Family Life

To The Girl Who Lost Her Dad: I Know Exactly How It Feels

Your whole world is shattered to pieces. You’re tired of hearing “it will get better with time.” You’re exhausted and it’s completely normal. I am not here to tell you it will get better. I am here to tell you I know how hard it is.


    For a while, it won’t feel real. You will be aware of the fact he’s gone but you will find yourself waiting for your phone to light up and expecting the sound of his voice on the other side of the phoneline. You’re not going crazy, you’re grieving. Your brain can’t grasp on the whole situation fully and finding your own way to grief is crucial.

    You don’t have to fit the cliché and cry your soul out. You might laugh uncontrollably, or go out more often, or stop doing things you two used to do together. No matter how you choose to deal with it, don’t feel guilty. Some will accept the fate immediately and won’t go through the denial phase. Some will be stuck in the denial phase for quite a while. Deal with your pain at your own pace. I wish someone told me that, instead of charting out my way to recovery. It made me feel guilty I had my own route to deal with things.

    With time, it will become easier to carry your pain around. Like the ocean after a big storm, the surface will calm down and you will learn how to push memories into the depths of who you are. There will be good days, when your loss is a shadow lingering in the back of your mind and you can laugh and be happy. It is still there though. It might remind you of its existence suddenly, when you least expect it.

    Losing the most important male figure in your life will come with a myriad of consequences. You might develop trust issues. You will grow more and more afraid of losing people you care about. Paradoxically, you might choose to run away before you get too attached. This is one of the ways your defense mechanism will try to avoid getting hurt.

    No one can tell you how to deal with your loss. Take it one day at a time. Talk to people who care about you. The worst thing you can do is keep it all for yourself. You will need help along the way.

    If you’re looking for an advice, mine is very simple- celebrate always! Don’t get too caught in grieving and wondering why it happened. Keep remembering all the good moments. If your dad was here, he would be proud of the person you became. So, choose to celebrate all your successes, in his honor! Celebrate your graduation, your promotions, your marriage- whatever the accomplishment happens to be. Celebrate the fact that you got out of the bed this morning, that you didn’t cry yourself to sleep last night, that you’re still alive and breathing and carrying him in your heart.

    You will always be your daddy’s little girl and seeing you sad is the last thing he would want. Go out there and conquer the world, with his picture in your wallet and his voice in your memories reminding you just how capable you are of loving fiercely. We’re all proud of you, be proud of yourself.

    About the author

    Kirsten Blackwood

    A mental health writer and advocate. Currently I write about depression. My work has always been centered around health as I previously worked at a variety of healthcare-focused agencies. I wanted to help people who were struggling with an illness or disability, but often times didn’t feel the work I was doing was providing the right voice to the people I was trying to help. Here, I can connect to you in your journey by encouraging you to share the good, the bad, and moments in-between.