Do you know that saying, “I have loved. I have lost”? Well, to me, those two things go hand in hand. Loss is one of the hardest things anyone has to go through in life. I wish that it didn’t exist, but it does. This year has been filled with the most and hardest losses of my life.
My family is ridiculously close. I love it with all my heart. We are really like no other family. We are a huge family that is not rich but completely and utterly rich in love. We are so close that losing someone hits even harder. October 12th of 2017, my dear papa passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. This was the first loss that really felt like a hole has been torn out of my heart. He has the best stories and when he would pick me up from school, he would be sitting in the car reading the newspaper, waiting for me. Every time I would see him he would say to me, “You get more beautiful each time I see you.” Being me, I would roll my eyes and laugh at the ridiculousness, but I loved it. I miss this man every single day.
The day he passed away, I was sitting in a hospital room receiving a million “I’m sorry texts.” Then one of my friends texted me this, “As George Harrison put it: “death is just where your suit falls off, and now you’re in your other suit. You can’t see it at this level, but it’s alright. Don’t Worry.” That’s it. That’s all he said. He knew what I needed to hear.
In later moments I realized it was true. Loss is beyond hard. But I realized how lucky I am to have had such an amazing person in my life to make saying goodbye so hard. He inspired me.
January 5th of this year the world lost the most precious soul, who I loved like a cousin. We are family friends but truly we are cousins. Sweet Joey. He passed away of DIPG, a cancer that the world should not have. He is a miracle child. He never failed to make me laugh and I loved him with all my heart. I always thought of him as another little brother because him and my two other little cousins and my actual brother all acted the same. All crazy, hilarious, dorky, kids that have my whole heart. When my mom came into my room that morning to tell me, the world stopped and all I could think about were his mom, dad, and sister. I could not understand the world. I still can’t. It hits me everyday that two pieces of my heart are gone.
Then I think about his parents. I have never ever met people so purely kind. They are whole-hearted people. They are the ones helping everyone else when we should have been helping them. When I feel lost and sad many times I think, “What would Carolynn and Joe do?” I have seen many people ask Carolynn how she does it. How she lives so beautifully. She does it with faith, love, and hope. You see it in her eyes. In how she treats others. She is one that does not let that hardness of the world crack her softness. These people have been the biggest inspirations in my whole life. They have taught me how to find just some beauty in life’s darkest moments. They have taught me how important hope and love is.
I hope that one day I see loss as not a hole. I hope I can see it as “a new suit.” That there will be enough love in the world to soften the losses we endure. And to be thankful for the love that we have experienced. Love is such a strong power. Many people have fear of it because of the loss that could be attached to it. I still have fear of giving my heart to people. But if we have a great love then we should not worry about the loss. Because loss is just another way of loving.