My father first became sick when I was around 8. They originally told us he had a stroke, but years later he finally received a recommendation to a neurologist. They determined he had atrophy at the back of his brain, and this meant even with physical and speech therapy after a while he would revert back to the beginning, because of the cells dying. My father was always happy to see me, and I can still imagine his smile when I would walk into his room at the nursing home he was staying in. He was such a good man. When he was able to my dad worked everyday to make sure that me and my sister had whatever we needed, he never let us go without. It’s just so painful, because I never really got a goodbye. The nursing home refused to transfer him after he contracted COVID-19, until they felt it was absolutely necessary. With him being in a nursing home I was unable to see him for months before he even contracted the virus, but the hospital worked with us and allowed limited family to visit and talk to him, but COVID-19 mixed with the sickness he already had made it where he couldn’t talk, and he was just laying in the bed staring at the ceiling, unable to hold his own head up. He looked at me when I spoke to him a couple of times, but he looked so frightened, and he passed away the day after we saw him. I was told when he was still alive that because his brain cells were deteriorating that he would forget me in the next five years, and I was slowly coming to terms with the fact he would probably not make it to my wedding or have a good remembrance of his future grandchildren once they were born, but I thought I had at least 5 more good years. That being ripped away is one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, but it’s hard for me to articulate my pain. I’ve stayed silent with everyone about it other than my s/o, because I feel I need to be strong for my grandmother, this was her second loss of a child. However, it’s a big burden for someone my age to shovel through. I know I can push through, but sometimes it gets rough. I don’t think about my dad all the time, but sometimes I’ll just be laying in bed and he’ll pop in my head and each time hurts worse than the last. My dad was my hero, and it’s hard to face the fact he’s gone.