Letters to the Editor

Loss of loved ones leaves indelible scar on family

Re:, “Learning to cope,” by Amanda Whitsitt, Sept. 29.

I can’t remember exactly when it hit me, but I had never really come to terms with my father being dead. I was 12 when he passed away from a massive heart attack at Houlihan Stadium (before it was Raymond James stadium) during a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. My idol, best friend and hero was stripped from my life in the drop of a hat.

It could be the fact that I put it to the back of my heart for so long. I never gave myself the opportunity to confront it. He was truly my world. I wanted to laugh the way he did, I wanted to cook the way he did, and to me, he was perfect. I can come to terms with the reality of someone dying, but never in my life could I have realized the disappointment in not knowing someone as righteous. In his pictures he has such a pure smile. If I live half the life of my father, I can at least be complete in knowing that I lived. I truly believe he still lives through me somehow, some way. The biggest sorrow that I have yet to face is trying not to think about the friendship he and I would have now.

I’ve decided it’s best not to dwell on the “what ifs,” but rather accept the fact that he is gone and try to live in a way he might admire from afar. It was a breath of fresh air to know there are others who feel such a tremendous loss. Although everyone heals in different ways, I hope those who have persevered through the death of someone they deeply love can encourage strength through us all.

And for those who will experience it in the future, I’m hopeful you won’t take advantage of the small moments. If we are here for only a short time, love everything and every aspect with every inch of your heart. Everyone will prosper, but take the time to embrace prosperity with the ones we love while we can.Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts. It was absolutely appreciated.

Toni Keen is a senior majoring in journalism.