22 Lessons I Learned About Life and Death When My Best Friend Passed Away

Unsplash Joshua Earle
Unsplash Joshua Earle

1. Just because someone has lived more years, does not mean that they have experienced more or less then someone else.

2. Just because someone is older then you does not mean that they are smarter then you. Your parents DO NOT always know more then you. They come from an entirely different generation and do not have in common many of the same experiences that you and I have had, or will encounter.

3. When in doubt, dance it out. Trust me. The next time you ever feel upset or angry, just go ahead and dance like a complete idiot. Dance alone. Dance with your friends. Dance with your dog. Just try it. Cause crying is helpful, but at some point you need to turn the tap off for the day, and no one can keep a straight face with tears running down there face dancing to “U Can’t Touch This” – MC Hammer.

4. Oh wait, am I right? You are dancing and you stopped crying. Your anger and frustration has lifted a little? Maybe you should go for a walk now, or to the gym, or throw a football around outside with your friends… they say physical activity is just as effective as anti depressants, and didn’t I just prove that with the dancing method? Take good care of yourself, and keep active and moving, always. I guarantee you won’t regret it once you start.

5. If it makes you happy- you will work hard at it. When you work hard, EVENTUALLY, success will come your way. Simple.

6. ^I say eventually. Because sometimes it really seems like nothing is changing. That is where persistence comes in. You can’t work hard for a minute, an hour, or even a day. It needs to be CONSISTENT hard work, and you need to PERSERVERE through the times that seem slow.

7. Do not project TOO far into the future. Experiencing what it is like to be in a hospital and see people who are extremely sick, teaches you to take it day by day. Maybe even hour by hour. Or minute by minute. You will be shocked how quickly life can change in an instant.

8. No one stays forever. The only person you can count on to go through life every step of the way with you, is YOURSELF. Your mom, dad, siblings, best friends, pets, eventually all leave you. Maybe in an order you would have never expected. The only person guaranteed to stay in your life forever is you. You can rely on yourself 100% of the time, guaranteed. I really hope you like yourself. Or else damn, it’s going to be hard.

9. Illness and death do not discriminate. Age, wealth, happiness, loneliness, busyness does not matter. Anyone can get sick and die at any age. You think that you will go through life with your friends, spouse, siblings by your side because they are the same or similar in age to you. You think that they will be at your wedding, that you will have your kids together, and that they will grow up together just as you did. You think that you will watch your parent’s age and eventually lay them to rest. Sorry to say, none of that is a guarantee for you just because you are young. The order of events in ones life is different for every person.

10. Soul mates are not limited to intimate partners.

11. Family, friends, relationships, trips, dreams, and all the adventures you had along the way are the only things you remember when you are on your deathbed. You are not thinking about how many comments, likes, followers, and “friends” you had. You are not thinking about all the clothes, shoes, purses you bought. None of that matters for even a second at the end of it all.

12. People will eventually forget exactly what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel in that moment. They won’t ever forget that. Be careful.

13. You must be your own advocate in life for EVERYTHING. Help is usually available, but just because you are in the right place, at the right time, does not mean that you will automatically receive help or attention. You need to speak up and ask for it. In school, at the doctor, in the hospital, at a job, in relationships, in love. Stand up for yourself because you deserve to be heard.

14. All that protein powder, and weight lifting are not the only things in life that will make you strong. Living a life with no regrets will do that too. Every mistake or experience, no matter how awful or painful it was, leaves you with a lesson you can learn from for the future.

15. You will always truly grieve alone. Every single person had there own special and unique relationship that has now ended. It takes time for every person and they all grieve differently and at different stages. You will still have moments where you can find comfort in others because the pain is similar. But never the same. Like I said in #8, you are ultimately on your own. Hold yourself on the most painful nights, no matter how much you want the feeling of another body next to you. You will survive this pain. You will learn that you are capable of handling anything, even the unthinkable.

16. You will learn extremely well how to fake a smile and a laugh. So good in fact, that the day you have genuinely laugh again, it literally scares you because it sounds nothing like your fake one.

17. You will learn to find humor in even the darkest situations because they are just so damn hard and uncomfortable there is absolutely nothing else to do but crack a stupid joke. It could possibly make things even more uncomfortable but that’s when the fake laughing you have been practicing comes in handy!

18. Still send text messages, Facebook messages, write letters, and talk out loud to them. It’s not silly. They will still see them. Just don’t expect direct responses in return.

19. Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve. There is no wrong or right way.

20. Always listen to your gut. It is NEVER WRONG. Especially when it is hungry.

21. Eventually when you have experienced enough death in your life it is no longer shocking. The idea that people die is normal. It just happens and you get it. The loss of that relationship and adjusting to a new normal is the part that never gets easy, no matter how many times you’ve had to adjust.

22. Don’t wait to celebrate life. There is no right moment or right number of moments to celebrate. Everyday should be a celebration. Everyday find new love, and embrace new relationships that come your way. Never stop doing that until your ending has come. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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