Reflections on Father's Day | Ellie's Way

Reflections on Father’s Day

Reflections on Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers who are blessed with the gift of children. Peace to the fathers who have lost a child and to all the children who have lost a father.


What You Don’t Know About Me

What you don’t know is that I struggle every day. Sleeping has not been easy since Ellie died, especially waking up in the night and just wondering how I arrived at this point. I believe that we are what we eat, and that “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Waking up is hard. Who can control your first thought when you wake up? My first thoughts are usually not good ones. Then the battle of the mind begins. I become my own coach cheering me on. “You can do this! Your family needs you and loves you. I love my wife and kids, and I’m going to make a difference today in this world.” I pray for God’s help to do what I’m supposed to do today. And, I stand up.

What you don’t know is how much I lost. Ellie was a sweet little daddy’s girl who was better than I ever imagined. I lost a child that understood me. She thought I was funny and wanted to be like me. I’ll never forget our talks in bed about her dreams and her struggles. We shared so much. I lost the warmest welcome home every time I came through the door. We shared encouragement through sticky notes. I don’t get those anymore. I can only dream who she might have been today.


What you don’t know is that I am fine most of the time, but I’m fragile. I am motivated and energized to share my heart and love to the world. Even though it has been over two years since Ellie’s tragic death, I’m still on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. I’m not sure what I’m doing, but I’m doing lots of things. I’m not even sure I’m recognizable from the previous me, but that’s not all bad.

What you don’t know is the old me was ruined and broken faster than I thought possible. My world had shattered. Little did I know, but Ellie had planted a seed in me that would save my life and birth a new me. Ellie loved Jesus, prayed with me and for me, and shined God’s love into my life. Her joy for life and faith is a constant inspiration and will never be forgotten.

What you don’t know is how much I miss Ellie. I wish she was here and we could enjoy each other. I remember her every day. But, I would not want to be the old me. I’ve found a richer life that I had never known. I’ve found a profound sense of purpose and compassion. I know that Ellie will never be forgotten and that I’ll see her again when my time here is up. I live in the moment of every day, enjoying the people and blessings in my life more than ever before. I’m not anxious about the future or the world. I’ve learned to be me right now, whoever that is. If it’s crying in the shower, or laughing with my wife and boys, it’s all part of the evolving me and I’m okay with it.

– Ellie’s Dad

Other Father’s Day Links

Father’s Day After a Child’s Death

Happy Father’s Day? My child Has Died

Grieving the Loss of a Child On Father’s Day

Father’s Day For Dads Who’ve Lost A Child: This Day Is Still Ours


Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Lisa AdamsmarykpratherKim H. Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kim H.
Kim H.

I think it’s wonderful what you are doing. I understand, I to went through the loss of a child. My son Will, died suddenly and it’s been just over 18 years. It gets a little better but not much. Mothers day, his birthday, the anniversary of May 10th 1996 he passed on Friday before Mothers day Sunday.I remember that day like it was yesterday, “my world stopped ,but everyone and everything kept going.” People don’t. Always understand why I act the way I Am. Sometimes I am acting ODD and emotional and not dealing well with anything I think what… Read more »


Wow.. How beautiful your thoughts and raw emotions are ..thanks


I pray for your family so often, Todd… the depth of your of your loss is mind boggling to me. If anything came from losing Ellie it is a new you, a you that loves Jesus and works to make HIS light shine in the world. Ellie would be so very proud of her father.

I know you long for the day you will be with her again. I hope this blog is a source of encouragement for other grieving families.

God bless all of the Nigros.

Lisa Adams

So eloquently spoken Todd. One thing that all grieving parents have in common: the evolution of becoming a completely new being. It is up to us who we will become and I strive to always be someone my daughter would be proud of. Love to you and your family.