The way you feel when someone dies

You might start to think long and hard about the way you treat people, realizing you never know when the last time you’ll see someone is.

This goes out to all those who lost their loved ones at some point of their life. A noble man once said me “Despair not my friend cause ‘smile’ is what they want to see on your lips and ‘happy’ is what they want you to be no matter what the circumstances might be.”

 

  • This is not possible.

I woke up to a series of text messages and missed calls from a friend who I knew wouldn’t be trying to reach me at 9 AM on a Sunday if it wasn’t important. And I’d had several people hanging out at my house the night before enjoying a campfire. Apparently one of them didn’t make it home. After she told me this on the phone, I got out of bed, and, did what I knew how to do: I made breakfast. Ten minutes later, while sitting in silence with a friend on my porch, the truth of what she said made its way to the front of my brain, like a detour I had to take on a route home. I could no longer carry on ignoring what she’d said, and had to let my heart and brain try to embrace it. But how does that fit into daily life? To find out someone you were just with 12 hours earlier spent their last hours on Earth with you? I broke down and cried, more of a body convulsing kind of cry than tears. There was fear, heartache, and a heaviness I have never felt.

  • I’m fine.

I met my friend at work. He was 24 when he passed away in a single-car crash after leaving my house. The day after I found out he died, I went to work to be with my coworkers when they found out. We walked around the parking lot, and I mostly tried to comfort my friends who were crying. It seems my adrenaline was in overdrive at this point because I was going through the motions and didn’t feel the weight of sadness anymore.

  • This isn’t fair.

Why did someone so young die? What is the purpose? Why do I have to deal with this? Why does his family have to face this tragedy? Why did my friends not reach out to me and bring me food? Why did they not visit me? Why did my parents not say the right things? Why did my boss expect me to continue working? No one understood. I had enough energy and angst to run ten miles but also had no motivation to move or get out of bed, so my anger at God, at my boss, at everyone, manifest itself by yelling at my mom. Thank God for the idea to go pick strawberries that day to get rid of some energy and get out of the house. Being active and around other people helped.

  • This is too much for me to handle.

I returned to work immediately after my friend died, and I remember staring at the screen on my computer and not actually registering any of the text I was looking at. I was there, but my mind was a thousand miles away. Hearing other people on the phones doing business sounded like nails on a chalkboard and also like something out of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Everything was blurry. I felt so detached, and sensitive. Their voices grew louder, and everyone was talking so fast, it seemed, I felt dizzy, nauseous, and that I would burst. There is no way to hold in tears and you should let them fall out of your eyeballs whenever you need to. Hopefully your coworkers will understand. Also, give yourself all the time you need. I wish someone would’ve said this to me, not, “take a day off,” but, “don’t rush back to work or feel you need to do anything. Take the whole week off, please.”

  • My friends don’t care. This was the biggest surprise to me.

I have a wide social circle, and feel thankful many of my friends are very supportive. But during this experience, I really wanted them to visit me but I didn’t know how to ask and felt I was inconveniencing them. Texting isn’t enough. This isn’t to make anyone feel guilty. This taught me how I respond, too, when I hear someone is dealing with something terrible and how I’d do it differently in the future. I’ve definitely said through text, “Let me know if there’s anything you need,” to a friend. Now I learned, knowing what you need is the hardest thing about dealing with death. It’s impossible to know what will make you feel better. If you can think of anything, name it! Your friends really don’t know what to say or do. What I would tell anyone to do if you’re trying to support someone who’s experiencing a loss is: visit them. Spend time with them in person and insist on it, even if they tell you they want to be alone. If you’re experiencing a loss: Tell your friends to come to your house. Tell your parents to visit you and stay with you if they are nearby. Don’t apologize for asking. They want to help you and don’t know how.

  • What am I doing with my own life?

You question what you’re doing with your life because you realize how short it is. Every 20-something can relate to the term “existential crisis.” We have them on an hourly basis. If you’re already questioning what you’re passionate about and what you want to do for a career, and you experience losing a friend, you may feel all of that uncertainty put under a microscope and magnified. You’ve seen firsthand that life is short, and it’s a gift you’ve been given that perspective at a young age, actually. After you’ve given yourself all of the time you need to heal, you will have that perspective to help you put energy into making your life into what you want it to be, whether it’s changing jobs, going back to grad school, breaking up with someone you don’t see a future with, moving, etc. But don’t expect everything to change so quickly.

  • Do people know I love them?

You might start to think long and hard about the way you treat people, realizing you never know when the last time you’ll see someone is. I noticed, so many people commented on how generous my friend Nate was. He moved a piano into my house after knowing me for less than a month. I mean, “generous” is an understatement. This made me think a lot about my own legacy. Do the people I care about know how much they mean to me? I can be pretty sarcastic to my co-workers. What if they don’t realize how much I would miss them if something ever happened to them? When I die, I want people to say I am selfless, that I loved others well, and that means I need to make it a priority to be that way. This is really hard. It feels like a ton of pressure because your words have so much weight! What if this is your last conversation with your boyfriend ever? That’s not a healthy way to think. Nobody is perfect, and you are growing, and learning every day.

