As most of you know, I lost my dad in an accident 8 years ago, in 2008. I still, to this day, have never shared the details of what happened to anyone out loud– maybe someday I will get the strength for that, & maybe how it happened doesn’t matter– but regardless, that’s not what this post is about.

I’ve had plenty of dark days missing him, but I’ve also learned that being sad about it doesn’t change what happened. Of course, when you lose someone you love you should allow yourself to cry, grieve, be sad, get angry, feel confused, miss them– those are all natural and healthy feelings when dealing with death. But you can also take such a terrible and horrific tragedy & turn it into something positive if you really take the time to change your perspective.

I believe in heaven. I believe that you are reunited with your loved ones & you live in eternal happiness after you die. You may or may not believe the same thing, and that’s fine. I believe my dad is watching over me as a guardian angel every minute of every day. I miss him terribly, but I know he’s with me. He was with me at my graduation, my wedding, the birth of my children & he’ll always be with me in all the wonderful– & not so wonderful– moments in my life I still have yet to experience.

I saw a video on this topic by the first beauty vlogger I ever discovered on YouTube– Kandee Johnson. (She’s the reason I started doing YouTube videos!) She is so positive & so inspiring– She lost her dad also, & she made a video about it a few years later. I tried to make a video… I couldn’t. But I still wanted to share what I learned from her. She taught me that you can live your life bigger and bolder in their honor.

Celebrate the moments in your life, both big & small, do it for them. Maybe it’s your birthday & you’re feeling sad missing them.. Live those moments twice as big anyway. Laugh harder, smile bigger– for them. I know for a fact my dad wouldn’t want to be the reason I cry, not ever, but especially not on my birthday. He’d want me to laugh, smile, be happy, worry free & enjoy the day to the fullest. So live your amazing life & do amazing things knowing they would be proud of you for it.

I can’t tell you how many things I was too afraid to do that I did anyway, thinking about how it would make my dad smile.

So if you’re missing someone you lost, don’t feel hopeless— find joy in those moments. I know you can’t be happy every minute of every day, & hard days are inevitable– Sometimes it’s good to ugly cry, you need it! But don’t let those days keep you down. Push through, live those hard moments bigger & bolder in their honor & try to make each day better than the last.

Here’s a tribute video I made years ago for a school project (my editing skills have come a long way, haha)

Thank you for listening while I shared my heart with you. I love you guys.