3 years later, I still find that grief comes in waves. I am working on a paper for school, and taking breaks to mourn you. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and the past 3 years I have probably celebrated it the least in my entire life. While I want to celebrate now and have an amazing time (in your memory and for me), I continue to find it a challenge. My life is different because of you, and it is different without you. I wish I could hear you on the phone or have you for another visit, and tell stories to each other late into the night as we catch up on what has been happening. Reminisce about our travels abroad, and chatter about the travel we hope to do yet. I have loved our little visits, although they pale in comparison to hanging out in person. I love you, dude.
It is amazing to me the drastic change the loss of a loved one can have on a person. I feel like I am somehow the same person and different ever since losing my best friend…it’s been almost three years now somehow. This past weekend, I spent three days with children who are all facing grief and loss of someone important in their lives. These losses ranged from baby siblings, older siblings, parents (sometimes both) all the way to grandparents or even best friends. Hearing their stories, and watching them process their grief through activities was awesome. One moment, they were playing and laughing, running around, to the next moment where there would be comfort, serious conversations and tears.
They built forts…
…had the opportunity to go canoeing, kayaking, or fishing on a beautiful lake…
….and be around nature and others in grief for healing.
The 10-12 boys who I was a counselor for chose the name of Chubby Pirates for a cabin name, and had such a blast meeting friends.
It is strange to see young children make so many changes and share intimate details about their feelings, and then never see/talk to them again. I feel like I am still processing my own feelings from this weekend, but loved the experience and am honored to have been a part of the process for these kids.
It’s not like you always seek out certain books to realize something, and even when you do, the realizations and thoughts that come through may not have been expected.
I just finished reading American Wife written by Taya Kyle with Jim DeFelice. I was astounded at how much I saw Andrew in Chris Kyle, and even more by how much I aligned with Taya Kyle. Obviously, we are not a mirror image couple, and our relationship is its own. But many of the personality traits I see in Andrew or in myself while reading this book.
After dealing with a loss myself, although not a spouse, this book was therapeutic in the waves of grief that followed and are still washing up now and then. And it also faced a fear I have had, but also deepened since my friend died: how I am always hoping for Andrew’s well-being because I don’t really know what it would be like to face my life without him.
Near the end of the memoir, Taya talks about her search for happiness, and how she usually finds herself thinking of what she hasn’t done rather than her successes. I really saw myself doing this often, although I consider myself a ‘happy’ person. I have been stressed, restless this summer counting down the days and the savings I need to move and start my life-our life-with Andrew. Yet I haven’t necessarily celebrated what I have accomplished so far because I keep looking at what I need to do for the next thing. It definitely reminded me to LIVE IN THE MOMENT more. Something I try to do, but it is definitely an aspiration of mine for that to come more naturally. I have two undergraduate degrees under my belt, I am working in (one of) my fields of study and have someone I love deeply who loves me in return, and I even have plans that I am working towards. I am not lost, but I am still learning and succeeding each day.
So cheers to me on that, and congrats to you (all) for what you succeeded in this summer.
The other day I was having a rough day. Ever since my friend died on Halloween (still no new information on why, she just passed away in her sleep), I have had more good days than bad days for the most part. But every once in a while, I have a really hard time with it. We were supposed to be in a lot of classes together next semester, so I feel like I’ve started grieving all over again. The other day on the way home from the dentist, this song came on and I was singing along really loud in my car. But it was one of my friend’s favorite songs, so all of a sudden I felt like she was singing it with me and I just started bawling my eyes out while trying to sing it. I just miss her so much. But I love having such great memories with her. I love that I can still be with her singing out the lyrics in my car.
So it has been about a month since I lost one of my best friends here at college. This past week, I have felt almost normal again. Yet the grief will still creep up on me at random moments. I never felt how heavy such a small organ like the heart could feel. Or the whole body for that matter. I can’t imagine what her family is going through, having their first family gathering since she passed away so suddenly and without reason. She wasn’t murdered, drunk or sick. She just passed away at the age of 21. That’s still the hardest part. That I can’t know what actually happened. That I can’t call her and text her and talk about future travel plans we had, yet I don’t have a reason as to why that is. It has been such a healing process the last couple weeks, and the dance department has all been such a wonderful support, the glue holding us all together. It is really a reminder to be so thankful everyday. I am so thankful to have family that supports me (even if they want me to stay close to home when it’s not the best option), to have a wonderful Godfather who keeps in touch despite being halfway across the country, to have wonderful friends, like Christina, who I can laugh with, talk with and create awesome memories with, to have a connection with the other beautiful ladies of this blog, and to have such a wonderful boyfriend who supports me, loves me and hopes for my best success. He helps even while he’s all the way in Colorado-a new challenge for our already long-distance, now we have a 2 hour time difference I wish that Christina was still physically here, but she has been showing us that she’s okay. I just miss her so damn much.