I’ve never like the word ‘lose’ because to lose someone is to imply loss, to say that they are no longer a part of you, that they’ve disappeared, or that you can no longer find them—physically, or spiritually inside your heart.
But when you lose someone, when they pass on from this life to the next, when you are reminded, once again, that our time on this earth is impermanent, it is not a loss.
Because these people, these pets, these memories, these parts of our lives that we’ve loved still live within us, still have a special place in our hearts, no matter the time or distance or pain in watching their souls leave their temporary bodies.
The ones we lose are never really gone.
Their beings shape the way we continue to live, continue to love, continue to heal in the wake of their passing. Their impact guides our decisions, our choices, our emotions. Their memories give us happiness in our darkness, strength in our tiredness.
The way they lived teaches us how to act, even when they are no longer by our side, telling us what to do. We hear them in our heads before we do something reckless. We feel their presence as we take pride in our biggest accomplishments. We are reminded of their love as we hold hands with another, as we kiss, as we fall into human emotion and passion.
They will forever live in us—in how we think, act, live, laugh. They teach us, they give us strength, they keep us grounded when we lose ourselves in this mess.
The ones we love and lose don’t leave us. They don’t fade. They don’t just disappear into the fabric of our pasts; they are intricately woven in, permanently and beautifully.
And so, if you are missing someone right now, if you are feeling empty by the person or pet-sized hole in your heart, if you are reeling a life change, from trying to navigate a world without this special one in it—know that they are not permanently gone.
Know that they live within you, in your heart, your mind, your memory.
And know that they won’t leave. They won’t cease to have meaning. And they haven’t abandoned you. They are with you when you turn the knob of the radio and your favorite song comes on. They are with you when your new puppy does a little bark and twirl just like your old dog used to do. They are with you when you feel the sun kiss your skin. They are with you when a warmth creeps into your belly for no reason at all, just making you feel happy and alive. They are with you when you can barely lift your tired head, or open your broken heart again.
They are with you, even when they can’t be physically.
Because their strength and care lives within the tunnels, the veins, the arteries, the muscles of your heart and body. And their love forever lives in your heart.