How I Overcame My Biggest Obstacle

Alyson Chan, Writer/Social Media

Small moments become a meaningful memory once you cherish your time with the person you love. As I was growing up, I was raised by my single father and always spent time with him as if we were inseparable. Being with my father since I was born allowed me to see my life with just him and me. He was the person I looked up to and relied on the most. I pictured my world to always be stuck by him and trust that I would never lose him. 

Photo from Alyson Chan

During the summer in the year of 2018, it was one of the hardest times of my life. This was the time that my father unexpectedly passed away and it was my first grieving experience. When I first found out, it was my aunt who shared the news with me that he had a heart condition before he got on his flight coming from vacationing in Cambodia. Very quickly, I was on a rollercoaster of emotions and did not know how I would live throughout my days knowing that he is not physically here anymore. Also, I was beginning my senior year of high school, and it was a difficult time for me to push through. For the first few months into the first semester of senior year, it was tough to handle my classes and be able to socialize with my peers and teachers. As time passed, my aunt noticed that I was not motivated to do my assignments or have the energy to complete basic tasks around the house. She then took the initiative to sign me up into a therapy group that involved other teenagers like me, who were also struggling with passed parents. Being in my therapy group was very helpful to me because I was able to feel comfortable talking to people who related to my struggle. I realized the reason why I was not as social was because no one around me at my age was able to feel what I was feeling. 

Photo of me, my aunt, and framed photo of my dad (Alyson Chan)

After my therapy sessions came to an end, I continued on to the second semester with a lighter mood. After being able to express my feelings and learn more about the grieving process, I came to a full acceptance that my father will always be here with me no matter what. The more I started to think about him and our memories, I knew in my heart that he would not want me to dwell throughout my life feeling sad. My father always cheered me on when I would share my academic success and appreciated my hard work. This motivated me to finish off my senior year strong and ended up graduating with honors! After this moment of realization that I was able to end my last year of high school, while heavily grieving over my father’s death, I still kept my head up and believed in myself to move on through my life and cherish it.

Photo from Alyson Chan

Being a teenager at the time who had to worry about good grades, college applications, and honors classes, while grieving over my father, was one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. Yet, after seeking emotional support and learning how to grieve for the first time, it helped me continue my life with a positive mindset. After learning about accepting a loved one’s death, it is important to remind yourself that they will always want the best life for you and reassure you they will be by your side no matter what.