Death is only the beginning

Death Is Life's Greatest Lesson

Even in death, there is life.

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After writing my previous article, I have been wrapped up in a lot of things. Unfortunately, most of those things involve losing people who inspired me and made me want to be better versions of who I am right now. I lost one of my mentors in my Boy Scout Troop. The world of battle rap lost Tech 9, and the hip-hop world just lost Nipsey Hussle. These are very times right now. Sometimes, I wake up and I can't believe that these people and other people I know of are no longer breathing life on this planet. To this day, I can't believe that my friend and mentor is gone. She was around for so long, I never imagined her passing away. When Nipsey Hussle was killed, it felt like hell on earth to some people. That is how many people feel when a loved one or someone that was heavily admired breathes their last breath on this planet. When we are caught up in the grief of death, there is one important thing that we tend to forget. Death is part of life.

Everybody Dies

We get so caught up in life that we never think about the time we have left on this planet. The thing is, everyone has a mortality rate. None of us are immortal. Sometimes, we wish we could be, but we're not. The part that interests me the most is that no one knows when the end of their life is. Sometimes, death can be seen from a mile away. Other times, it occurs when we least expect it. One moment, you're chilling doing who knows what. Next thing you know, BAM! Someone dies. When people see it from a mile away, they are mainly preparing for when it happens. Whether it is the person dying or a loved one of the passing person, they are both preparing for when it happens. At that point, the challenge is letting go, which is never easy, but it must be done. Why? Just because the person you loved passed on doesn't mean you should stop trying to live your life. Death is a life lesson.

Continue Living

When my friend and mentor died, I was shocked. She helped me get my Eagle Scout ranking. She always checked on my progress even when I was in college. I was hoping that she would be there for my graduation and we could talk about the next steps of my life. But now that she is gone, I am still sad, but that doesn't mean I want to stop living life to the fullest. That is the job that we as humans were born to do. For the loved one that passed on, they wanted you to live your best life, no matter what will occur in the present and future. Nipsey Hussle knew he was going to do someday, but he still lived his life. He would've wanted the same for his family. Overall, death is depressing, but, it is also a lesson. The lesson is that we don't have long that long on this planet. We don't know when our time will come. It could be today, tomorrow, or sometime later, but, it is coming. Death reminds us of that and motivates us to live every day like it was actually our last day. Hopefully, for everyone that has recently lost someone, I hope this helps you through.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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