As a woman, I can confidently declare that I can never forget the first man I loved and still love – my father. A strong father figure sets the bar of how a woman should be treated. There are some life lessons that only a father can teach his daughter. From my memories, mine was the image of a kind, patient, strong and thoughtful man whose love and care for his children truly knew no bounds. To be honest, there are many other words I could use to describe him but I believe these words highlight him the best.

A dependable and trustworthy father can be hard to come by with the rise of divorced men leaving their family or men running away from their pregnant partners to fend for themselves. Although I lost my father when I was only 13, I consider myself lucky to have been graced by his strong presence even if it wasn’t as long as I wished it to be.

I’ll never forget the memory of how you never failed to carry me from the car and into the house whenever I fell asleep (sometimes I even pretended to be asleep because I loved it so much). Or how you taught me that failing my first exam didn’t mean that I had to hide away from you (Although i’m sorry you thought I got kidnapped because of how long I was gone), or how you didn’t want me to cut my own nails because you were scared I would cut myself. But most of all, I’ll never forget how much you constantly cared for me and my well-being unconditionally.

Oh dear, sorry about that. Just writing about my father has caused me to digress but I’d like to move on to the point of the article.

My father’s passing felt pretty unbearable back then as I realized that I would never have him walk me down the aisle to my future husband, I’d never have that father-daughter dance and I’d never celebrate Father’s day with him again. But, I understand that I’m not the only one who has ever experienced this, so I’ve decided to share about the ways I moved forward in life when I thought I was stuck in a void of emptiness inside. The reason behind my sharing of such a deep and personal topic so close to my heart is because I have seen and heard of people going on a downward spiral of depression after losing the people they love and I truly want to help others who might be struggling with the loss of their loved one(s).

This might not work for everyone but here are some ways I learned to move forward with my life after my father’s passing:

  1. Find hobbies or interests that you really love

In my beaming eyes when I was younger, I always thought my father was an amazing basketball player because of how well and how long he could spin a basketball. There was a period of time, when I decided to devote myself to improving in the sport as a way to feel close to him. It didn’t matter whether I was good at it or not; the only thing that mattered was that it just felt right. So far in my life, I have garnered interests in cooking (something he was exceedingly good at so I might be biased), Frisbee, writing and so on. All these hobbies and interests were very therapeutic for me and I hope you find that peace of mind as well.

2. Confide in close friends about your feelings

At one point, just for a moment, I thought of pushing people away because I didn’t want to feel this kind of pain ever again; the feeling of someone almost literally ripping your heart to shreds. However, I was blessed with having a few good friends that I can proudly say I’m still friends with until today. I cannot emphasize enough how much they have helped me during my times of need and personal growth as a person. So I implore you, do not shut yourself out and remain open to the close friends in your life.

3. Be passionate about what you want to do in life

I like to believe that every single person in this world has a purpose. Every parent wants their children to be happy with themselves. In order to gain that happiness, we should go after what we want to do in life. Personally, I found a passion in teaching and learning about young children due to how remarkable they can be (socially, emotionally and intelligence-wise) when taught well.

So I deeply recommend you to find yours because honestly, it feels amazing to be able to do what you’re passionate about.