Unfortunately, in the world we live in, we hear about death every day. People dying from incurable diseases, murders, mass shootings, and accidents are taking people’s lives every day.
Death is inevitable for every one of us, we all will face death one day. As scary and horrible that sounds, it’s the truth. In the past months, I’ve had to witness quite a few deaths, however having to experience the death of someone so close to me has been an extremely devastating thing to experience.
After my grandfather’s death, I felt all kinds of emotions from anger, pain, depression, and anxiety. In the very early stages of my grief, all I could think about was my pain and my sadness.
In the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about life and death. And I have come to realize that there are things that we learn from our grief and that these lessons are part of our healing. I also know that if we choose to open our hearts to embracing these lessons, our life over time slowly but surely goes from a languishing life to a flourishing life.
These are some things that the loss of a loved one has taught me:
1. To live life to the fullest.
When we lose someone we love, life never will be the same. But it is important to remember why you are still here, you need to be living your life to its fullest. We often get so lost in the mire of life’s messiness, and one day you wake up and realize there were lots of moments you didn’t treasure and a lot of things you could have done but it’s too bad because there’s no turning back time. If you have a dream but you are too scared to go for it, if you like someone, if you want to do something you have never done before, DON’T wait for the right time, as it never is the right time. Find a way and go for it and do it. Make every moment count. We shouldn’t live in fear of death. But, we should use its presence as a reminder that life is for living now not in the uncertain future.
2. Appreciate your family and friends.
After my grandfather’s death, I realized that I needed to get clear about who was important in my life. For me, it was my family and my friends. They are more important than all the money and material things I could have. I see so many people chasing money and worrying about having nice cars and nice things. But death teaches us that all these material things you gather, your fortune, and your power are easy to get and easy to lose. If you lose your money, you go make more, if you don’t like one house you go buy another and on it goes. The people in your life who love you, once you lose them, you can’t get them back. Love and appreciate all your family and friends, don’t wait until a special occasion to show them how much you care, don’t wait until it’s too late.
3. Healing takes time.
Even when your head knows someone is gone, it takes time for your heart to process it. There will be days where you will want to hide away from the world, crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head, and cry your eyeballs out. You should do it, though be warned don’t use this time out as an excuse to hide away from the world forever. If you give in and stay hiding away, it can make it difficult for you to pull yourself out of the dark cave you are in. Grief doesn’t magically end. There will always be reminders in life where your feelings of loss and grief will return. Over time, however, pain turns to a dull ache, then to sad memories where you cry, and then, after a while, you will have memories where you smile briefly.
4. Letting go.
When I found out my grandpa passed away, I was angry and I cried over things I wished I had said or done when my grandpa was still alive. When someone dies, there is always unfinished business, business we think we might have been able to finish if we could have only had one more week, one more day, one more hour. The truth is, though, that there will never be enough time because we are never ready for death. I have learned to let go of my regrets in life, make peace with my past, accept it, and move on. It’s important to not waste your energy on what is not important. We need to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have or what we could have done.
5. Life goes on.
It’s a fact of life that can be hard to accept when someone we love leaves this world as we see it. Time never stops for us, and we wish the world would just stop sometimes, but life never stops moving and evolving. You will again find yourself moving with it, but you must do that in your own time, in your own way. With time and support and faith, it’ll become a blessing within blessings.
6. Life is worth living
Life is meant to be lived, deeply felt, and thoroughly enjoyed. Too often it can take the pain or shock of a loss to make us wake up to how good we really did have it. Every moment, every person, every experience, and every memory are precious.
7. Be grateful.
We all have so much to be grateful for, no matter what has happened in our lives. So, don’t wait around for a big wake-up call to tell you that you should have been grateful. Be grateful now. Be grateful for the people in your life, the love that you feel, the little things that make you feel good to the core. Be grateful for the people that you have lost and the people that are still living with you.
Losing my grandpa was a catalyst for me learning certain life lessons. That experience changed me forever and made me realize the things that truly matter in life. His death has also taught me about resilience and how we can always choose to find the light in any situation.
At the end of the day, I don’t have it all together. The truth is, I still struggle with finding happiness, but I know that at least I am trying to live my best life. My grief amplified my appreciation for the people in my life, what I do with my life, and it’s instilled me with awareness unlike I had before I lost him.
Now I will continue to live my life to the fullest and savor every moment to the best of my ability.