of Siena

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