How to overcome the sudden loss of a loved one
By S.S. (Spain)
I had just turned 14 when on the 19th of February I lost my father in such a sudden way that it is difficult to describe. The day before his death, I remember having prepared the costumes for Carnival with him, and having watched for the last time with him a comedy show on TV. I didn’t finish the episode because I fell asleep. Had I known what would happen, I would have made sure to finish it (what a silly thought!) and spend as much time as possible with him!
On that 19th of February, my father took his first and last flight on an airplane, after having been promoted at work. Since I have 3 siblings, we had just moved to a larger house and in hindsight I realize my parents viewed my father´s promotion as an opportunity for all of us … and I can see now that it was an opportunity for all of us except for him. Though the real hero of this story is my mother, who was left alone with 4 children between 6 and 17 years of age … but that is her own story.
The way we overcame this loss was through the support of my parents’ friends and of family. There were many aunts and uncles, as well as cousins, that didn’t leave us on our own at any time.
Christmas, New Year´s and Three Kings day were strange in the following years, as well as birthdays, but the best thing was that suddenly someone would buzz at our door, stopping by “coincidentally” at that time to have dinner with us, or aunts that would sleep over at our house for days on end, until they were reassured that we had begun to accept the new situation.
Because that is what we did to cope with the sudden loss of my father: we accepted the situation and began to live in our new circumstance, substituting hugs and kisses from our dad for those from friends and family members, and always knowing that I have the opportunity to “speak” to my dad or “see him” on special occasions like when my brother walked me down the aisle at my wedding, or when I graduated from college.
When the thought arises that something is not fair in my life, I always remember the following thought: we are the lucky ones that are still alive because we get to do many things and help many others! Also having experienced something so traumatic taught me to minimize life´s challenges that we can´t control or avoid.