I’m sitting here in the basement of my coffee shop, crying my eyes out over this incomprehensible void I feel. I’m nauseous, my head is throbbing, my eyes sting from the tears. It’s been two days since launch and i’m already half way funded on Kickstarter…but the grief is hitting me all over again to a point where I can’t even feel good about it.
Why am I here? When I found out my Dad died, I told myself I could never do the things I pictured myself doing with him there. No father daughter dance. No wedding. No children. I spent so many moments envisioning him holding his grandchild in his arms, taking my future children to ice cream and awesome rock shows just like he did with me growing up.
Everything I expected him to be there for was ripped away from me when he died. All I had was 12k, a dream, and grief. I kept trying to make up reasons as to why he died…was it to be reunited with my long lost sister? Was it so I could make this dream of building my “ACE” empire? I thought – I have this dream, and if I can truly build this empire, it means I can keep him alive.
Spending the last two years building ACE has been so empowering because I was actually DOING it. I saw my progress. I changed my backpack design like five times. I tested out hundreds of fabrics. I went through four prototypes until I got to the final sample. I was making momentum, and I was so, so happy that I found the courage in my heart to go after my dreams.
Now i’m here, launched to the public. I’m exposed – feeling like my grief is naked for everyone to see. My heart is aching. My eyes burning from the tears I can’t seem to stop crying. Another chapter in my life without him. I thought every birthday, Christmas, and family trip hurt without him….but he always told me he just wanted to be here “long enough to watch me grow and see what I make of myself.” I’m still growing, trying to make something of myself…and he’s not here.
I thought by being here – i’d be so, so happy. I created a fucking backpack and built a brand! But why is it so hard to be proud of myself?! Why is it so hard to celebrate? Because to be honest, the minute I clicked the launch button, all that excitement turned into a loneliness that has consumed me the past couple of days.
So what happens next? Do people even care about my story? Am I deserving of success? Why haven’t I reached my goal yet? What if I fail? How will I ever be able to get over that when this was all to keep my father alive in my heart and soul?
Honestly? I just keep going. I’ve been continuing on with my PR pitches, writing as much as I can, working that good ol’ barista job to pay the bills, and basically anything and all things that have to do with ACE.
The only way to get through grief is to embrace it head on. Because life doesn’t stop when someone dies.
***Dear Diary is my little way of creating an honest, brave, vulnerable way to vent and share what’s in my heart with you. It’s more for me than you – but I do hope it helps you feel less alone in whatever it is that you’re going through in this beautiful, messed up world.