There’s no greater pain that any parent can imagine than losing a child, and Ashley Cain knows that all too well.
For him, that loss is no longer a what-if fear. It’s reality. Nearly two weeks ago, his daughter, Azaylia Diamond Cain, died following a battle with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.
Now the former soccer player and star of MTV’s “The Challenge: War of the Worlds” is facing the next difficult chapter in his grief — planning a funeral for an 8-month-old.
“I always dreaded the first time I’d have to plan a funeral,” Cain wrote in a message he shared on his Instagram story Thursday. “But I never ever thought it would be my child’s funeral. Nothing could ever have prepared me for this.”
And even though he must go through with it, the 30-year-old explained that the task simply seems to be too much.
“Some days it breaks me and I can’t even (bear) to do it,” he continued. “I always thought I was tough, but making decisions on how I’m going to bury my baby is enough to bring me to my knees every single time.”
That’s an understandable sentiment in the wake of something so difficult to understand.
“It’s hard to make sense of anything right now, especially why did it have to happen this way!” he wrote at the close of the message, adding only a broken heart emoji.
That candid post was just the latest example of Cain letting his fans and followers in on the painful journey he and Azaylia’s mother, his partner Safiyya Vorajee, have been on since they shared their daughter's cancer returned two months ago.
But before all the pain began, he wrote about the absolute joy of being Azaylia’s father.
“There is no words to describe this feeling,” he wrote shortly after her birth last August. “But she has opened new doors to my life and my heart. I could literally look at her all day and hold her till my arms give in. But mainly I will always be there for her as her daddy, her friend and her confidant! Daddy loves you baby, you’ve changed my life!”
Now that she’s gone, he still celebrates her impact on his life.
“I am blessed, I am honoured and I am privileged to be your father,” he wrote in a post penned two days after Azaylia’s death. “I would go through all of the pain again and again. Because what you gave me in those 8 months will live with me for eternity.”