My dad and I in our last picture together

Who was your first superhero?

Mine was my dad.

I don’t talk about him a lot, mainly because I don’t like the idea of making people feel bad for me, and I don’t thrive on the sympathy.
Another reason is that others have tried to use it as a weapon against me; saying I’m “less than” for losing a parent at a young-ish age, it’s a “weakness”, I’m somehow “damaged”, or have “daddy issues”… when they have never experienced a loss like this.

But a good friend reminded me (you know who you are ❤) that people trust people who have been through real things. So maybe it’s time to share a bit more here on my platform.

I think a terrible disservice we can do to someone’s memory is make their loss about us. I think another is forgetting what they taught us and not sharing those lessons, which helps to keep their memory alive.

Experiencing a loss like this isn’t a weakness. Coming out on the other side is strength, and I think we should use that pain to help others who are going through it. Be a light in the darkness of grief.

Loss is hard. Pain is hard. But it can be helpful when shared.

This was our last picture taken together in 2013 before he passed away.

He’s the strongest person I’ve ever known. He was faced with insurmountable odds and faced them with more bravery than I’ve ever seen.

He was a great dad. I think I took that for granted. As I’ve gotten older, I understand him a lot more.

I’m grateful for everything he taught me – from comic book knowledge, our debates about Team Batman versus Team Superman (where we would always butt heads – we did that a LOT), for teaching me how to defend myself, how to kick ass and take names, and for giving me strong role models to look up to. From our nights of watching Buffy together to staying up late to make sure I made it home safely every night until I moved out… he was always there.

He taught me that girls and women could be strong and be superheroes, too… and do it better than the boys.

He was the biggest inspiration for my voiceover business when I rebranded as The Voiceover Superhero in January of 2018, when I moved from theatre/on-camera to doing VO full time and created my LLC. He was always supportive of my acting career, wanted me to succeed, and encouraged me on the days where it was REALLY hard.

What a gift.

Today would have been his 63rd birthday; and I’m honoring him by remembering the lessons he taught me, sharing this story, and hoping that this story can be helpful to someone else out there, too.