#girldad For The Daddy’s Girls Who Struggle To Live Without Their Fathers

Keka Araújo
3 min readJan 30, 2020

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#Girldad is trending on social media. The hashtag was created as a tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Bryant and his 13-year old daughter lived, loved, played, laughed and tragically died together. The two along with seven other people died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

Now, the hashtag has taken on a life of its own.

Related Post: Transition And Making Space For Grief

Daddies and daughters alike are posting their photos of their best gals and fearless heroes on Facebook. It’s a beautiful sentiment. But it’s also triggering as fuck.

My own hero died Jan. 18, 2017. The tears still fall. It hasn’t gotten any easier even with therapy. I struggle every day to not spiral back into a manic depressive state. I find joy intentionally but sometimes I just miss my daddy and no amount of jokes or songs can remove that yearning. #Girldad was cool. My reaction to it was not.

I am cognizant of my triggers. I avoid subjects that I know will send me reeling. But sometimes, life happens and I’m completely caught off guard. My grief reemerges with vengeful wrath like it’s pissed at me for having the audacity to not want to weep like a baby.

Last night, I wasn’t so lucky. I posted that “#girldad was triggering af.” I thought that I would be ok. I am not. And that’s when the tears came. I left social last night because I can’t deal with the reminders that the founding member of our #girldad trio is no longer here. Death and grief are a motherfucker.

Apparently, my sister saw my post. This morning, promptly at 7 am, she sent me pictures of my Daddy and me and one with all three of us together.

And she said, “Don’t be triggered. Post yours.”

Reluctantly, I did. Our parents raised us to take our problems head-on. Today, my grief is a problem. The tears fell non-stop for four hours. It’s ok. This is how I process grief. I don’t swallow it. I fully submerge myself into the pain because grief will not defeat me. I will never get over losing the most important man in my life. I’m grateful nobody has ever asked me to do so. It wouldn’t be pretty if they did.

Although Kobe and Gianna Bryant perished together and social media is celebrating their bond, we can’t forget about his other three daughters who were left behind. Those girls have a void that won’t ever be filled again. The daughters, who like me and many others, have lost the most important part of the #girldad hashtag.


Originally published at https://negrawithtumbao.com on January 30, 2020.



Keka Araújo

Opinionated, bilingual diasporan activist. Editor-In-Chief at Negra With Tumbao and Senior Editor at MADAMENOIRE. Opinions are mine!.