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There's three things in life that have completely taken me by storm, my first year of marriage, the first year with my son without sleep, and losing my Dad. These unexpected surprises and difficulties would have been alleviated if I had fair warning but no one said a thing! Like a, "hey maria, babies don't sleep through the night" least yours won't would have helped manage my expectations! The list of my friends and family who've lost their Dads continues to grow and increased by another this week. I thought I'd share some things/tips that helped me navigate the grieving process, again just my experience.

1. Grieve. Kind of odd to mention but in our culture its not so widely welcomed. People feel uncomfortable with sadness and tears. Allow yourself alot of time, it took me over a year before I felt the clouds starting to lift.Your heart will be tender. I was tempted to put a brown bag over my head and tell everyone I'm grieving and they don't have to fix it! Also, dont' be afraid of seeking counsel.

2. Pray for healing. This may sound odd, but you'd be surprised at the amount of hurt and sometimes bitterness/anger that wash over you with loss. Don't let bitterness take root, it will destroy you.

3. Treasure. I drink out of my Dad's coffee cup everymorning, it makes him apart of my everyday and brings a smile to my face. His picture is also in our photo gallery and I see him every time I go downstairs.

4. Remember. One of my greatest fears is forgetting the details as I grow older and have so much life left to live. Start a journal and write memories down, make a slideshow of pictures, tell his stories to others often. I speak of him at the hospital alot to other doctors and my patients since he was a doctor and it brings relief.

I hope this can offer a tiny bit of help towards making the grieving process slightly more bearable for anyone in the midst of it. My life changed completely and there is a scar, but guess what hope did return again and it will for you too.

"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit."Psalm 34:18