When I first moved to Portland from California, I knew no one. Over the past few months in graduate school I have met some incredible people that have changed me for the better and continue to grow me, although sometimes it hurts to grow. To clarify before I begin telling my small story, I do not believe in luck or in coincidences. Rather, I believe everything happens for a reason, and this life is all about timing. These girls, these awesome friends, have all experienced grief by losing a loved one. A mother, a father, a brother or sister, a close friend, grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle, maybe cousin … and the list goes on. The amazing truth is that we did not come to graduate school or meet the friends we did because of our experience with loss. Rather, we found one another in light of everything that was happening in the midst of school and work. We had this innate feeling that this was the time we were ready to speak up about our loss; this was the time when we no longer had to hold onto our feelings or hide them under the table. When you lose someone close, you believe no one understands. But now, everyone understood. And if not everyone, we now know the people who we can trust and rely on when we need a shoulder to cry upon. It was such a beautiful destiny for all of us. Fortunately, I had these women to cry upon when my friend passed away.
Grief is hard, and who is to say it is easy? And yet, we all are experiencing it in one shape or another, either it be your personal experience with grief or through the eyes of a close friend. Deep down in our souls we are all afraid of dying. Death is a subject that is often overlooked and kept in the shadows. We fear death because it is unknown. We fear the harsh emotions that come from losing a loved one. However, what if death is not what it seems? What if death is one of the most beautiful things that can happen on this Earth? Possibly, the beauty of death is the unknown. Death is humbling and helps us to realize we are not in control. It truthfully validates we don’t know everything; our tiny bit of wisdom cannot surpass the complexity of this life.
But in the meantime, my friend, grieve. Cry your heart out. Lock yourself up in the bathroom and pour out everything you got. Deplete yourself of all the energy that is left inside of you. Let your heart speak, and the mind keep quiet. Don’t hold anything back. And then, just then may you start to feel a little bit better. Over time, may you feel a bit of hope that you can continue on through life. Maybe take one step forward, but don’t feel discouraged if life takes you two steps backwards. Because there will be a time when you can leap. And, my God, it is a beautiful leap of faith.