learning to live your life after a death

Learning to Live Your Life After a Death

It's the circle of life, but it still hurts.

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Over the last few days, I have been coping with the passing of my grandfather. My grandfather had a very unique and special relationship with each of his grandchildren, myself included, so when he died, I wasn't sure how to react. I remember immediately being overcome with an overwhelming sense of numbness and confusion. Trying to process the reality of a loved one's death is mentally exhausting. It's especially hard because you are forced to accept that the vivid memories you have with that person are somehow changed; you can remember the details, but the image is no longer the same.

Leading up to the funeral, you hear clichés like "they're in a better place now" or "everything happens for a reason", and whether you believe that or not, it still doesn't ease the pain of the loss, and it feels as though nothing will. There are, however, a few truths I have learned while trying to cope with my grandfather's death, and the realizations began while I was writing him a letter.

Writing to a deceased loved one can include anything that comes to mind. There is no right or wrong way to say goodbye. For me though, expressing how you feel and the memories you had is not about how many details you can fit onto the paper (unless, of course, it is helpful for you), but rather about what needs to be said to give yourself closure. More often than not, when someone passes away, they have had time to process their relationships with the ones they love, and, because of this, they usually know what it is you want to say. They know what is in your heart. A novel of expressing every previous memory with them isn't always necessary because those memories have not disappeared for them. Those memories, unlike most other things, are forever, and although they aren't tangible reminders, they are still remembered just as easily.

The truth is, we all die. Everyone has heard it. Everyone needs to understand it. This does not mean that there shouldn't be pain associated with death. It just means that we all must live the life we are given while it is still here. I have come to understand that my grandfather would not have wanted me to mourn forever. My grandfather would not have wanted for me to waste my life by putting it on hold because his time had come. Each of us has a time where we must go, but if that time is not today, then it is time to live for those who no longer do. I believe that nothing would have made my grandfather prouder than knowing I was going to allow myself to smile at the good times, and look forward to the special moments to come. Death is something we can't always prepare ourselves for, no matter how hard we try, but it is still important that we take life just as seriously as we take death. Our loved ones live on through their legacies that we carry on with every day that we decide to live our lives. They live on through the many memories we share of them. We know that they can never be forgotten, yet somehow, we still feel scared. We are scared because when we wake up, the house will feel emptier, and yes, that may be true, but what is gone is the skin and bones, and the physical anatomy; their words and imprint on us can never be erased, and that is really what a body embodies.

I will cry for my grandfather, I will miss him every day, but, for his sake, I will persevere. I will take every memory and, rather than wallow in his absence, I will be grateful for everything he has done to ensure that I will live my life to its fullest potential, just as he did. I will make him proud.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Poem: My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, that was on the 12th, here is a poem dedicated to my mother.

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To the only person who can be my mentor, friend, and leader at the same time

To someone who would make me read my own books before bedtime

And puts everything down to make sure there is a smile on my face

To the person that I find impossible to ever replace.


Somehow you are always right even when it seems wrong

And when the worst does happen, how do you still manage to stay so strong?

I'm not only impressed but inspired by you

Knowing that somehow you'll always know me better than I do.


When I'm frustrated and annoy you, you simply try to understand me

Because you have always told me that even when you can't understand, plain acceptance is the key

You have listened to all my laughs, heard me cry, and felt my emotions like they were your own

You are the only reason I am joyous and the security I need to know that I am never alone.


To the only person who has truly taught me how to live

And watched me grow and make mistakes yet still knows how to forgive

Because that's who she is, certainly not like any other

There are many women but none like my own mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

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