It took quite some time to open up about this topic but since a year and a half I can openly say it loud: I’m a half-orphan.
In 2012, the year we finished school and I was ready to start my life as a university student, I lost my father. He died of a heart-attack; way too early and way too suddenly. I don’t want to go any deeper into the situation and the day as it is still a heart-breaking feeling for my family and me. But from here I would like to start this entry. The moment when your whole world is torn apart.
The next couple of days and weeks have been the worst in my life so far. Somehow I exactly remember the time after the day and somehow I can’t put everything together anymore. It’s like a big sorted mess. Losing a person so close to you is something I wish no one would ever experience, sadly it is something we all have to go through and live with – if we want to or not. Writing this now, listening to Norah Jones (one of the favorite singers of my Dad) even brings me back to tears but I have decided to do this since I know there are many other people out there who have been through the same misery. And I figured I will give three advices I got and took by heart during this situation.
1. Let the tears flow.
Sometimes people think you should be strong and keep back the tears but in this situation I would recommend anyone: cry! Cry all your heart out, let the tears stream down your face and don’t care what everyone thinks. Don’t hold the tears, don’t hold your emotions back. This is not the time for being strong. If you have the right people around you, they will be strong for you. And this is certainly an encouragement to all friends out there who know someone who has been through such a situation. Be strong for those who have lost someone.
2. Do what you love, no matter how much time it takes.
If you come into such a situation make sure to keep the people you love close to you and do the things you enjoy. After four days I went back to ballet class because I could forget about everything around me and just get-away for a short moment. People shouldn’t judge you by that. We all need to find something that helps us to get through such a life changing event and it’s up to you, and only you, to decide on how to do this. If people don’t understand this they should not be around you anymore. This may sound rough but you have one of the hardest times in your life, it’s something you have to deal and live with in the long-term. So, do what it takes to make it a little bearable.
3. Talk about it when you feel ready, not when everyone expects you to be ready.
Since I was just starting at university this was something I really had to learn. Suddenly there are so many new people around you and it’s THE time of socializing. But when you just experienced the death of someone it’s one of the last things you want to do. And then people start to think you are not an open-minded, friendly person. That you don’t want to join the group and don’t want to talk about your life. It took quite some time before I could tell them that I just lost my Dad and still then I tried to keep the tears back. Because saying it loud is such a hard moment and it took me two years before I was able to actually say it without tears in my eyes.
I don’t wish for compassion with this short entry but I want people to know, if you have to go through something like this, you are not alone. And you should be allowed to speak and write about it.
On that day I was dying from the inside, I cried for weeks. In one day your whole life is changing and you can’t do much about it. It definitely changed me as a person and somehow, as strange as it sounds, I have learned so much from it. At this point you realize that some things are just not changeable and you are confronted with such a unpleasant situation you just want to run away. But you can’t. Each way you turn and go, losing a person is not reversible. Even though you hope for it!
With 19 years you are not a teenager anymore but still you are also not an adult yet. I’m thankful that my Dad took me to graduation, watched me performing my first big role on stage and that I still experienced so much with him. And somehow I hope he is somewhere up there and watches over me.
Dad, I love and miss you.