The Loss of a Loved One

Life is such a precious thing that we take for granted. We never know when our last moments will come. I was a freshman in college when, three years ago at 3:45 pm, my brother was taken off life support. Fourteen minutes later, he took his last breath.

For the past two years, I had prepared myself the same way. I was depressed around this time. I would stay in my room in the dark and not come out until the next day or unless I absolutely had to. I thought this year would be the same. Knowing that today had been coming for a while, I wanted to prepare myself for what could possibly happen. But when today finally came, my preparations didn’t really matter. I felt at peace. I didn’t feel any residual dark and twisty feelings when I woke up. I waited the whole day, going about my business, for the darkness to creep in but it never did. I was at peace.

It was a different feeling, something I wasn’t used to, but I took it. Instead of mourning in a sad way the loss of such a beautiful and fulfilled life, I cherished the memories that I recalled having with him. I laughed thinking about all the crazy things he used to do to rile me up. I cried thinking about how I would soon be getting older than him, in just a matter of 5 small years. I cried knowing he would be proud of who I was and who I am to become. I smiled at how I knew he was a peace, know that he wouldn’t have wanted the life he would have gotten.

Even three years later, it still feels like a fresh wound. It has been three years, which seems like a good chunk of change, but feels so short. I still have my sad moments, but I also have my happy and content moments. A lot has changed in these past three years. I have grown as a human being. I’ve found my faith after being lost for so many years. I’ve accepted my role as an only child now, even though it’s still hard to decide how to answer the sibling question. I’ve fallen more in love with myself and my boyfriend of 4 ½ years. I’ve gotten a dog. I’m graduating in December of this year. I joined a sorority and found love in those friendships.

I miss my brother more than anything. I wish he could be here to see all the good and ugly things that have happened in my life. But I know he stands with me, by my side, watching as I figure my life out. I know he nudges me towards the right direction, or towards a path that he knows is difficult, but is worth it in the end.

It’s not easy having your built in best friend gone before you were ready to let go. But I know he would want me to be happy. To live my life to the fullest. So, in my sisterly fashion, I’ll finally take his advice: “Do as I say, not as I do”.

 

I will tell my loved ones how I feel. I won’t hold things back. I will cherish all of our memories. I will put my phone down and talk to people. I will connect with people. I will love so deeply and honestly, I will feel full. I will miss my brother, but never stay lost in the past of his death. I will know he loves me and misses me, but that he would want me to keep living for him. I will be safe. I will take on the small things to heart and the big things with my head.

 

Life is too short to live in the past. Start living for tomorrow and keep the memory of loved ones close. Just remember, you have your life. It’s worth living.