On November 12th, 2005 my father died of a heart attack. This is the short story I came up with to tell people when they found out that I am a girl without a dad. I have been since I was eleven years old. I tell the short version of my story for many reasons. One, is that I know people don't want to hear the long drawn out version so I tell them the short one because it makes them feel better. If it's short it shows that I am over it. Being so short with my answer also gives me the power to stop them from asking any more questions on the specifics of how he died. To be honest, I never quite understood the reasoning behind why when someone found out they would ask that question, to me it is actually a really odd thing to do. I used to get really angry about it.
I would ask myself in my head, "Why does this matter to you? You don't gain anything from this sad story that doesn't have a happy ending. Why don't people ask about who he was and what kind of dad he was like? Why is only the way it happened the thing that people seem interested in?" It frustrated for me years, and for a long time my dad became his death, he became a simple sentence. Until one day out of no where I decided I was done allowing that. My dad was so much more than his death, and I wanted him to be remembered the way I did...full of laughter and love. He was the best person to have by your side, he was my best friend, and he made the eleven years I had with him the best they could be. I will forever be grateful for that, and even more so I am grateful to have a mother who pushed me to keep my dad's memory alive.
This is where the journey starts I always found myself wondering about the conversations my dad and I would have had. Both the good and the bad. So I wrote to him. Sometimes they were about funny things, and sometimes they were about really emotional moment in my life; my high school and college graduation, prom, my first heartbreak, and when I fell in love. I wrote to him for all the times I wished that he could be here for. Then I began to think about how he would have responded, what would he have said, and what advice he would give. I tried to be as realistic as possible with them. At times it was emotionally draining, but more importantly it helped me keep the memory of my father alive.
My main goal is to create something special for people that are going through their own grief journey by writing letters. It is a safe space where people can express their feelings that are so often put on the back burner because we are told our grief should only last at MOST a couple of month, then just go on with life. This website isn't just for people to write letters to those who have died. There are so many things that people grieve about that isn't just about death. There are too many people who have grief that have gone unacknowledged for too long, and I want this to be a place for every one. We often don't realize that people don't just grieve someone dies. People grieve when they have been left or abandoned. People grieve when friendships or relationships end. People grieve when they feel like they have lost themselves, and they grieve when they feel like the only solution is to not exist in this life anymore. I want this to be a site for people to share their thoughts, write letters, and realize that grief is not a stigma. It is okay to be whoever you and be wherever you're at on your journey through life. This is a place I wanted to create so people felt like if they didn't have an outlet they do now, and make everyone feel less alone.