Diary of a Grieving Daughter: Journal Entries through Grieving Counseling

Diary of a Grieving Daughter: Journal Entries through Grieving Counseling

On May 9, I experienced the loss of a parent for the first time. It didn’t hit me until it was time to prepare for funeral arrangements, file insurance claims, and sort, and cancel or pay off remaining balances (e.g. utilities, properties, or any other outstanding account). Since this was all new to me, I thought, “what will be the easy and hard part about this process?” The actual loss or handling my father’s outstanding business matters. For me, like many others, it was the death. My father has always been particular when it came to his finances. He never cared too much about spending out of his budget or living above his means. I knew he was a frequent saver that always paid his bills as scheduled and didn’t care much about living off credit or borrowing. With this thought in mind, prior to our private conversation about his finances and burial arrangements, I was at ease about this process. I knew that there was coverage for all expenses. So, for me, the loss was breathe taking.

For the last 10 years, dad and I had been learning more about each other and becoming closer like how we were in my early childhood. This is where I begin to feel numb and helpless. I immediately thought, “What if I had not decided to fly out to visit him, discuss our differences and misunderstandings, and to learn more about him and his upbringing.”  If I not taken this chance, I could only picture myself being extremely, emotionally wrecked. Then, I thought, why now? Why does my father have to leave now? We were just in the moment of having a decent, solid father-daughter relationship. Now, here comes death—disrupting peace, separating us, and flipping my heart again.

I remained physically strong, however, it was impossible to remain mentally strong. There were moments between the planning where I wanted to escape and just let someone else deal with it. But I knew my father, and my best interest during it all was to fulfill his final wishes. After losing the first man I’ve ever loved first, I wanted to know, “where do I go from here?”  How do I maneuver through life knowing that he will not be able to walk beside me and give me away to my future husband nor would he be able to become a grandfather (especially after badgering me about it for the last three years)? And I would always tell him, “It is not my time. God has not placed the one designed for me in my path yet. And I will not settle for what is not meant to be”. Now, these unborn memories we've spoken on will never be reality for us to share---they will forever be, “if only dad was here to see this or experience this with me” moments.

Grieving counseling was mentioned to me prior to the final decision that dad and I agreed upon, regarding his health status. I didn’t think nothing of it. I looked through the VA package that was handed to me and focused mostly on completing the necessary forms for his formal burial and recognition, with hope that we would walk out of the VA hospital together. Nope. I didn't get my way. Dad left with one tear coming out of his eye. And I assumed that I could just move on with life like any other death I’ve witnessed. This was different. And I knew only individuals that lost a parent and have openly discussed their emotions to me personally would understand exactly what I felt and experienced.

Just in time, the friend I had plan to ask or consult about counseling came to visit me after I returned to North Carolina. I had already begun an online group session with others and signed up to attend the next “Loss of a Parent” session in my region. I told my friend about this. She agreed and replied, “It was the best thing I did. I still miss my mom every day. But, this will truly help you find other ways to deal with the situation.” My heart smiled. I didn’t want to seem like I was alone in asking for help. Understanding. Or the only one in reach for an ear. An explanation. Followed by clarity. I wanted the empathy that I normally provide to others; so, I sought for a personal counselor, and agreed to the three grieving sessions offered. I must say, what an uplifting experience it was for me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Next Up: Session I: Open Questions

Danielle Robinson


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