Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of growing up and who I was going to be. By 10 years old, I had already planned my wedding by color, venue, food, and even my dress.
Granted most of those things have changed, there was one thing I knew that I couldn't go without having my dad walk me down the aisle. Almost every little girl's dream when she gets married is that her dad is there for one of the biggest days of her life.
Well, for me that won't happen.
I lost my dad the summer before my freshman year of high school and it completely devastated me. Growing up, I was never good at making friends so there weren't many friends that could comfort me during my time of loss, but the ones that were there are some of the greatest people in the world and made my transition into high school a little easier. But they always knew there would be a void in my heart that could not be filled no matter how hard they tried.
Going through high school without a dad was rough and it was hard for me to trust people after that because I was scared that they would all leave unexpectedly like my dad did.
In a way it made me try harder to show my friends that I cared about and show them how much I loved them and needed them in my life. I would do anything for them to stay and be there for me even when I didn't know how to myself.
Not only friendships but relationships were hard, too.
Not having a male role model in my life was hard, especially when it came to boys and knowing what was right and what wasn't. My senior year of high school, I had my first boyfriend and it was not an easy relationship to have as well as being long distance didn't help either.
I lived in a constant state of worry that I wasn't enough for him and that he was going to leave at any second. It took me months to trust him and to allow him to show me that he wasn't going to leave at the drop of a pin.
After high school, I joined him at the same school (and it's not just because he went here, I actually love the school) and it was great. I could be myself and I could have the person I love to watch me and help me become who I was supposed to be. But like a lot of life, all good things must come to an end. We broke up right before the first semester ended and It left me feeling scared for what was to come.
Who was going to be there for me to dry my tears at night when I would think about my dad and the good times we had?
The next semester wasn't easy for me, but I persevered like I knew my dad would have wanted me to. There were plenty of times when it would be so nice to hear his voice telling me that it would be ok even when I didn't feel ok and my world was going to explode. As well as going into future relationships being nervous that they won't stay long and will leave me feeling as though I'm not worth loving because I can be a hard person to love.
For people that have never lost a parent let me just say, it's one of the hardest things to deal with and we live with this grief. Every. Single. Day. If you choose to love us, know that it will never be an easy task.
Sometimes we may ask more from you when we go through grief stages and bring back old memories or just burst out crying and need the comfort. But we are so much stronger than you think and we are some of the best people to love simply because we know what it's like to lose someone special.
Loving us means you get to be around someone that will always be your biggest cheerleader and will stand by your side during anything, no matter how hard life gets.
I may not be easy, but I'm so worth it. I'm a person that will never stop trying to show you how much I love you and need you in my life. If I open my heart up to you, it means I trust in telling you about the not-so-great things that happen in my life due to my loss.
Loving me will never be easy, but it might be the best thing you'll ever do.