The Beef with Grief

On July 16th, 1960, my dad was born. A hero, a fighter, and a teacher was born. He had goals, aspirations, family, friends, hobbies, and dreams. He moved to the United States from Jerusalem, he lived in San Francisco, and he lived in San Diego. He went to school, went on adventures, broke rules, and explored nature as much as he could. He opened a restaurant, got married, and had two children.

Fast forward to August 28, 2008 when he got diagnosed with cancer.

Fast forward to July 19th, 2012, he passed away.

My point? You never know what could happen in the future. One day everything is fine and dandy, and suddenly your world can be turned upside down the next. I heard some news yesterday that a guy that I worked with passed away in a tragic accident. He was always so nice to me, asked about what I wanted to do with my major and told me what he wanted to do with his life. We never had any deep conversations; I didn’t really know him well. Nonetheless, we talked whenever our shifts lined up. And now he’s gone. A good person is just gone. Why do these things happen to such innocent people? If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know that a part of you will always be empty, and no one can fill that void.

So how do you move on then? When news that a loved one has passed away hits you like a train, how could you possibly even fathom moving on? I asked myself the same questions when I lost my dad. I saw no purpose. I saw no aspirations for myself. My dreams faded, my positivity vanished. Why would I want to continue living life without my best friend by my side? But here I am somehow, almost 5 years later. My perspective on life had to change before I would be back on my feet again. I had to stop asking myself a million questions: If there’s a God, how could he let this happen? How are rapists out there in the world while good and innocent people die? What’s the fucking lesson to be learned from this tragedy? These questions made me go crazy, because I knew they could never be answered.

But you have to move forward. You have to combine your dreams, and your aspirations with the dreams and aspirations from the person you’ve lost. Don’t let that person’s spirit die. Yes, life may be for the living, but I think the dead never die, and it’s up to the living to make that happen. Start a charity, start an organization, start a non-profit, start a walk. Get a tattoo in their honor. Be change. Find the good amidst the bad. I don’t know why good people have to go, but I do know that sometimes good people have to leave this Earth, in order for change to start. The ones suffering with illnesses, disabilities, loss, addiction are suffering so we can make a difference. Maybe that’s not the case, but I like to believe that’s true; I like to believe that this life and the innocent lives lost can’t just be for nothing.

If you’ve never gone through such a drastic loss in your life, try to live every single day like it’s your last. That’s such a cliche quote, but it’s so damn true. If you’re worried about what your Insta feed looks like, how many likes you have, if your crush will text you back, angry you have no cute outfit to wear, just stop and re-evaluate for a second. Look at the sky, the trees, listen to the birds, close your eyes, feel your breath, and just be so thankful that you are alive.

I have a really hard time holding a grudge when I’m mad at someone (which rarely happens); I refuse to be the first person to say sorry, even when I know I’m wrong (which, let’s be real, is often). And that’s something I’m trying really hard to work on, because if someone I love (knock on wood) passed away suddenly when I was upset at them, I think I would lose my mind. Life is so precious, so fragile, and so damn unpredictable. Appreciate your loved ones today. Say sorry. Don’t let life just pass you by. Don’t countdown the days to a big event, while forgetting all of the beautiful days in between. Every moment you have oxygen is every moment you have to live, both literally and figuratively. After a storm, there’s always a rainbow. It may be a storm that seems like it’ll never end, but there will eventually be that rainbow. Wait for it. Don’t give up. Push through and persevere. All you wonderful TCU people going through loss and grief right now, you are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I dedicate this quote to you guys:

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ― Anne Lamott

Happy Living, you beautiful people ❤️

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