One of the most interesting and simultaneously depressing factors of life is that the only definite part of it is death. Nobody can stop it from coming, and it's hard to say what precisely goes down afterwards, whether or not you believe in an afterlife.
Most people don't like to think too deeply about death due to the dark nature of the topic, whether they are curious over their own or dreading it for their loved ones. There are so many more positive things to enjoy in life that we're better off not worrying about it too much when we can instead cherish the time we do have.
Of course, sooner or later it will happen, and when it takes its victim in the form of someone you love, it can be devastating.
Nothing about the situation seems fair, and you wish you could do more.
Death is unexpected. That's half the tragedy of when it arrives; just because we know it WILL happen, doesn't make it any less jarring when it DOES happen. You'll never be ready for the dreaded phone call that informs you of someone who has left the world of the living out of nowhere.
The cause of death can be unpredictable. Maybe it was something dark and intentional like suicide or even murder. Other times it may be sudden like a heart attack or a freak car accident. Life is created and destroyed all around us every day, but that doesn't make it any easier and few of us can say we're used to it.
There's nothing you can really do to prevent most of these situations, and it's important if someone you love passes regardless of reason that you do not blame yourself and don't get too carried away with such thoughts. It wasn't your fault, and all you can do now is focus on where you go from here.
You can't bring them back, but you can live on for them.
Earthly death is very permanent and irreversible, which is what makes the loss of a loved one so tragic for those of us left behind. As easy as it is to let this fact consume us, there are more positive ways to perceive the situation.
Think about all the ways this person encouraged you while they were still around. They always had high hopes for your future, and even if they aren't physically around to see it to fruition, that never went away. When you truly love someone, their spirit will continue to live on through yourself. They would want to see you succeed and accomplish all the dreams you opened up to them about, and it would be nothing less of a disservice to their memory to ditch all of that potential.
Be the person they always wanted to see.
I like to focus my articles on struggles that I myself have been going through or have gone through in the past. This helps me bring a personal side to the advice I'm trying to offer which feels like a more genuine kind of writing to me. However, in this particular case, I'm more creating this piece because several friends of mine have been going through this process instead and I know many others out there have likely dealt with the same this year.
I pray that they and anyone out there who needs this will recover in their own time. I know it's hard, and everyone has their own method of grieving the lost. I would urge you to seek help from others around you who care for you. Don't let yourself go through this alone, and don't for a second buy into the thought that you would burden them with your presence.
For anyone reading this: death is hard and unforgiving. I am sorry for whatever loss you may be going through, and I pray you a safe journey through the mourning process. It can be so hard to come to terms with the fact that this family member, this friend, this significant other, is gone for good.
The world may have lost someone special, but it has also granted you the ability to achieve everything they built you up for and more. If you take this moment as a building block rather than a finishing blow, you can do great things. Stand up tall and do all that you can to preserve the memory in all that they were by being the version of yourself they always wanted to see.
And, just maybe, somewhere out there, they'll be watching you with a bold look of admiration.