This I Believe

Sarah - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of grief.

My Dad, Quentin Briggs Miller passed away less than three months ago. I called him the Gentle Giant. He had a kind soul, strong arms, honest eyes and never missed a softball game.

My Mom always says that the highest compliment you can pay someone is to say that they are a good person. My Dad was a good man.

His death has immobilized me. As he was my support and security, I never had to believe in myself. He believed in me enough for the both of us. I found myself lost and afraid for the first time in my 24 year old life. The sorrow of losing him grabbed a hold of me and encompassed me like a roller coaster that had lost its breaks. Just when I think that the ride is over and its time to get off, the clickity clack of another hill approaches and my heart has hit my stomach again. Some days the hill is having to tell someone that does not yet know that he died. Others are holidays that I remember exactly what he was doing, or what he said last year that day. Some days, its simply the presence of his vacant chair at the end of our dining room table.

It has not been until the last few days however, that I have learned to appreciate my sadness. Not just because without it I would be a hollow shell that walked apathetically through streets of indifference, but in the state of this grief I have come to a realization.

Without experiencing the absence of happiness, how can one appreciate its worth or recognize its being?

I know that I will be whole again some day. I know already that I have not lost my father, but only have him in a different right. Without having him by my side to believe in me, I have to find him within myself. I believe that when that day comes, I will look to these days of sorrow and learn a new appreciation of life.

I will be able to recognize what it is that makes me happy. I will have no choice but to pursue it as one can only be sad for so long. I think that some day I may even look back to this grief and recognize that it might have been the best thing to have ever happened to me. Obviously not because I lost my Dad, but because in losing my Dad I am finding myself.