On Missing my Dad

Woman sitting with tablet with text overlay "On Missing my Dad"

Today is the anniversary of the worst day of my life. So I’ll ask you ahead of time for forgiveness for the ramblings of a woman who’s heart is deeply broken and bruised.

(PS Don’t worry, I’m in weekly – sometimes more! – therapy and I’m doing all the things to work through it.)

Today — 1 year ago — I sat with my father, Norm, and watched him take his last horrifying breath.

With it, I thought I lost all of the oxygen in my own body. I can remember it like it was 5 mins ago. I’m still having trouble breathing.

Honestly, writing to you about contracts and policies feels so silly today (and even more honestly, it has on most days since he passed).

My dad was my bud.

He was the only person I could call who shared in my excitement about the rollout of a new Trader Joe’s product (looking at you, mini baguettes!). Or the one who’d recount every last line of a Seinfeld episode we’d both seen 100 times and loved.

Missing him — the void that that’s left in my life and my heart — has been the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced (notably, I don’t have any tattoos.)

Am I still standing? Well, technically no – I’m sitting as I’m writing to you. But I have kept going.

But this last year has SUCKED. Majorly. There’s no pretty lesson or bow I can wrap around this one. It’s just been awful, and it still stings really badly.

There have been plenty of beautiful, fun, gratifying moments during the course of the past year — it’s just that they’ve all been sort of, well… different. Muted, I’d say. If you’ve been through grief, you get it.

This experience has changed me.

I keep saying to people that I think it’s changed me for good. Who knows – only time will tell. But for now it feels like the cellular structure of everything in my body has been altered in some major way.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago.

I haven’t shown up in the past year the way I used to. I’m not saying that to beat myself up or because it’s a bad thing to not show up like you did before. It just is.

I’m tired beyond anything I’ve ever felt before. I’m sad. And I’m pissed at people who have parents. I’m pissed at people who have never had to care for their parents. I’m really, really pissed at leukemia – the rat bastard that took my Dad. And I’m pissed at people who have moms there to support them after their dads are gone.

The truth is: we have outward-facing jobs. We awkwardly hold our phones up to our faces and say, “hey guys!” whether we’re in the gym, the car, or out on the beach.

The algorithm doesn’t pause for our grief, or even a bad day.

I’ve thought a lot this past year about how I’m a person who’s really struggling with the loss of her father AND I’m a super ambitious, creative, excited CEO of a growing, thriving company.

It’s been absolutely wild and bizarre to continue to grow my business as I’ve gone through all of this. My business is doing better today than it was last year. I haven’t put my business aside (for better or worse lol) for my grief.

You’re allowed to be both: hurting and achieving.

Don’t you dare make us choose.

In honor of my Dad and the difficulty of the last year — I scrapped today’s planned podcast episode for this one instead.

In it, I shared what’s helped me “hold it all together” (spoiler alert: I haven’t) and still run my business at the same time.

It’s probably different business advice than you’ve ever heard before.

If you’ve listened, comment below and let me know! 🙂

Thanks for listening to my honest thoughts. I’ve always kept it real with you and sometimes that’s meant being a little vulnerable. Well, a LOT vulnerable, in this case.

I’m sending you lots of love and a big hug if you’re going through a rough season (or 4), too.

🎙 Listen to Episode 117 “How I’ve Grown My Business During Tough Times” of On Your Terms here!👇


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  1. I lost my father 7 months ago to a heart attack, the first day I arrived in Bellevue, WA to start a new chapter for myself. The words that impacted me most in reading this are, “You’re allowed to be both: hurting and achieving.” Thank you for sharing this. Going to give the episode a listen.

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