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I don’t know much about mourning and great loss but then again, I don’t know much of anything anymore. My father wasn’t just my dad, he was my bestfriend, he was my rock, my heart, my hero. He believed in me more than anyone and he loved me unconditionally. He was the person I would call to share everything with – my adventures, my relationships, my mistakes, my problems, my dreams – everything. 

When he was diagnosed with stage four esophagus cancer two years ago, I cried in the room. He said he fought because we looked so sad. He even got better briefly until the cancer came back viciously and aggressively spread throughout his body. And on April 17th 2016 it took his life while he laid in a bed and my arm laid around his head. I watched him say his last words, blink for the last time, and breathe for the last time. 
I don’t know what this feels like for anyone else but for me, it’s a giant hole in my heart. I cannot breathe without him because it hurts too much. I pray to God that it’s just all a bad dream every time I’m alone. I feel resentment towards people and regret for all the things we didn’t do, all the mistakes I made, all the places we didn’t go. I feel alone and lonely. I try to enrich my life with bucket list adventures but at the end of the day, I want to call him and tell him about it. I come home to an empty house with memories in frames that will never get another glimpse of him. I have people comforting me with words like he’s in a better place, he’s not suffering anymore. Obviously I didn’t want my father in pain but he wanted to fight, he didn’t want pain but he didn’t want death either so don’t tell me he’s better off.
No two people grieve the same and maybe a lot of people can cry at the wake and the funeral and be okay visiting a tombstone for Father’s Day but I’m not one of those people. I look for him everywhere. I want to share everything with him that’s happening and now I just bottle it all inside. I want to go back and change everything especially the last year with him. I want to run away to a place where no one knows me because it hurts too much to be here. I also never want to love someone so much as I love him to ever feel this loss again. Someone said that to me once and I didn’t understand what they meant until now. Now I understand because this loss is fatal. It’s a barely functionable, lay in bed for days on end and cry your eyes out until you’re sick or over function and become a workaholic so you’re too busy to feel. Either way it’s no life anymore. That’s what happens when you bury someone you love with a love larger than life, you bury yourself too.
-Allison Ryder