Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

Overcoming the loss of a child is impossible. The void that is created will always exist. People do their best to be caring and understanding. However, the only people who understand are those who have lost a child themselves. 

I flew with a First Officer a couple of weeks ago who told me he understood my feelings because his mother had cancer at one time. I wanted to tell him there was no comparing the two situations, but I said nothing. I realize that people are simply trying to be kind. 

Since the loss of my daughter I have not given much attention to my writing. I love to write. I am glad that my words have been able to help others. I did not imagine when I started this blog that it would be featured on CNN. I have had people from all over the world reach out to me. I have been able to make a connection with some of these people.

This past May I had the great pleasure of attending the college  graduation of a young lady who reached out to me a few years ago. She has been able to earn her private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. She is now working on her commercial pilot certificate. I am so excited for her and the great things she is doing with her life. It is things like this I need to focus on and not linger on the pain of my loss.

I know there is much I can write about each day. However, I have not had the focus to move forward and write like I know I can. I am reminded of a line in the newest Karate Kid movie where Jackie Chan’s character tells his young student, “Your focus needs more focus.” That is what I am feeling right now in my personal life. 

I have my focus when it comes to my job. That is if you can call doing something I love and getting paid for it a job. Flying has always been uplifting and relaxing for me. It is as if I am in a world where my pain no longer exists. Perhaps if I write more I will find the same comfort with my literary creations.

Right now many people who are reading this are probably wondering what does any of this post have to do with the purpose of my blog. The answer is simple. I am putting more focus in my focus by simply writing what comes to mind. I am putting one foot in front of the other and moving across the floor. I am moving forward and being active in something I enjoy. I will not let harsh realities hold me back. 

Do I need to mourn? Yes, I will feel the pain of the loss of my daughter the rest of my life. Do I need to let that stop me from moving forward with my life? NO! Therefore, I am sitting in front of my computer writing this post. I am working on becoming more motivated and using my time wisely. People only get ahead in life when they put forth an effort to do so. Good things in life do not come by just sitting around and doing nothing. The greater the effort that is put forward, the greater the rewards will be. 

Will I have a post on the site everyday? I would like to think I am that motivated. But for now I will work at dong the best that I can. That is all that can be asked of anyone. Do the best that you can. Focus on what can move you forward from what is holding you back. Do not let the pain of loss or grief deny you what can still bring you happiness. 

I mourn the loss of my daughter everyday. There are times I break down and cry. Those times will happen the rest of my life. However, I cannot let those times run my life. That would not be how I should honor the memory of my daughter. I can honor her by moving forward. I can honor her by becoming the best that I can be in all that I do. I can honor her by being happy in life. 

Being happy does not mean forgetting. The void will always be there. But life does go on. 

The loss of a loved one is always difficult. The loss of a child is horrific. We all suffer losses in our lives. That is a part of living. There needs to be a balance in all we do in life. There are opposites in everything. Yes, there is even an opposite to the pain of sorrow. That opposite is called happiness. Happiness does not always come easily. Sometimes it takes work. The trick to finding it when we feel that life is so hard is to look for it where you can. Look at the memories. Let good memories put a smile on your face. After looking at those memories then go out and make more happy memories of our own.

Keep an eye on the Sky!

Collin Hughes

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