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  • Writer's pictureadam thompson

The Day I Lost My Dad


Today (25 April) is the four-year anniversary of losing my dad. He had a heart attack and passed away suddenly. It is one of the few events that tore me up the most. It is the new reality my mother and my brothers had to face.


Grief is a natural and complex emotion that arises in response to loss. It is a universal experience that affects everyone in their lives, and it can manifest in different ways. Grief can be caused by many types of loss, such as the death of a loved one like my dad, the end of a relationship, or a significant change in one's life. It is a deeply personal experience that can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. In this blog post, we will explore the different aspects of grief and offer some strategies for coping with it.


The Nature of Grief:


Grief is a complex emotional process that can involve a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. It is a natural response to loss and can be triggered by a variety of factors. The intensity and duration of grief can vary depending on the individual and the nature of the loss. Some people may experience grief for a short period, while others may experience it for months or even years.


Grief can affect people physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Physical symptoms of grief may include fatigue, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and physical pain. Emotional symptoms may include sadness, depression, anxiety, and irritability. Psychologically, grief can impact one's sense of self, worldview, and beliefs about the world.

I tell people that grief is like a 50-pound rucksack. It never ceases being a 50-pound rucksack, you just get used to carrying it.





Strategies for Coping with Grief:


Coping with grief can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help individuals navigate this difficult time. Here are some tips for coping with grief:


Allow Yourself to Grieve

It's important to allow yourself to experience the range of emotions that come with grief. Don't suppress your feelings or rush the grieving process. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, cry when you need to, and express your thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.


Seek Support

It's helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking about your feelings and experiences can help you process your grief and feel less alone. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know, consider joining a support group for people who have experienced similar losses.

Counseling is a great tool. Thankfully, the stigma of therapy is dissipating more and more all the time but when I came into the Air Force 20 years ago it was highly frowned upon.


Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of your physical and emotional health is essential during grieving. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and engage in activities that bring you joy and comfort. That’s easier said than done. You must force yourself to eat. You won’t sleep until your body gives out from exhaustion But fight through it. Dollars to donuts you’re not the only grieving and you need to stay strong enough to help others.


Be Patient with Yourself

Remember that grief is a process, and it takes time to heal. Be patient with yourself and don't expect to feel better overnight. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself and allow yourself to grieve at your own pace.



Grief is a natural and complex emotion that can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. It's important to allow yourself to grieve, seek support, take care of yourself, practice mindfulness, and be patient with yourself during this difficult time. With time, support, and self-care, it is possible to heal and move forward from the experience of grief.

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