Grief never ends. But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love. —Unknown
Today, 12 years ago, at ten minutes until three in the afternoon, I witnessed my dad take his last breath on Earth.
Him leaving this world was and still is the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.
The sound of him exhaling for the last time has been forever etched into my memory.
And to be honest, I don’t remember too much from that intense, emotional afternoon.
What I do remember?
I vividly remember how hard his nurse hugged me as I cried profusely in her arms. And as weird as this sounds, if I think about it hard enough, I can still feel her fierce embrace.
I remember the numbers on his monitors falling like sand in an hourglass. I also remember going into a medical supply room sobbing and letting out every emotion I felt as loud as I could.
A lot of people say that things get better with time when you lose a loved one.
Well, the lie detector test determined that was a straight up lie.
Life changes when you lose someone you love. And personally, I will never tell someone after they’ve lost a loved one that “it’ll get better with time” because it doesn’t.
Why? Because no one else can fill that person’s place. Ever.
Life is just different.
And everything changes. How we plan get togethers, lunches, dinners, and vacations are no longer the same. Holidays and birthdays are just different. Celebrating milestones are a little less fun.
You’re forced to learn to adjust to living without that person. Sometimes, you’ll think about them all day. And sometimes, you’ll go days without thinking about your loved one. At times, you’ll just burst out crying because you saw or came across something that will remind you of him/her.
Wait until you accomplish a goal or start an exciting and new journey. You wish that person was here with you so can tell them all about it (and celebrate together).
I’ve found that the best way to cope with losing someone you love is to honor them with how THEY lived.
My dad was a hard worker and always valued education and learning. And I certainly don’t doubt that my love for learning came from him (and my mom).
Oh, how I wish he was here today. I’d tell him all about this blog and my goals. And you know what he’d say? “Okay, what else do you need to grow?”
And if I mentioned a course/workshop, book, or some camera equipment, he’d pull out his wallet so fast. I laugh at the thought of him saying, “Okay, now that you know how to make Instagram reels, show daddy!” or “Make a video for me so we can send it to so-and-so.”
For some reason, it’s just different. This day in particular feels different.
At this moment, I’m attempting to brainstorm on how I can take my brand/blog to the next level. And I’m trying to imagine him sitting right here next to me.
Even 13 years later, as hard as I try, it’s still hard because life without him is just different.
If you’ve lost someone near to your heart, I wrote an article about how to cope with the loss of a loved one several years ago. I hope it will help you.
Rachel CoxApril 22, 2021
Oh Huong, this was so true and beautiful! You’re right. Life is just different after they are gone. I deal with it too. This quote you shared was so helpful to me today. “Grief never ends. But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. (This part sure is helpful because I got stuck in that passage for a while, but am much better now.) Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.” Thank you for sharing and I will be praying for you during this anniversary as well. ❤️
HuongApril 22, 2021
Thank YOU for your support and prayers, Rach. I know you know this pain all too well. I will be praying for you too.