I can accept the idea of my own demise, but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else. I find it impossible to let a friend or relative go into that country of no return. Disbelief becomes my close companion, and anger often follows in its wake. I answer the heroic question ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ with ‘it is here in my heart and mind and memories.’
At this moment, all over the world, people are mourning the loss of someone they love.
The mortal world we live in is short; much shorter if we are at the end of it, looking back at time’s past, feeling in awe of how quickly it’s come and gone. When we are old and grey, I figure we will spend our days reflecting on the lives we have built, the relationships that have flourished and fallen, and the mark we will leave behind for the next generation to follow. We will find peace within us about the journey that comes when life ends in this world and begins in the next. But what happens when we do not get that chance? What happens when we are taken from this world abruptly and we haven’t fulfilled the life we always dreamt we would have? Does the journey become altered if the road isn’t traveled the same? More importantly, what happens to those left behind?
The trouble is, you think you have time.
I am blessed in my life that I have never been subjected to the heartbreak of losing someone very close to me. Unfortunately, many people in my life have suffered tremendous loss. It has been incredibly hard to be witness to the pain associated with such traumatic circumstances. Through their suffering, my only wish is that I could somehow subside the hurt, even if only for a moment.
It is hard for me to picture what my life would be like without the ones that rouse the love in my heart. My husband, my parents, siblings, grandparents and friends…if at any given moment, one of these people left my life, I would be filled with such grief I am not sure I could continue. It takes an incredible amount of strength and courage to be able to get past something that painful, living day by day in a world where those whom you’ve lost no longer exist. While I feel remorse for those who have suffered this pain, I am inspired by the hope that lives within them and their ability to persevere.
As a person offering support to those grieving, I have witnessed the struggle of the continuation of life after death, the life of those left behind when someone unexpectedly passes on. Most experience anger, resentment, isolation and depression. Some seek help for the emotional damage caused by loss and some do not. Neither those who seek or do not seek help are stronger than the other. The road to recovery is different for everyone, and those who are battling depression should never be judged for seeking recovery in any form. It is important to always remember to be a support system for someone going through such a trial because no one should suffer silently. After experiencing such loss, the worst thing someone grieving should be subjected to is discrimination or shame, nor should they ever feel embarrassed to speak about their feelings and their hardships.
To those in my life affected by loss: I am here. At a time when you feel more lonely than ever, you are not alone. Have patience with yourself and this life. Your experience is unique and therefore your journey to recovery will be as well. Never take criticism for your methods of healing and never feel powerless to your circumstances. It will take time, dedication, and strength. Hold out hope for tomorrow and everyday thereafter. Please know you have a very large support system behind you, ready and able to help you in whatever may come your way. The days that await you are greater than those past. You are loved.
If you or someone you know is experiencing loss or depression, head to Open To Hope for support in coping with pain, healing grief, and investing in the future.