I remember it being a Sunday morning when I found out that he had died.
My mom knocked on my bedroom door. Maybe there were tears on her face, maybe not – I can’t remember – but she she could barely look my sister and I in the eyes when she broke the news “your dad died.”
Backstory: He had already been an absent father for years. By the time he died when I was 12 years old, I hadn’t seen him for years. He wasn’t a masterful parent before his death; he was young and growing a business, so he had left us years prior for Africa to pursue his dreams.
(I am sure that he thought he would have plenty of time to get to know his children after his success, but life doesn’t always work like that.
I actually still carry around the New York Times article where they covered his first year in business making over $100,000. Even as a grown woman – the child in me holds on to whatever she can find to remind her of him.)
I didn’t cry right away.
I didn’t know how to. I closed the door to my room and just sat there. I was sad, but no tears flowed.
There was just this deep despair growing in the pit of my stomach.
I went to my 8th grade class the next day – and when I had to tell people the story of what was wrong – I finally cried.
I remember a friend named Lasandra who held me and hugged me that day during lunch in the little middle school cafeteria (now that I think about it – she must have been familiar with loss and pain too – she seemed to be the only one who knew how to handle me).
It took me a decade to cry all those tears – mainly because I would never let myself fully feel the death.
I kept trying to be ‘strong’. Reminding myself that some people didn’t have either parent so… maybe my complaints against life weren’t valid.
So I spent years trying not to cry – trying to be strong – I literally I had to go to school the next day after he died, so I learned right away that there was not a lot time for healing when you have a single mother.
She just didn’t know how help me at the time.
Losing my father changed me. It created a void within me that used to scare me. I carried that void around my entire high school career and could never quite explain why I was so miserable.
But it was that hole in my chest, and my resistance to it that was making me feel so miserable…
I spent 18 or so years trying to fill that whole with a man or relationship. It never worked.
No matter how desperately I held on to toxic situations, and no matter who I ended up with – I had to learn the truth about my father’s death, that void, and how to truly fill it.
And eventually I realized that the void was a blessing.
I didn’t have to be afraid of it or try to fill it with false lovers or incomplete love. The void was part of who I am. The hole is where the spirit gets in.
So how do you stop looking for someone to fill this void ? You stop trying to get rid of it.
You let the void be.
I didn’t know at the time what a blessing it would be to have a hole inside of me at such a young age. The void sent me on a spiritual journey to find a peace of mind, and I accidentally stumbled into my purpose as a coach/spiritual guide through the loss.
The loss changed me in good and bad ways – but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The void left space for a universe of stars to be born within me.
And it can do the same for you.
If you trust the journey, that void will be filled with the light of your soul.
P.S. I have created a free online spiritual healing event to assist you in filling that void with something other than fake love.