Some try to put a time limit on how long one is supposed to grieve the loss of a loved one. But, after having lost so many in my life, I have come to realize that there’s just no set time limit when one should be done hurting.
On May 2nd, 2016, a friend of 21 years passed away. She’d been hospitalized due to an error during multiple surgeries she was having done. For weeks, she lay in a medically induced coma and the prognosis was pretty bad for some time. Then, she began to improve and there was hope for all who had been worried. She woke up, was breathing on her own, and getting some of her spunk back.
But, then shock hit many of us on the morning of May 2nd. I checked my Facebook and saw a status about my friend passing away early that morning. My heart broke in a way it never had before. I’d lost family and friends, but no one I’d had quite the connection with like I did with her. She was once my family, when married to my cousin. That was how we’d met. We’d formed such a bond that even after she and my cousin divorced, her and I were still close. There was a time when we shared everything. She was my best friend for a long time. We hadn’t been super close in awhile, but we’d been reconnecting.
I still feel like she’s here with us sometimes, like she’s not really gone. It doesn’t help when I see her Facebook profile connected. But, it’s so much more than that. I try not to get super upset. I believe she’d want us all to keep living and loving. I feel that she’d understand remembering her and missing her, but that she wouldn’t want us to be frozen in sadness. She wouldn’t want us so paralyzed by our grief that we forgot how to live.
I believe that it is up to the living to honor the dead by continuing to live. We should keep their legacies alive by telling others about them and their lives. And too, what better way to honor them than by living in such a way that would make them proud? Grief can do so much damage and it can be life changing. But as hard as it might be to keep going some days, I believe that it is imperative that we do our best to try.
So, to my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws, and friends that I have lost: I miss you, so very much. A part of me died with you when you left. But, I am committed to living the best possible life that I can while I am being given that chance, to loving those who are still here. May I honor your memories, may I make you proud by living in such a way that would make you smile. I love you, more than you know and I always will. May that advice be something you take heart to and find ways to follow and may I do the same, remembering on tough days that I need to keep going. Let us not allow grief to overtake us, but let love instead ever propel us forward.