When I first started thinking about writing this post, I tried coming up with all of these fancy and clever titles because I really wanted to draw people to this post. I wanted to make people want to read what I have to say. After going back and forth in my head, I realized that this simple, vague title would have to suffice. 

I would never try and act as if I have all of the answers on how to deal with loss because I really don’t. I only try and write my experiences and my beliefs, but I do not have everything figured out. Each and everyday, I am learning, adapting and growing.

The one year anniversary of my father’s passing is coming up in a few days and to be completely honest and transparent, I am scared out of my mind. I have no idea what that day is going to entail and what emotions are going to be brought to the surface. That day might just feel like another day or it can be so horrible. What I do know is that I just want the anticipation to be over. I have spent the entire month telling myself that in just a few weeks, it will be exactly 365 days since I have seen my father. 

I remember thinking about the one year mark the day of the one month mark. At this point, October 29th, 2020, just seemed so far out of reach. There was still so much life to experience until then. Freshman year had just begun, I had my job for only a few months, and Christmas break was barely around the corner. 

I have had to face many milestones throughout the past year: some great, others terrible, but each milestone has brought me strength. The thing about anniversaries and birthdays and holidays is that to move forward, you have to go through them. I must experience the one year anniversary of my father’s unfortunate death, so that I can say that I made it past that shitty day. 

If anyone has anything major coming up in their life, whether it is related to loss or not, just know that I am rooting for each and everyone of you. Never again do I want you to feel like you are alone and that there is no one who understands what you are going through because I am here. Yes, everyone grieves differently, but I know what it feels like to lose someone who made your life feel like it was worth living. Please recognize how special you are and how much your presence makes this world a much safer place. The experiences we are forced to face are only part of our story; they are not the finished copy.


  1. Dylan- I told your mom this already but you are amazing and I am so very thankful you are writing and sharing this blog. I was 27 when my dad suddenly passed away (20 years ago) and altho the situation was completely different I truly wish I had someone like you writing like you are writing that I could relate to. It took me a long time to get into therapy and I was a therapist! All the “firsts” can be terrible and sometimes the seconds and thirds can be as well. But sometimes they aren’t- and they are actually times of happy memories. Either way, you are right, you have to go through them to move forward. I want to give your words back to you—- you are special. As are your mom and Alexa. And I want you to know how your presence is making this world a better place. And how meaningful and inspirational your words are to me today- someone who experienced a great loss many many years ago. Keep writing sweet girl. I need to keep reading.


  2. Dylan, what amazing strength. You are an inspiration to everyone. You will help so many others from your journey. We are so proud of you. Love you.
    Aunt Neala


  3. You are so brave and such an inspiration; I never have been through a major loss but I know in time I will. Your words help and prepare me for the unknown, thank you for that. And as you are there for everyone, please know I am here to support you in anyway I can. You and your family are very special people. And your age your a beautiful writer xo


  4. So much strength and courage Dyl. It’s so true what you wrote about moving forward and how to navigate each day. My heart is with you, Lex and mom today and everyday. I wish you strength for tomorrow and know that you girls will get through it together. Sending big virtual hugs and so much love xo


  5. Hi Dylan,
    I was so sadden to hear about your families loss. Reading through these posts you’ve shown incredible strength, vulnerability, and courage. It amazes me how you’ve been able to express yourself and while still looking to help others. I have such great memories of you and Alexa from camp and babysitting you guys. I remember how you always helped others when they were feeling sad or having a bad day just by making them laugh. I’m so proud of the person you’ve become. Please know that if you or your family need anything I’m here! 💜


  6. Dylan – we knew and loved your mom and dad long before you and your sister were born. We’ve never met you since we live in Atlanta. However, I am so overwhelmed by your strength and so impressed by your grace and skill. You are incredible. Please keep writing.


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