As we all understand, we are mortal - simply human beings who are given a time on this Earth that will one day come to an end. That being said, it still can completely debilitate us when we experience it. It is an unwritten understanding, but yet, do we really understand that one day life as we know it will end? Obviously, we have difficulty understanding this, as each time we are faced with death, we struggle. Why did this happen? Why is this person no longer here? What caused the ending to this beautiful life? Why did it happen now? We especially have difficulty with those who are young, enjoying their lives, building a family, or challenging themselves with new experiences, living life to the fullest. We don't understand why death occurs at this time - as we think death is reserved for after a life well-lived, where individuals have accomplished all they seemingly needed to accomplish and are ready for what is to come. Death is inevitable and yet it still brings us great sadness and heartbreak when we hear of it. Because we are human, we enjoy knowing those who bring us joy, entertain us, give us knowledge, etc. We may not even know them well, but have heard their stories, been entertained by them, or benefited by learning from them, and that gives us a sense of connection - maybe we have gained a little more understanding of ourselves or the world because we "knew" them. As I've grown and experienced life, I have experienced the greatest of losses and didn't think I would be able to continue living with the love, joy, and happiness that this person brought to my life. She was the rock in my existence, the comfort I could turn to, a wise, compassionate individual who I always felt loved by, accepted and who epitomized the emotion of love for me. When she passed away, I didn't think I could go on, nor did I even want to live a life where she wasn't in it. I went through all the stages of grief, and vacillated between the stages for several years after her death. Eventually, I began to see that her existence was an immense blessing in my life, and that, just because she was no longer here, did not mean she did not impact or enhance my life still. I continue to this day to cherish the person-hood that she emanated in my life. I knew her so well that I can still imagine what she would say to me if she were here and listening to my heart. I remember, and cherished her morals and emulate what she would have done in a difficult situation or when faced with a moral dilemma. And I act in ways that I want to show the world that I am a better person because she lived. I tell her story to those who I meet, so her memory never dies. Because I talk about her still, her essence is still with me. I choose to do this to all who are no longer with me in this life. I honor them by remembering them, smiling at the feelings and sentiments these memories provoke. When someone is called to their next life, and I remain, I never want to lose that connection with them and I think of and cherish the memories of them often. I want to live a life that shows that I have been blessed to have lived when this person did, and that I grew from the impact of that person on my life. As I said, I may not even have known them, but I learned something valuable from them; and I believe this is the reason we are all in existence - to impact others by the goodness we can give in this life. I still feel sad sometimes at the fact that I can't continue to learn from them, look them in the eyes or hug them. But I'll hold onto that belief that one day I will. And it will be the most wonderful reunion! Yes, death is an inevitable part of life, but reflecting on the gift that their life contributed to mine, I can be extremely grateful and thankful that I was blessed to have known and experienced the individuals who mean so much to me, and will forever honor them through my words, actions, and memories; this continues to bless my life with love, joy, and happiness. I encourage you, when you are faced with experiencing loss, lean on someone who can support your journey through this difficult time, and cherish the growth of your process through the loss.
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