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part two:

Here's your little teaser for what's coming in "part two."

It's a journey currently being lived & written.

PART TWO will be coming in 2024.

​Life thru Lyrics, Part Two © Copyright 2023 by Nicole Danielle. All rights reserved.



Trying to process my father's death was maybe the hardest struggle I’ve had to face. But facing our deepest scars can allow us to finally open up and accept the change and the forgiveness that needs to happen.  


Except one night, about two and a half years after my father’s death, I, once again, found myself in a place of not being able to breathe. It was late at night, and Adam was downstairs in the family room watching TV while I was in our bedroom trying to work on some book edits for "part one: Diamonds Beneath the Darkness" before going to bed. I was working on “The Hardest Hit” chapter, trying to get to the place of being open and honest enough with that story of my life so I could finally let it go. After writing about the mother-father pain I experienced throughout my life, I never wanted to carry an ounce of any of it ever again. It affected me so deeply for so long that no matter how long or how much I talked about it, not one single person in my life, even those who knew me best, could understand. It’s not fair to my kids either to have their mom live with this kind of suffering and emotional burden every day, so it was time to get rid of this agony, once and for all.  


So, that night I was in bed. I was working on edits for my father’s chapter in Diamonds Beneath the Darkness, and as I was re-reading over and over about how his life ended and how all I ever hoped for was one day, I also had playing through my airpods “Father” by Demi Lovato. And every time I tried to start the piece about needing to forgive and let go, I looked over to Wylder sleeping next to me in our bed. Then Demi Lovato’s lyrics creeped into my ears louder than the thoughts in my mind.


Never underestimate the power of music.


This moment is exactly why I incorporated music so deeply in this book series, Life thru Lyrics


Demi Lovato’s “Father” encompasses almost an identical description of that pain I struggled with and what I wish I could have said to my father if I knew he was listening out there somewhere. 


Upon hearing her gutting ballad, I broke down. Like full-on ugly cry, cannot breathe completely, somewhere else, deep, dark place of crying. I wrapped my arms around Wylder and kissed him, which just made me cry even harder—because I cannot understand for the life of me how both of my parents brought me into this world, and then when life got hard, became okay with writing off their own child or okay with their own child saying they were no longer good for my mental health. How could they act like I didn’t exist? How could they settle for their daughter saying she needed space to protect her family? Is there something better in the world beyond not just me but all of the children they’d brought into this world?


I think of my past and how screwed up it is. Then I look at my babies. My boys will never, ever, know that kind of life. Every living, waking moment of my life is for them. Even as I tried to edit one of the hardest chapters I’ve ever had to write, Wylder found his way into my arms, sound asleep. I was crying and typing with one finger—the story needed to be told, but my baby needed his Momma's snuggles that night. 


Or maybe the greater truth is, I just needed his.


In editing the chapter about what became, perhaps, “The Hardest Hit” in my life to date, I was struggling bad. I couldn’t understand why, if I was starting to embrace this “let go” thing, that I still found myself bawling my eyes out whenever I thought about my father dying and living with unanswered questions.


This was a part of my life that affected me so deeply that there was absolutely no way I could just let it go. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t let it go or I was choosing not to let it go—it was just such a vital part to my identity and existence that it was impossible to actually “let it go.”  


That night, as Wylder laid in my arms, my face full of tears, I texted Adam and asked him to come up to the bedroom. I didn’t know how to handle this, how to process it, let alone try and make sense of it. Moments later, he was in the bedroom sitting next to me, watching his wife cry through the pain. The grief was heavy. I told him I was struggling. And I didn’t know if I could ever “let go” of this one. He stared at me for a moment, watching me wipe the tears from my face, then tried to silence my cries in hopes of not waking up Wylder. He looked me in the eye and said, “Maybe you can’t let it go.” I stared at him, confused. After all, he was the one to challenge me with this whole “letting go of shit” thing. Then he said, “Maybe you can’t let it go. Maybe this one, you just put it away. You don’t, you can’t forget about it. It’s never going away. But you have to put it away.”  


You don’t have to let it go, you don’t have to forget about it, you just put it away.  


And it hit me. Think about life like we do our house. We don’t leave stuff out or lying around that we don’t want others to see when they come into our homes—our laundry, the things in our safe, our daily journal, heck, our sex toys (if that’s what you’re into)—we “put them away” so that we and our guests are not continually looking at them, distracted by them, or tripping over them. In the same way, maybe there are emotions and experiences in our lives that we sometimes can’t let go of. These are the things that have helped make us who we are. And sometimes, they’re too important to just let go of. Instead, we need to put those ones away. Because just like our clothes and our scrapbooks and our important papers, for the majority of the time, they’re tucked safely away. We can pull them out when we need them, and when we are done, we put them back. We hold on to them because they are an important piece of our lives and, therefore, an important piece of us. Perhaps our emotions and memories are the same. 


The mind contains a series of safes. Not everything can be or needs to be shared. There are some things we need to hold on to and keep safe because it’s a big part of us surviving in doing so. We just need to put those things away until the time we need to revisit them. And that’s okay because some things can’t be let go of. They’re just too damn important to even try doing so. 


So, when it comes to my father, I don't know if I can ever forget, but I need to be okay with learning to forgive.  


There’s a lot of overdue, unsaid things that I will never be able to say to him. It crushes me that he will never see the woman I am today, the person I am constantly working to evolve into. And he will never get to hug his two grandsons, who are the most precious things to ever walk this earth, and who have our eyes. And, I'm sorry for that.  


I'm sorry my father’s choices cut his life short. I'm sorry we will never get the one day on this earth I really needed with him, as an adult, to just simply talk to him. I'm sorry I will never get to face him, challenge him, and also crumble into him and cry as his daughter, who might be an adult but who just also really fucking needed answers from her “dad”—who just needed one damn moment with him to know that she mattered.  


The parts of my father within the story of my life that I cannot forget I’m putting away for now. They’re just too important to let go of, but I can no longer carry the weight of it every day. So I’m putting it away in a place nearby—but close enough to pull out again when needed. I have to put it away. 


My survival depends on it. 


No, my becoming depends on it. 

Life thru Lyrics, part two... coming in 2024. 


Life thru Lyrics, Part Two © 2023 by Nicole Danielle. All rights reserved.

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