How My Father's Death Saved My Life

Written by Kelly Higgins
How My Father's Death Saved My Life

Image by Sophia Hsin / Stocksy

The memories of my father will never leave my heart. Although I never got to say my official “goodbye” to him, I was fortunate enough to be by his side during his final days here.

The three simple words I love you that were exchanged between us every day during his final days is all I will ever need.

My father’s death saved my life. It opened my eyes to what is truly important in life. The importance of listening to others, the importance of solid relationships, trust, love, and never taking anyone or anything for granted.

Two months after my father died, I quit my job. A job that I literally thought I would be stuck with for the rest of my life.

I could never foresee leaving that place and I’m so grateful that I finally had the courage to make that decision. The connections and true friendships that I formed from my time there are still with me today.

I now work at a wonderful firm with wonderful, caring bosses. I work without stress and I am appreciated every day. That is where you should be; a place where you are appreciated for the work that you do; a place where you do not dread waking up every morning to be.

My relationship with my mother has grown enormously. Before my father’s death, we were at each other's throats almost every day. My father’s death brought us closer as we needed each other’s support. It gave us a chance for a relationship.

I’m not sure where we would be right now if we hadn’t shared the experience of losing him together. She is the most amazing woman that I know and I couldn’t be more grateful to have her as my mother.

I finally left an unhealthy on-and-off relationship that I'd been in for six years. The courage to walk away and not look back finally came. I’m now in a wonderful, healthy, loving, committed relationship with a man that wholeheartedly puts a smile on my face every day of my life.

We have built the beginning to a wonderful life together. He has supported me in every step I’ve taken recently and has helped me achieve what I have in my life today. I am truly grateful for him and our life together.

Then comes yoga! After countless nights of no sleep, nightmares that I cannot begin to even describe to you, anxiety and panic attacks, my counselor and another good friend suggested I try yoga. My first yoga practice changed my life. When I step on my mat, or into my studio’s yoga room to practice, there is a sense of peace and calmness that flows throughout my body.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I’m beyond grateful for the practice of yoga entering my life. So much so that I’m in the process of obtaining my 200hr yoga certification so I can share this gift with others.

I want to give people an opportunity to find peace within themselves and a way to de-stress from their every day lives. Try a class. Do not shut it out because you cannot touch your toes! Yoga is so much more than touching your toes. It is a full body experience. I am thankful for the opportunity to begin my journey of teaching others the amazing benefits it has.

I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for help during your grieving period. My help came in the way of Good Grief. This organization was formed to help children deal with their grief of losing a parent/grandmother/sibling. The connections I have made through this organization will last a lifetime and it has been a huge part of my healing process.

If the support group option is not available or you are not comfortable with it, please seek out a counselor. Do not try to do this alone. My counselor helped me through the most difficult time in my life and I am so grateful for her to this day. If this is not an option, then bring it on the mat. Let it out and let it go. Whatever you do, do not hide or run from your grief and pain. Find an outlet and be grateful for the help that is being offered for you. Please know that you are not the only one out there feeling this pain.

Being realistic, we all have our bad days; days that we are overwhelmed with grief, anger, sadness, regret. Don’t fight those days, let them happen, we all need to feel this frustration in order to be grateful for the rest of our amazing days while we are here. My amazing days are filled with passions now. I have goals, long term and short term. I have dreams. I started to read and write again, passions that I always loved but lost throughout the years.

I spend my time doing what I love on the weekends with my three unbelievable best friends: my loving boyfriend and our two pups. I have amazing, solid, friendships that will last a lifetime. I surround myself with an amazing family including my two beautiful nieces and nephews who always put a smile on my face.

My father’s death saved my life. I am still healing on a daily basis but everyone heals differently and at a different pace. Take your grief and pain and turn it into something good. Use the grief and pain to motivate you to be a better person for yourself! My life today would not be what it is if I did not go the experience of losing my father. My father played a role in every step I’ve made these last two years and continues to on a daily basis. He is always by my side.

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