  • I Should Be Over This Already, Shouldn’t I?

You’ll think you’re past it and a wave of sadness will come over you when the sun sets a certain way and you’ll question if you’re dwelling on it too much. Is it still normal to feel sad every once in a while after 6 months? Yes. It is normal to feel sad whenever you feel sad and it is totally valid. If you’re comfortable talking to a counselor, don’t hesitate. They won’t change anything, but they can help you by listening, and it’ll only come back to haunt you later if you try to bury your feelings and don’t confront them.

  •  My friend would want me to be happy right now.

You remember that time your friend blared country music and had a day party in your kitchen because he was so excited it was Saturday. It feels like a burst of energy to remember how much your friend loved life, how funny they were, and how they would want you to be enjoying your life, so you try to honor them. You might dance a little longer to your favorite song or sing with the windows down in your car because you know they’d want you to be happy.

  •  I don’t want to do this alone.

You may get the urge to see his or her family or write to them or hang out with other friends who knew your friend who died. Always seize the urge to connect with others when you feel led to! They are probably waiting for someone to give them the chance to open up and it feels good to talk about your friend, even though it feels heavy. You’re all doing the best you can, but no one can do it alone.

 

But Life Goes On!

 

P.S This is a work of fiction. Anything and any incidents are either the products of the writer’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

 

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To The One I Left Back Home.

But I want you to know that wherever this home may be, miles and miles away or a block away, I will always love you and you will forever be my favorite home and you will always be the reason why I will keep on fighting and I will try to win.

It’s been a hard journey but I’m finally heading somewhere, the road is still long and the destination is not crystal clear but I’ve finally learned how to drive in the storms and keep on driving until the sun shines again. I sometimes wish I could just go back home and not have to deal with any of these hurdles, but I feel like maybe something big is waiting for me at the end of the road; something told me that I need to go find myself away from the comfort of my bed and the warmth of your hugs. I had to leave so I can grow, so I can be the person you told me I was; the potential you saw in me that I couldn’t see in myself and the person you wanted me to be.

I have tried to find people like you to make the road easier but it was hard to find anyone that could replace you but I learned that you will always be irreplaceable and it would be unfair to compare anyone I meet to you. I’ve met a lot of people who did not resemble me, who did not even speak my language but I found so much value in our differences and they trained me to find the balance in sticking to my roots while trying to understand them. I realized there’s so much more to explore outside the realm of our little jokes and our familiar conversations, outside the luxury of not having to explain myself or wonder if someone misunderstood me and outside the silence we never really feared, but here, silence makes you think, it makes you question, it could drive you crazy – silence is petrifying.

I often hear people complain about the distance or how much they missed home and I would always say well they should just go back, until I was repeatedly faced with the same feeling and I almost booked a one way ticket back home but I didn’t want this to be the end of my journey. I didn’t want to come home the same person that left and I didn’t want to come home without a fight, I didn’t want to come home when I haven’t battled anyone. I wanted to come back as a winner, a champion or a fighter, someone who fought till the end, someone who tried and someone who didn’t let you down.

Because it’s the fight that keeps you going, it’s the lonely days and the tearful nights, the disappointments and the heart breaks, the setbacks and the naysayers and it’s those who want to bring you down who keep you racing to the top. No one said it would be easy to start over and if I can’t handle the stones I encounter on the way then I don’t deserve the diamonds that I’m searching for. But I want you to know that you keep me going more than anyone, when everything is bleak, I remember the nights we spent laughing and singing randomly as we chat, I remember the nights we held each other tight whenever one of us was hurting and I remember all the crazy memories we had and the silly things we did and these memories make me feel alive. They remind me of how lucky I am that I have people like you to come home to, they remind me that no matter how far I wander, you’re still close to me – closer than ever.

And I want you to know that I will be okay; at times I may get lost and at times I may struggle to stay in touch with you but I will never completely disappear, I will never not know where I am or how to go back and I will never forget where I came from.

I want you to know that I didn’t leave because of you, I left because of me, because of the person I was becoming, because of the person I was turning into and because I started to feel like I didn’t belong but I learned that home doesn’t have to be one place, that you could have many homes in your lifetime but you’ll still have one special home you loved more, one special home you miss, one special home you had the best times in and I think I want to live in other homes for a while, I want to see what other homes will welcome me in and I want to have as many homes as possible before I decide to settle in one.

But I want you to know that wherever this home may be, miles and miles away or a block away, I will always love you and you will forever be my favorite home and you will always be the reason why I will keep on fighting and I will try to win.

Signs You’re On The Wrong Path.

