Grief is a complex emotion.
It hits you in moments when you least expect it. Just when you think you’re in the clear, it washes over you like a wave you can’t rise above from.
I didn’t anticipate ending 2021 and beginning 2022 with grief. I was on a high throughout December where everything was moving in the direction I had desired.
Two days after Christmas I received a call at 8 a.m. that delivered news of the sudden passing of a close friend of mine from a motorcycle accident.
I’ve never received a call like this before and I’ll never forget how harrowing the experience was. In a matter of seconds, my world as I knew it changed forever. The reality of this is something I still haven’t come to terms with.
I’ve always feared death. Not my own death, but the passing of those closest to me. I was always terrified of that call - the one that transforms a normal Monday into a day marked with pain so heartbreaking that your identity as a person is eternally altered from it.
How do you turn something tragic like the untimely death of a twenty-six-year-old into something you can learn from? How do you move on with loving memories and gratitude for those memories when you’re angry that you won’t experience them again?
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it to make sense of what happened, but there’s no making sense of it. In the rare moments when I forget that he’s gone, I try to live in that brief fraction of a second for as long as I can because it feels better believing that he’s still here.
One thing I have noticed is that I’m starting to see life differently. I’m no longer living from a space of immortality, but am understanding how temporary and important our time here is. How impactful our existence can be if we choose to live in presence and appreciation rather than regretting the past or focusing on the future.
That’s how I’m trying to move forward now. I’m healing by remembering that being alive for another day is the greatest gift. My family, my friends, my dreams - all of it - is a gift.
I will treasure my life and the lives of those around me with my entire heart and through that awareness I breathe life into the memory of my dear friend.