My mom passed away October 5, 2011, my dad passed away December 20, 2011; 2 months apart. Kevin’s sister passed away October 6, 2014.
I know the wise ones say death is inevitable and we must learn how to let go gracefully – choosing to remember all the good memories, the laughter we shared and all the love there was and there still is.
But even with that I have learned, experienced and felt how the pain never really leaves; it’s always there with you. And you just really.. well, you learn how to live with it and you learn how to live without them.
But there is no easy path to take; you will go through pain, loneliness, anxiety and most even go through depression and despair. And the question is, do you think anyone’s ever prepared for it? Do you really believe that some people just know what they should do after they’ve lost the most important person in their life?
I’ll give you an example: C.S. Lewis, a British novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, essayist, lecturer, and Christian apologist. A Man who has wrote more than 30 books and have sold millions of copies; he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and was also known to have profound faith in God and in Christianity. This guy also wrote an honest and beautiful book titled A Grief Observed – a collection of his reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960; the book is extremely candid, and it details the anger and bewilderment he had felt towards God after his wife’s death. Now, for a man who was known to have a strong and deep faith in Christianity – having questioned God after losing his wife – well, some of his admirers found it troubling. They were disinclined to believe that this Christian writer could be so close to despair. But it only really proves one thing; that no matter what religion you have, what you believe in, what country you come from, what school you attended – We’re all human and none of that matters. We feel deeply and we love deeply. And when we lose someone, someone close to us, someone who loved us very much – we lose it, we lose our way, and we grieve… we question everything we’ve ever known, we feel despair, we feel alone.
When we were young, back in school or back in our early childhood days at home we weren’t taught how to cope with things like this; Not one coping skill were listed in the blackboard in front of our classroom or in our refrigerator door at home for tragic experiences.
Most of the time and especially at first, everything will feel hazy and you will try to drown out the sorrow with other things but it wouldn’t work and eventually you will have to figure things out on your own. And so, you make mistakes – lots of them and then.. you learn, eventually. You will also lose a lot of people: friends, loved ones —- and then you will find your people – the ones that love you through all your mistakes, all your fuck ups. They’re there. They stay. They even hug you when you’re on the floor crying and you’re a mess.
And before you know it – you experience real happy, real love. And these people, they lift you higher, they give you so much positive energy, so much to look forward to; may it be road trips, late night ice cream binge, or just watching netflix and laughing so hard. And then you even experience you loving yourself -you start to try things; you start self care, try to make art, write, meditate, attend a yoga class, eat healthy and you even start to accept love in your life- you start doing things that make you feel good inside. And all of a sudden it feels great to be alive again. But you have to remember this: it can only come if you let it; you just have to allow the good things to come into your life.
“Self care isn’t always pretty, it’s not always candles and a bathtub full of roses, sometimes it’s forcing yourself to get out of bed and dragging yourself, sometimes it’s the pep talk you give to yourself or the quick cry in the corner. Sometimes it is convincing yourself to do all these things you should be doing but you have no will whatsoever, sometimes it’s cutting some ties no matter how precious they were, sometimes it’s the bitter medicine you need to give yourself.
Self care isn’t always pretty but it’s so worth it.”
So here’s to us, to the people who have lost a parent, a sister, a brother, a bestfriend… May we learn to be patient with ourselves, to forgive ourselves – everyday if we have to, to ALLOW ourselves to heal and to love ourselves and all our flaws and scars. It doesn’t get easy; life always has some next level challenge you’d have to face and you will always miss them and your heart will always break when you think about them and it will always hurt when someone leaves but life does get better. And you and I and everyone, we deserve love and light and the people who have left us – like my mom and dad and Kevin’s sister Liz – I’m pretty sure they’ve been wanting to see us happy for awhile now and I know they’re always rooting for us – to see the world, to get up from bed when your world seems so gray, to be happy. And lastly, you have to know this – there is still so much to live for.
healing is an art.
it takes time,
it takes practice.
it takes love.