My best friend told me some expert advice when my dad died. She said something along these lines...
It never gets easier, the pain never goes away. We just learn to deal with it differently. There are days you won't cry at all then there will be a whole week when you just break down. Sometimes it hits you at the most random times or in the most random places. Your heart feels heavy. Your life will never be the same. It will go on, in a way that's different than you know.
She was right. Six and a half years later I still feel the same way.
She was one of the only people that didn't say "God has a plan" or "God needed him more". When people said that, I knew they were trying to console me. Instead there was a fire in my soul that it added gasoline to. The fire burned bigger and brighter each time. I hated God in that moment. God was the last person I wanted to hear about. My heart was screaming out that there was no way that anyone needed him more than I did.
(Making memories with my babies and my husband)
What I've learned from all of this, share the love. Whether it's picking up the phone and calling an old friend or sending them a Facebook message. Spend time with the people you love, forget the gifts, build the memories. I can tell you there's not one memory I have with my dad that I regret. Do I have things of his that I remember him by? Sure I do. The things that stick out are the memories we made, not the things I can hold in my hands. Hold those babies tighter. Take that trip, who cares about the couch that could be replaced, the couch can wait, the trip can't. Read that extra book. Go on that extra long bike ride. Don't wake up tomorrow regretting something you could've said but didn't. Make today count.