Have you ever felt a loss so great it took you off your feet? So strong it makes the world stop moving as seconds turn into an eternity? That kind of grief that feels like a burning hole where your heart should be, that keeps you up at night and creeps up on you even years later out of the blue and sucks every bit of light into the dark void?
I hate that. Who wouldn’t, I guess? No one likes feeling that. No one likes waking up in the morning and for one small moment forgetting, only to be crushed an instant later. No one likes slowly forgetting that loved one until you’re left struggling to remember their favorite food or how it felt to hold them. It’s crushing.
I am not afraid of my own death. I accepted my mortality a long time ago, I’ve pondered on my own existence and death since I was in grade school, I’ve almost died before. No, my death is not something that I fear, when it happens I can only go into it hoping I don’t leave behind too large a hole in the lives of those I love. I however, am absolutely terrified of the day I lose the rest of my loved ones.
I’ve always handled death fairly well, except when the one dying was also the one who I stayed alive for. That’s the scary thing about loving with every fiber of your being, of dedicating yourself solely to another, when they leave you…. you don’t just grieve, you die inside. Of course you can come back from it some, but years later in the dead of night you may still feel the overwhelming pain of that loss again, as well as those yet to come.
I’ve always had this morbid obsession with death, it consumes too many of my thoughts for comfort… but in a way isn’t it good? Yes it leaves you feeling anxious and empty inside to think about those you love being gone forever, but at least I’m prepared for it. Death is inevitable, we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist and let it blindside us completely when it suddenly kicks down our loved ones or our own door. That being said, we also can’t allow it to control our lives.
John Green once wrote that pain demanded to be felt, he was right. Greif has to be felt, but it can’t be allowed to run your life. It’s been years since the loss of my best friend, but the pain is still enough to make me want to stay in bed all day sometimes. Has it gotten easier? In a way I suppose it has, but it still can be crippling if I allow it to take control of my life (i.e. It’s 3 am on a Wednesday night… well Thursday morning, I have plans for in a few hours and I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about him which leads to thinking about feeling that again someday and it goes on and on and….)
There’s no expiration date on grief, I’ll mourn my best friend for the rest of my life. That’s the thing though, life goes on, even with him or any other loved on being gone. I will inevitably have to burry my grandparents, my parents, more friends, pets, and likely my sister. For their sake I pray they don’t have to burry me first, although it would be preferable for me to wait for them on the other side and be spared the pain myself.
I hate the idea that someday my own death will cause someone this kind of pain. As much as it hurts and I never want to suffer through it again, I know it’s a part of life I’ll experience many times. I hope that I can spare my loved ones this kind of pain when my time comes, but I know I won’t be able to. I know how much they love me, who do you think taught me to love with everything I have? It’s our way. We love harder than anything, and hurt like hell when it’s taken.