Growing up, I have always loved deep, meaningful quotes. As a reader, writer, and avid listener of music, words and lyrics have been my greatest comfort. I have always claimed to be better with words than I have been with numbers, because for me, words flow very easily and smoothly. One day I was scrolling through Tik Tok, when I stumbled upon a video where the user asked people to write their favorite quotes in the comments. Naturally, I clicked the comments section which was filled with the most heartbreaking, yet authentic words I have heard in a very long time.
“Out of all the people I’ve lost, I miss myself the most.” I did not relate to this quote until very recently when my therapist mentioned that in the process of losing my father, I lost myself as well. It took me a moment to really understand what she had said, but it will forever stick with me. I look at myself in the mirror, and I realize that I am so different than who I was before. I was forced to grow-up and see things most people my age have not. One of those being when I had to throw dirt on the casket my father was placed into, which is an image that burns very brightly in my mind. Seeing him being lowered down and then having to cover him up was something that continues to add salt to the wound. Looking at myself now, I am no longer the innocent, little 14 ½-year old girl who believed that nothing bad could ever happen to her family. That because she was kind and good, God would not take the people she loved the most away from her. What a naive thought.
“Sometimes it’s hard to turn the page when you know someone won’t be in the next chapter, but the story must go on.” When my mom first told us that my father had taken his own life, the idea of life and a future without him was physically and mentally unbearable. It was incomprehensible how I could be okay in a world where he was no longer present. It was a thought that sent chills through my bones and ultimately, scared the shit out of me. But I always knew that at some point, I would have to let go of the “Oh, he’s just on a business trip”, or “This is just a very long nightmare, but I’ll wake up”, or even the, “He faked it and in 20 years, I’ll find him walking around Europe” thoughts. I could not bring my mind some peace, if I did not start to accept my trauma. In movies after someone dies, it is often that the main character will sleep on the couch in the same old pajamas they have been wearing for weeks. For me, staying in my bed all day long crying was not and will never be an option. I am still here, therefore I have to continue living my life. Being happy and making memories without my father sucks, but at least I will have a lot to catch up with him when we meet again in heaven.
“How many scars did we justify, because we loved the person holding the knife?” This was a quote that took me by surprise when I first read it. I thought to myself, “What strong, powerful words.” When my father first passed, I idolized him. I was always his “number 1 fan”. I was able to see his flaws in a way that I was unable to after I lost him. I refused to talk about him in a light that was not bright, because he was not here and I refused to think of him poorly. I became very angry with my father, and his decision because it left me feeling abandoned. As a surviving daughter, my mind could not wrap my head around how my father could do what he did and not get the help he so desperately needed. He was stubborn, yes, but how could he put his family through so much pain? How could the life he was living not be enough to keep him going? To the outside world, he had everything: a beautiful family, friends who adored him, an amazing dog, and a successful business that he built. Clearly, on the inside, something was missing. I did not want to believe that a man I had loved so much could have hurt me as bad as he did. However, I am hopeful that in some time I will be able to forgive him.
“People don’t cry because they are weak. They cry because they’ve been strong for too long.” I was made to have thick skin, so I have always viewed crying as a weak person’s action. Crying is pretty much inevitable when you lose someone you love, so there was no escaping it. I became very good at hiding my sadness and tears. If I was crying and I did not want anyone to know, I would splash cold water on my face to make it seem like the redness came from that. If I was sad at night, I would cry silently so my family would not hear. I just hated being so vulnerable and exposed, even when I was with my family. Falling apart in my eyes, was something that could not happen. But as much I dislike admitting it, nothing feels better than a good cry when you have been bottling up your emotions for so long. There is almost a sense of being free. I know I am so far from weak, and my strength does not lessen because the pain eventually caught up with me.
“Find the things in life that bring you comfort, and hold onto them as tight as you can. Because even if you lose them, bits and pieces are still left behind in their wake”- Dylan Levitt
*Note* Most of these quotes did not show the person who said them and to protect the users of TikTok, I have chosen not to share their usernames. However, all credit goes to them.