I still remember the day as if it were yesterday. No amount of warning or preparation really equipped me for the exact moment. There were many things that nobody told me that I wish they had. The moment my father took his final breath, I watched the world turn dark and hollow as one of my brightest lights had just turned off. I felt a dreadful agonising shiver that shot through my body. I felt my heart shatter into a million pieces and I began to suffocate, I felt like I had been pulled under by a tsunami. This moment wasn’t like the cliché movies where they go peacefully in their sleep. It was more watching as their heart rate got lower and feeling a gut wrenching pain in the stomach. I learnt that there are no seven stages of grief. There isn’t an instruction book and the pain never goes away. Grief is your worst nightmare however that nightmare resurfaces each and every day. Grief is spending days in bed screaming without any words coming out, looking up at the ceiling and wondering what you did to possibly deserve such a strong heart break. It is blaming yourself because you don’t understand why they passed away or wondering if they are okay. Grief is staying up all night replaying that exact moment they left this world. It is sleeping all day to numb the pain. Grief is a shadow that follows wherever you go. Grief changes you as a person. Grief steals a chunk of your heart and leaves you with a hollow empty space. Grief makes any extra curve balls that life throws at you even harder. It makes you vulnerable and your heart becomes tender. Grief puts you in a head space where all you want to do is indulge in that heart ache. The grieving journey is often a lonely one. It isn’t like the movies where the support always remains. Once the funeral and first few months pass everybody moves on. Often this not a deliberate action however nobody understands. There will be people who will tell you they understand and compare your loss to their loss of a grandparent or a long lost aunt… I had so much as a friend compare my loss to his deceased dog. There will be friends who don’t understand why you don’t feel like going out or why you’re still grieving. There will be many people who leave your side but just remember the right people will remain in your life. Grief isn’t just grieving for that parent; it is grieving for everything that wont happen. It is grieving for all that you had planned with them. Realising they wont be at your school formal, graduation, university or first employment offers, birthdays, Christmas or your wedding. They wont meet your future partner or children. It is the heart wrenching feeling when you see your friends fighting or laughing with their parents and knowing you would give anything to have that. While grief leaves you unchanged there will always be days when the pain is not as present, there will be times when you can sing and dance at the top of your lungs. There will be many amazing moments and you will smile. However, that spot in your heart will always sting because someone you love so wholly lived there and still does just not on earth. The trauma and pain will always remain inside of you but you are in stoppable and with time will discover you have strength like no other.