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My dad died, and it left me with something worse than a bad memory.

Bella W

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When I was only 8 years old, my dad died unexpectedly. The day he died started out as a normal day. We didn't know that anything was wrong until, when my mom drove me and my brother, Vincent, to his house, we noticed that it seemed like no one had gone in or out of the house in days. (There were no footprints in the snow leading to his house and there was a thick layer of snow on top of his car.) We when to the door to find that it was locked. We knocked and knocked on the door for minutes with no response. We didn't know where he was, so we went to his friend's house to talk to him and see if he had seen my dad recently. My mom talked to him (I don't know what they were talking about because Vincent and I were left in his living room) and told us that he was in the hospital. This made me very relieved; I thought he was ok. Unfortunately, I was too young to notice the somber expression on my mom's face.

When we got home, I went straight to my room to make him a "get well" card for him, since I assumed he was in the hospital because he was hurt. While I was in the middle of my card-making, my mom called Vincent and me to the living room. We sat there on the blue couch, its color fading from it being used for several years, and looked at our mom with confusion as to why she was crying. She looked at us with such sadness in her hazel eyes and almost whispered, "Bella... Vincent... daddy's dead." Greif washed over me as I took in what she said. I gazed out of the large window as my world fell apart. I don't know why, but I tried not to cry. I don't remember my reasoning, but within a few seconds of her telling us, I broke down into a loud sob, burying my face into the soft cushions of the blue couch. After that moment, my life had changed forever.

The mental toll it took on me was more than I expected. After it happened, I went to counseling for kids with a dead parent or parents and talked about it a lot with my very best friend Avalon. I thought I was okay. But then I found the anxiety it had left me with. At around 13, I realized how anxious I got whenever I was late somewhere. Whether it was school, a plan with my friend, or a school trip, I got very anxious and on-edge if I were late to whatever the place or event may be. I really started thinking about it when I nearly started crying when a girl in my group for a school zoo trip was us late to the bus stop because she was in line for the gift shop. I kept bugging her to pick something out so we wouldn't be late, but she didn't listen. When I knew we were gonna be late, I started to sort of hyperventilate and would have cried if I had let myself. When my group finally got to the bus, I thought about why I got so agitated. After going through the times that this had happened to me, I realized they all happened when I wasn't in control. In those situations, when I wasn't in control of my time-management. I kept thinking about where that anxiety stemmed from and figured out it started after my dad died. I wasn't in control of anything when my dad died. Hell, I didn't even get to say goodbye. So even today, whenever I am out of control, I get an anxiety attack. And, honestly, I don't know how to deal with it. 


If anyone has any advice for my anxiety or even a kind comment to give me, it would really help me out. Thank you ^_^


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Dear Bella,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear dad. Please know there is no fixed timeline for grief. And there is no right way or wrong way to grieve.

I'm not sure but if you want to maybe consider talking to a grief counsellor or talking to a family therapist. I hope a trusted friend or family member can also give you more support. I know my one counsellor suggested writing a letter to my father or finding a way to honor his memory.

I know its really hard to go through this, but please know you are not alone.

Take care of yourself the best you can. We are all with you and will be here to listen.

With all my thoughts and prayers.

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