"Your dad had a massive heart attack,
and he didn't make it."
Those are the words that no daughter ever wants to hear.
But, just as the story goes for anyone else who's like me, it only took one moment to completely change my world forever.
You see, unlike most, my dad was a rare individual.
By this, I mean that he was a man of many traits that nowadays aren't so common.
Despite all of the darkness in this world, he had one of the purest and grandest hearts that have ever been blessed to beat. No matter how bad of a day it had been, he always knew exactly how to make someone laugh. Regardless of his exhaustion, he worked harder than anyone else that I've ever known. Indifferent to whatever state his body, mind, and soul were in, he faithfully went to church every week as a worthy man of God. Without faltering, he jumped at the opportunity to help all of those around him with any task, big or small. But most importantly, he knew how to love his family and friends in such a deep way that I can only dream I'm capable of doing so that he can one day be proud.
As my mom has said,"There was no better person than John Ward".
So, it comes as no surprise that at 21-years-old, I was completely blindsided and heartbroken on that warm Saturday afternoon in the summer of 2017 when I unexpectedly lost him.
As a healthy 56-year-old man in all aspects of his life and with no direct genetic connections to factor into the equation, it truly didn't make any sense. My dad did everything, and I mean everything, right.
I remember how I went throughout the rest of that day and the following weeks thereafter, where all I could think was why? Why would a person of this caliber...a person who is beautiful in all forms of the word...a person who has been my greatest hero for my entire life...die?
But I learned the hard way that some questions go unanswered.
"So, now what?" I thought. "What can I do with all of this grief?"
I say: turn it into something beautiful.
I knew that I didn't want grief to take over my life. And I knew that I definitely wanted my dad's death to mean something. I wanted to keep him alive in whatever ways that I could.
And I want you to do that for your loved one, too.
So, through Grief Personalized, my ultimate goal is to not only recover from my own pain, but to also inspire, share, and connect with others around the world who are struggling with grief, too. Just as I have come to learn (and am still learning), I want to help everyone that I can to also learn one very important message:
you are loved, you are important, and you are not alone.