5 Things To Remember If You've Lost A Loved One

5 Things To Remember If You've Lost A Loved One

Living without someone you love is the painful, but it won't always be this bad.

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Death is hard. Waking up every morning with the knowledge that someone you loved you will never see again is so painful. I lost my basketball coach in 7th grade. We were headed to a tournament when he died of a brain aneurysm. This was my first encounter with death. I remember feeling so frightened that he was there and then completely gone forever in the next blink. Death is sudden and quick. But, the aftermath is nowhere near short.

Around two years later, I lost my dad to blood cancer. It took over six months for me to even begin processing his death.

When people would talk about him in past tense, or when they made funeral plans, I couldn't listen because understanding that I would never see my Dad again seemed more painful than his death. Shortly after, I lost my mom to perivascular issues. Losing Mom completely broke me down. Death makes life so hard to live. These experiences have been by far the most painful times in my life. Since they have all passed, I've learned so much. Here are some things I've come to find out in the aftermath.

1. Time doesn't always heal

As time goes on you do learn to live with the pain. But, living and healing are two different things. Everyone handles the aftermath of a death in different ways. The only consistent thing is that as time passes grief, is not so prominent. It doesn't consume your whole mind.

When someone gets injured the initial pain is extreme. As the wounds heal, it hurts less but is still painful and sore. But if a wound doesn't heal correctly, the injury can sustain the same initial pain. So it's important to grieve however feels correct to you. If you don't, time won't numb any pain.

2. It won't all be OK

No matter what, you will always be thinking about the person you've lost. Even on your best, happiest days, you will be hit with flashbacks that leave you reminiscing on the past. It's so common for people to say that it will all be ok and that's not true. It won't all be OK.

You can never go back to the same life after losing someone. Death will change you and you'll never be the same. It's important to know this because sometimes we wait for the moment where we will feel 100% ok again. Waiting for a moment like that is so toxic. Don't wait for a time that is never coming.

3. People love you

Your family, friends, coaches, and teammates are all in your corner. Dealing with death is nearly impossible to do alone. Don't push people away during this time. Hold on to them more than ever. The feeling of knowing someone is in your corner crying with you is paramount to healing. Being able to rant, cry, scream, or yell with someone is exactly what will help you feel better.

4. Be grateful

Death teaches you that life goes by so fast. No one knows when their time will come. Stay grateful for the people you have in your life now. Be grateful for the life you're given. When you lose someone it's important to remember that other people care and love you. Never take that for granted.

5. Ride the roller coaster

There is no cut and dry way to handle death. You can feel fine one day and be a wreck the next. You could've lost someone years and years ago, and still cry uncontrollably for them. Don't ever feel like you need to be in a certain stage at a certain time. You're right on schedule for you.

Anger. Grief. Sadness. Pain. Depression. You're going to feel it all. Everyone experiences them differently. No one will deal with loss the same. I've learned to welcome the waves of emotions I have. It makes me stronger because I know that I will never forget the people I've loved.

People tend to say clichés that are intended to make you feel better. It seems that society has set a general outline of what grieving should look like and it's not fair. Saying that it will all be ok isn't true. Hearing time will heal all wounds isn't always true. Being confident in how you grieve is so vital. It will make the healing process much easier. It's been three years since I lost my parents. And some days I feel like it was yesterday.

I've learned to lean on my people, ride the wave, be grateful, and know that there is no time frame for handling how I feel.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.

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I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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