the positives of death

Although Death Brings Pain, Look For The Beauty Too

A death can not only be remembered by the pain we feel but in the positive impact it also has on us too.

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Death has a way of opening our eyes, which is ironic because quite literally, the act of dying closes our eyes forever. But over the past week, I've felt the impact of death, not only on me but within my former dance community.

A couple of days ago, one of my previous, fellow dance teammates passed away. At first, I was completely stunned to the point of not feeling anything at all. You know when you're so shocked that emotion doesn't quite kick in right away? You're left sitting on your futon practically with your mouth agape and no real thoughts going on in your head. You just feel a rush of emotions, each one too complicated to figure out just yet. So you sit there, letting shock overtake your body, and you don't say or do much.

That night, I cried a little when I began to settle down, watched an episode of a TV show, and tried to fall asleep. While I was laying there with my eyes closed, forcing myself to relax, I couldn't help but picture flashbacks of the moments we had shared together, of the times we doubled over in laughter, the ones where we choked on hairspray making sure our hair was perfect before heading out to perform, the ones that were so genuine. So pure.

When I begin to remember those moments, I can't help but think as I look back on myself, "Larissa, stay in the moment. Listen to her laugh. Listen to her cries. Help her through her hard moments and be there for her good. In three years, she will no longer be here." But of course, you never know the future, so those fleeting moments of passing time that are easily overlooked, which also happen to be the most important moments in life, must never be forgotten. They're the moments we as people truly love, admire and live together, even if it's unknowingly.

Life isn't picture perfect. If it was, the 19-year-old girl with a heart of gold would still be here, preparing for college finals and getting ready to dive into a Thanksgiving dinner. She would be preparing her Christmas gift list for Black Friday and talking with her friends about which stores they should all hit together. Sometimes, life just fucking sucks.

As mournful as these past couple of days have been, it has also been equally as beautiful. Through the tears and shock, my former teammates have united in solidarity to remember together, to cry together, and to help together. Girls I haven't talked to in years have been sending texts in a GroupChat, offering condolences and support alike. Years, miles, and milestones may have pulled us apart, but a loss of a beautiful soul has also brought us back together, and that is exactly what she deserves.

The dancer who lit up the stage with her perfect turns and leaps deserves to be remembered and honored for the person she was, and after spending years practicing and performing together, for a while, we knew her best. So even though time may have drifted us apart, her spirit has made us a team again. It's what she would have wanted.

Although it's easy to get caught up in the spiral of sadness, finding your bed more intriguing than anything else and becoming close friends with a tissue box, it's important we look for the beauty. A death can not only be remembered by the pain we feel but in the positive impact it also has on us too.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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