I held my oldest daughter and tried so hard to be her rock as she screamed in fury that she no longer has a dad. I tried to explain she will always have him and he will always love her, but I am failing.
My heart broke into a million shards as I watched her younger sister kiss the picture of her dad on the nightstand and tell him how much she loved him and goodnight.
I crumpled into the floor at watching the baby as she happily toddles around with no clue what has happened and will never have a single memory of her father.
This is all he left us.
Memories of a man who cried at the birth of each of his three daughters. Memories of a man who unselfishly gave his time and money to people he didn’t know that were in need. Memories of a man who taught the middle daughter how to finally pedal her bike after hours of failing. Memories of a man who would be there for his family at any time of the day or night to help when needed.
Dan was a man with a good heart, but had been struggling against personal demons of anger and depression. We tried to find solutions, we tried to have hope. Over the course of the past several months, Dan fought with all of his heart to turn to God and find peace. I believe that regardless of his actions, he has been welcomed home to a place where he will finally find a peace that he never knew here on earth. I do not believe that the man who took his life was the Dan of our memories. I do not believe that he even knew what he was doing. He loved his children and would have given them anything.
In the end we all lost and all we have are memories. Memories that we will hold onto to guide us through the years.
We are all lost right now. We have hurt, anger, fear, grief and emotions that we can’t even identify right now. Each day we will lean on each other a little more, find strength when we least expect it and learn how to be a family bound in memories.