Some may say that there is no such thing as the “wrong” path, and that every path is the right path.  But is this true?  Are we really being honest with ourselves when we say this?  From personal experience, I know what it feels like to be on the “wrong path”.  By “wrong”, I am referring to a path that does not suit you, serve you, or bring your soul alive.  You know in your heart, soul, and mind that there is something bigger and better out there for you.

These paths only serve the purpose of redirecting us to a more ideal path, and they provide us insight into what we don’t want out from life.  When we pay attention to the little feelings that bubble up in our soul, we can live a life that is guided by our intuition.  A life guided by your intuition is never the wrong path.

  • You feel empty and unfulfilled inside.

You aren’t excited to wake up in the morning, and you feel like you will be unhappy for the rest of your life if things continue on the same way as they do.

If you feel like your current life is unsustainable for the rest of your life, and that if things don’t change you will go through your whole life miserable, then something has to change. This is your souls way of communicating to you to go deep, look inside yourself, and find listen to where your intuition is trying to lead you.

  • You feel like you are wasting your time.

You feel like you are wasting your time on earth. Life is short, and you feel as though your life here needs to be spent in a way that is more fulfilling to you. If you feel like you are wasting your time, there is probably a good reason why. Not everyone can have their dream job, but everyone has a longing to leave their creative mark on the world. The truth is, if you aren’t creating, serving, and growing spiritually, you will always feel like you are wasting your time.

  • You try to fill the void.

You spend a great deal of your time trying to fill the void inside yourself.  Addictions, partying, and Netflix are used to distract you from deep internal feeling of need to change paths in life. You often search for material possessions as a way to supplement your lack of purpose and meaning in life. The “void” you are experiencing is your souls desire to come alive through your lifestyle. Don’t fill it or ignore, allow it to direct you to a better path for you. The point of this article is not to encourage self-condemnation, guilt, or sadness. It is to inspire us to look inside of ourselves, be honest, and see if we are truly on the path that we KNOW we should be on. Maybe we aren’t spending enough time with our family and friends. Maybe we are having our gifts suppressed by the jobs we work, or we on a self-destructive path of addiction, self-hate, and self-denial.

Whatever it may be, it’s important to listen to your intuition and follow the wisdom of your heart. If you know in your soul that something needs to change, either your soul is mistaken, or something needs to change.

You’re Not Afraid Of The Future, You’re Afraid Of Repeating The Past.

Fear?

Most of us don’t have the courage to admit this, but life is very scary.

Fear is a necessary part of life. Our psyche depends on it to hold us together. Without fear, we die.

Surely, there must be some sort of logic to us being programmed with this unpleasant, nerve-racking experience. We fear because it has the ability to move us faster and further than any other emotion. It propels us into the inevitable future.

For some of us, fear causes us to search, to create, build and connect. For others, it causes us to lash out, maim and destroy. Others still decide they can out run or hide from it, only to spend their lives living in it.

Fear shapes your life more than anything else. Your fears mark the points at which you either faced and overcame what you feared, or you didn’t. They either mark a turn onto the next path or the moment when you missed an exit. In the end, they draw out the map of your life.

One of the things we fear the most is the future. We don’t know what it holds, and worse yet, there is no possible way of knowing. It’s the unknown, the mysterious.

But that’s not what we fear the most. Because when it comes to the mysterious and the unknown, there is a chance there’s a monster roaming around in the dark, but there is also a chance there are butterflies and rainbows.

So no, it isn’t really the future you fear. What scares the crap out of you is your past.

While the future is, at least to us, unwritten, the past has been set in stone. There’s no undoing what’s been done. There’s no changing the things you wish you could change. You have no choice but to live with the past you created for yourself, and no choice but to accept all the resulting consequences.

The past weighs heavily upon many of us. We often come to see it as a burden, something we must carry along with us everywhere we go. But that’s far from the truth.

The past was a point in time, an exit we either took or missed. It no longer exists, not as far as we’re concerned. You can let go of the past, because the truth is, you don’t need it.

Your life was set on this course, but it doesn’t need to stay on this course. The next exit is coming up. Your next fear is waiting to test you, waiting and hoping — yes, hoping — you overcome it. You have to understand you don’t fear harming yourself — you fear bettering yourself.

Don’t look at fear as something negative. Fear is meant to help you. So, fear your past. Let it move you. Allow it to make you try new things, to do things you never imagined. Let fear drive you towards something better, something that makes you happy.

But don’t bring your past into the future. You shouldn’t even be bringing it into the present. The present is a gift — the gift of being able to redirect your life and move towards a better future for yourself.

If you’re afraid of repeating the past, then don’t. That is, quite literally, all there is to it.

Today’s habits, the things we do, the choices we make, they are what make tomorrow an inevitability.

Life can be better. You can learn to turn fear into excitement. You can be driven, positive and happy. I swear you can. I don’t even know you, but at the same time I know you better than you know yourself. I know you can accomplish things you’ve never dreamed of before.

How do I know? Because you’re no different than me. So matter how much my past scares me, no matter how far away I may be from where I want to be, I’ll get to where I’m going. So will you.