Growing up is never easy, but everyone always gives you tips on how to handle adult situations. But one thing no one ever prepared me for was loss, death to be specific.
I remember the first time I experienced death. I was 6 years old and my grandfather had passed away. At the time the only thing I could think was that I wouldn’t get jelly beans anymore (that was our thing). But it never quite dawned on me that he was gone forever. Over time, I’ve grown used to him not being here. Over the last few years, I’ve seen people pass and leave holes in the lives of their loved ones. But in the sadness, I’ve seen strength and love come through stronger and more prominent than ever. Even with these experiences, nothing ever prepared me for loss of my friend Jimmy.
Two years ago today, he passed away in a climbing accident. Since then, I’ve had to figure out how to cope with this loss. For some reason his passing has been significantly harder for me to overcome. The first year was by far the most difficult, and last year I made changes to try to step out of the funk that his death left me in. In January 2015, my friend Mike passed away after a long battle with cancer. The last month has been difficult because it’s almost like I’ve had to start the recovery process all over again. I had thought that having to go through this a second time would be easier, but it seems just as difficult. And maybe it’s because I’m still not quite healed from losing my friend Jimmy.
One thing that i have learned over the last two years is that those “live life to the fullest” sayings really do ring true with me. I’ve recognized that tomorrow is never a guarantee and that the relationships and experiences we have today is what we’ll be remembered for. I miss my friends so much every day. I see the holes that they’ve left in the lives of people I love and it hurts to come to terms with the fact that they won’t be around for those big moments.
I’m writing this post as a promise to myself that I’m going to continue moving forward, in their honor and for the betterment of myself.