Healing After Loss

For those of you that have experienced a significant loss you already know how devastating a loss can be. Loss can come in many different forms, such as: death, divorce, devastation, theft, perceived or internal, etc. So far in my life I have been fortunate to not have experienced much loss. However, my biggest loss has been the death of my father. 

My father was all about two things: his family and computers. I can remember being in elementary school and my father creating a computer program to engage my sister and I in learning mathematics. My dad taught me how to cook, to tend a garden, to play basketball, and never failed to school me in the fundamentals of football. All around my father and I were a dynamic father daughter duo. 

My dad struggled with cardiovascular issues for majority of my life. I remember my father having a heart attack at home when I was 14. That was the most frightening experience of my life to date. It was just myself and my sister at home with my dad and neither one of us had a clue about how to go about helping our father. Fast forward to the winter of 2011 when we get the news that my dad is going to need double amputation surgery because of a blocked artery he had in one of his legs that was causing his lower limb to suffer from necrosis and the complications the disease had caused.

When my father passed I was fresh out of Army basic training and was allowed 48 hours leave to attend the funeral service. I was furious that I was being forced to grieve for such a limited time and then have to turn my feelings off upon my return. I flew home for the funeral and it was everything but easy.  I failed at each and every attempt show even the slightest bit of strength. I was angry that my best friend was gone. Angry that I didn’t have time to prepare, although I have no idea what that preparation would even look like, and above all else angry that my last conversation with my dad was my last and there was nothing I could do about it.

For a long time I refused to heal. I wanted to feel every emotion that was coursing through my veins. I wanted answers and was unwilling to accept the idea that my questions were just my human way of expressing my deepest of pains. The only thing that saved me was the Army sending me to talk therapy. Talking to someone outside of my situation gave me the insight I needed to process the chapter in my life I refused to close. I realized that talking about my pain and confusion helped me work through it. 

While therapy isn’t necessarily the go-to option for each type of loss with talking through our wounds comes healing. Moral of my story is to find someone who is willing to listen and talk about your wounds in order to begin to heal them. You are worth healing from your loss. 

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