"What else you got to do?"

May 13 2013

I guess, here's my story in a tight nutshell. Last August, I moved from DC to Australia for graduate school. In that time my father got very sick. I returned home and stayed by his side during his miraculous recovery (seriously, the doctors were even shocked). He was discharged and went home on a path to full recovery and I returned to school in Australia. Late one night, I got a phone call from my cousin telling me that my dad's condition had unexpectedly taken a drastic turn for the worse and he didnt have much time left. So ten thousand miles apart and over speaker phone, I had to say my last words to my father. He passed minutes later.

I'm telling this to 20K+ strangers because since he passed I have felt scared and alone and apprehensive about the future. And I know I cant be the only one going through this.

I had never lost anyone before and my father was always the quiet reassurance I needed to keep me going. Losing him was like losing air.

So while re-learning to breathe, I am learning a lot about myself. I want to share some thoughts with anyone out there who is grieving:

You dont have to find beauty in every moment. Some days suck. You are allowed to cry and be upset. Don't let anyone take that from you. Question your deity, question your purpose in life. Scream to the sky and sink to the abyss of sorrow. Do whatever it takes to make it through that second, minute, hour or day. Congratulate yourself for small milestones. Share your story or keep it to yourself- whichever makes you feel more empowered, do it. Take care of yourself.

Most importantly, keep living. Life will get better. And in the words of my dad, "what else you got to do?"

I dont know you. But I know you're either going through something difficult right now or just got over something difficult. For that, you have my respect and well wishes. Your life matters.

Last thing,

These are some of the songs that helped me through my mourning and kept me motivated. Make a playlist, and play them in this order. There will be tears but I promise you'll feel better by the end.

A Broken Toast - John Carrie and Moor Green
Lonely Lonely - Feist
Thistle & Weeds - Mumford & Sons
Ghosts - James Vincent McMorrow
I Was Broken - Marcus Foster
Safe & Sound -Taylor Swift & the Civil Wars
Tomorrow Will Be Kinder - The Secret Sisters
After The Storm - Mumford & Sons
We All Try - Frank Ocean (or Sid Sriram)
Break The Same - Mutemath
Be Here Now- Ray LaMontagne
Amsterdam - Coldplay
This Is Your Life - The Commodores (My dad's recommendation for hard times)

Thank you for reading/listening. If you'd like an ear, write back. I'd love to hear your story...your real story.

Much Love

Currently: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
From: Germantown, Maryland, USA
[email protected]

P.S. I would like to respectfully disagree with Julia from a few days ago. Maryland is by far the best state in the union : D

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