This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by chewiesolo2187. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

To All The Grieving Daughters: ‘Know That Your Father Is Closer Than Ever’

It hurts.

It hurts to watch your friends joke with their fathers, taking it for granted that he will give them away at their weddings, watch them graduate high school, his eyes shining with pride as his little girl gets her diploma.

It hurts as you think about the years you’ll miss, and it hurts to leave knowing what he was really like, more as a man than a father, in your imagination.

You collect and treasure the memories you have, as vague as they may be, awakening with a jolt in cold sweat as you realize that one day you’ve forgotten the sound of his voice, or the way he smelled after a shave, the little habits he had, or realize that some of your memories of him aren’t as clear as you could recall.

You wonder what he’d think of your new boyfriend, laughing at the bittersweet notion of how he’d probably want to bury him 6 feet deep in the ground.

You’re wary of your boyfriend, for reasons you cannot fathom, keeping your heart encased within the walls that serve as its prison, to save you from the heartbreak you know so well.

You shy away from physical contact, retreat at the sound of words like “I love you” and wear a smile, a laugh, as convincingly as the next person, bottling up the pain within.

New relationships, be it with friends or anyone else, terrify you. You find yourself feeling possessive and insecure within a few months, certain that you are not good enough, that they will leave, as people always do. You try to convince yourself that the thoughts that torment your mind and ensnare your heart aren’t the ghost of your heartbreak, back to haunt you yet again.

You grow bold externally, as you retreat more so than before into your shell internally, determined to hide yourself from the world, to act as if you don’t care, to imprison yourself where no one can find you and hurt you, keeping yourself safe, secure, and miserably numb as your bindings tighten.

It hurts that you no longer know the standard that you deserve from a man, leaving you willing to put yourself out there, for no reason but to escape.

You range from a girl afraid of love, afraid of heartbreak, and afraid to display her affection, to a promiscuous young woman on the threshold of adulthood, unafraid, bold, finding what you never had in the arms of some other boy or man, someone to whom your attraction runs only surface deep.

You become a girl who surrounds herself with people on the surface, turns into a class clown, laughs her booming laugh and puts up a front of confidence, while internally feeling lonely, abandoned, anxious, and insecure.

You become the girl so consumed with the people who leave, that you become desperate to make them stay, scared of confrontation, terrified of fights, disagreements, afraid to let them in, and yet, afraid to let them go.

You overthink, even one day of friendliness to someone else means that you weren’t good enough. That you weren’t enough, that you will never be enough and that you will always be unsatisfactory.

And yet, you have an angel. You have a person in heaven to be there for you. You know, that every time you look to the sky, or simply look into your heart, he’s there, his heart, though no longer beating in his body, beats in rhythm with your own.

And yes, the concept makes one scoff. But, as the days pass, as the years go by, there is a certain solace in knowing that your father is closer than ever, now more than ever before. So let go of all that is in your heart, and cry.

Cry for the good, the bad, the angry, the sad.

Cry for the times that he lifted you up and spun you around, or played a sport with you, or looked at you like you were the most perfect thing in the whole world.

Cry for the times you held back the tears, emotions, and sorrow, and made yourself all the more miserable.

Cry for the irrational guilt you felt, as occasionally you wondered if you would be where you were if he were still here.

Cry for the times you wondered what it would be like if he were still here.

Cry for the times you took it out on your mother for not being enough, for not being able to get out a single “thank you” or an “I love you” because of how hard it is. And smile.

Smile for each moment you had, or for the tough exterior that you have managed to build around you.

Smile for the fact that you have someone to make proud of you, and smile because as a new day dawns, you set upon your own road, your own path, to meet your own goals with the ghost of a smile wafting upon your way from above.

You must be to comment.

More from chewiesolo2187

Similar Posts

By sweekriti sethi

By Pratyasha Sen

By Jaimine

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below