4 Things I'd Say If You Were Alive

Unfortunately, by the time we hit our early 20s most of us have lost someone we love. From grandparents to best friends, we have seen many lives come to an end, some of which ended sooner than we expected. Death is inevitable, but when it comes for someone that is 18 or 22 our lives are turned upside down. Realizing that even in your late teens or in your 20s life can come to an abrupt end is terrifying, and yet refreshing. It is refreshing to be reminded that struggle and pain are temporary. It is terrifying to think you may not get to finish your bucket list or your end of year goals.

The only thing standing between life and death is a breath. As a character in the movie Wit says, "And death shall be no more...death, thou shalt die." Nothing but a breath, a comma separates life from life everlasting." The character E.M. Ashford, who is played by Eileen Atkins, delves into the importance of punctuation in the poem Death, Thou Shalt Die by the metaphysical poet John Donne. Donne uses, in the last stanza of the poem, a comma to separate the concept of life and death. A comma is a simple pause, just a breath between thoughts. The comma is completely different from a period or a semicolon, which bring a thought to a complete and abrupt end. Using one of the later punctuation choices would be much more dramatic. We have made death dramatic, but in reality, death is a pause before eternal life for those that believe that there is more than this physical life.

Crazy poetic rant being over, there are 4 things that I would want to say to the person that I've lost. 4 things that I am almost certain that we would all want to tell the people that we've lost.

*Turns on Spotify playlist made for this person*

*cries while typing*

1. I am okay.

The hurt is no longer like a fresh gashing wound; it's more like waves of random pain triggered by songs, pictures, jokes, sunsets, and car rides with all the windows down. One moment I'm blasting music and singing poorly, the next minute I'm teary-eyed and wondering if you can see me. There are things that remind me of you all the damn time. One time when I was hosting a family came in with a little kid that looked exactly like you and I spent 10 minutes in the bathroom crying. I miss you so much every single day. Sometimes it feels like we just buried you, other times it feels like you were an imaginary friend that faded away with my childhood. Although it is still hard, I do want you to know that I am okay. I wake up every morning feeling thankful that I am alive, and I try to live my life in a way that would make you proud.

2. I hope you can see me.

Every single time I do something right and I succeed you are the first person I tell. You are the only one that I want to tell everything to, so I hope that all of that talking to you in the car isn't going to waste. I hope that you can hear me talking out loud to you, and dedicating corny country songs to you. I am doing my best to live a life that I can be proud of in the hopes of making you proud of me too. I know it might seem like I'm doing too much, or sometimes not enough, but believe me, I am doing what I can. All I can think of sometimes is that you should be here with me. Right about now there are people thinking, but he is with you spiritually! Sometimes that's just not enough. I want your physical presence. I want to hear your voice and see your big brown eyes. What I would give to have a beer with you after passing one of my exams, or to get a burger after a long day at work. The most I will ever get is the fleeting sensation that you're watching over me, but I will hold on to that passing sense that you're watching me and cheering me on.

3. I love you!

I never got the chance to do this one. We were so young when you were ripped off the face of the Earth, not to sound aggressive! I am totally okay. I tell you all the time now how much I love you, but it'll just never be enough. I will always wish I could hug you and tell you that I love you so much! It just feels like there's something missing. There's a little emptiness that I know won't be filled. An emptiness that's there just like there will always be one extra seat at the dinner table, and a spare bedroom at home, and a birthday in my calendar that no one will celebrate. It's that same emptiness, however, that reminds me to make sure that the spots in my life that are filled know that they are loved. You get a little extra love, though, I'm always afraid that you can't feel my love from where ever you are, so I try a little harder.

4. I'll see you on the other side.

I believe there is a life after death; "Nothing but a breath, a comma, separates life from life everlasting. " I can't wait to finish up my purpose in this life; I can't wait to go through my bucket list and fulfill my goals! I want to achieve all of my dreams and fall in love! I want to live life to the fullest to then take that last breath and see you again. I know that you are at that finish line of this physical, fragmented life cheering me on, waiting for me to cross it so that I can finally get to the other side. I'm getting there, slowly but surely, I am getting there. See you sooner than you think, since you are not living a fragmented life and therefore you have no concept of time (lol).

There are a million, billion things I want to say to my brother. He died so young that I never got the chance to have a real fight, or an honest conversation, or a deep moment of sibling love. I don't remember sharing toys with him, or competing for our parent's attention, hell, I don't remember what it's like being a little sister. But the one thing I do remember is that I have a brother. I refuse to use past tense on that.

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