Moving On From Death.
Death has a way of awakening your spirit, a swift reminder that we must live. I've found myself falling more and more into a place of complete self submission. A place that has no room for negativity and dishonesty. I recently lost my Grandmother, a woman that I loved deeply. She spent much of her life balancing motherhood and the reality that she would never walk again without her leg braces and crutches due to an improperly treated respiratory disease she got after giving birth. She had to give up so many of her dreams, yet she created a legacy and life for herself and children. She lived to be 86 years old and touched many lives while she was on Earth.
My husband has lost his Grandfather two weeks after my Grandmother died. Here we are losing the eldest people in our family, while raising the youngest (our 9 month old daughter). Wednesday night my husband's grandfather held our daughter and kissed her right on her forehead as if he was transferring his energy and legacy into her spirit. The very next day he died at home in the exact chair he held her in the night before.
What I learned from my sister's death and everyone else I've lost after her is that life goes on. It may be the hardest lesson I had to accept and the one that makes me feel the worse. I have experienced complete and utter joy in my life after the death of people who I would have otherwise thought I would die without. I have experienced happiness and success, love and growth, laughter and new friendships. My loved ones haven't been forgotten and their impact is forever present in my daily actions. The harsh reality is that there is life after death and no matter how badly we love people, we can move on from their absence.
Life will always continue. We can either surrender to our sorrow and face each day with a heavy heart and pain or we can accept our lives are forever changed. But joy is a real possibility after heartache. I remember the first time I laughed after my sister died, I felt like the worst person in the world. Did this mean I didn't love her because I found something funny? Did I mourn her enough?
When you experience loss you realize that you never get over someone being dead that was once alive and apart of your life. They aren't living in a different state. You aren't arguing where they will eventually forgive you; they are dead. They can never, ever come back. There is nothing you could ever do to change the reality that you have to let them go. No matter how hard you cry, angry you get, sad you feel, they will never, ever come back. Once I was honest with myself and realized that I had zero control over death, I began to really live life. I can carry my sister in my heart and actions. I can keep her memory alive by simply living my own life. It doesn't make it hurt any less, especially on the days when you just want to hide under your blankets until the hole in your heart is somehow replaced. However it does allow you to be honest with yourself and those around you. It allows you to take complete control over what you allow to define you in life.
You can let death and that can include the ending of life, love, jobs or relationships define you negatively or positively. Or you can accept that something really shitty has happened in your life. It hurts, it's hard and it really doesn't make you feel good at the moment. However, you will get over it, through it, and come out on the other side fully functioning (If you make the choice to do so). We all have pain that lives inside us. It can either be apart of us or take over us. I consciously pick joy every single day. Those moments when I miss the ones I love and I feel their absence more than I would like. I intentionally find ways to create new memories with the people I still have here on Earth.
If you find yourself having a hard time dealing with death, find a way to live. Celebrate your ability to create new forms of joy. They are never coming back and that pain will never leave you. It will however become manageable and not as suffocating if you intentionally make an effort to release it.
I know the death of a child is often much harder to deal with than that of an 86 year old woman. I know my sister's death had me cursing God while my grandmother's reminded me to pray more. Death can get really dark and the unexplainable, terrible, horrible feelings of despair and loneliness can often choke you before you get a chance to breathe. You have to fight that pain with everything you have. You have to use every ounce of light in your life to envelope yourself with it. You have to fight sadness with every ounce of intentional joy you have.