How To Handle Life After Your Loved One Is Gone

How To Handle Life After Your Loved One Is Gone

This goes out everyone who has lost someone so incredibly special to them in their lives.

This is it, this is the year. For so long I've held in my tears, for so long I've said everything was okay. I can't hold out any longer. This year all my emotions have come flowing out. Every little thing. I haven't cried so much in so long. It's been years, and finally my emotions are giving way, even about my father as well. Every time I think about him my eyes start to tear up and I get choked up. Especially now that it's right around Father's Day. Usually, the longer the time that passes, the easier it gets to control one’s emotions. However, this year is not that case. It's been the hardest this year and I don't know why. I just want my best friend back. I'm tired of remembering the same horrible last memory of him on his deathbed over and over. I just want to hug him again... but I know I can't.

That's why I'm telling everyone reading this, if you've lost a parent or even a best friend and feel the same way, you need to stand up, rise up, take control of your life, know and understand that they love you. Whoever you've loved and lost, they are watching you. It doesn't matter what religion you believe in. In the end, they still care, they still love you, they want to see you succeed, even if they can't be there for you. You need to keep yourself from falling and use their life as inspiration and motivation. However their life ended, whether it was medical, an accident, or even suicide, they never meant to hurt you. They did not do this to you on purpose. Especially when considering suicide. No matter how much you loved them and they loved you, something inside of them just wasn't well and sadly no amount of love and support could help them when it comes from family and friends alone. Remember that they still loved you and that this is not your fault. Do not blame yourself for something you could not control. All this will do is drag you down and rip you apart. Each and every one of these individuals that have passed on still loves you. They don't want you to fall down and break apart. They want you to keep on living, to keep going, to remember they are right there with you even if you can never talk to them again.

For me and everyone else who knows how it feels, it is as if there is a void in our hearts. This spot that we feel can never be filled. The worst part about it is that we can never communicate with them again. We can message them, call them, write letters, talk to their graves... but we will never get a response. That is the hardest part. That person who was once there on a daily basis to talk with and laugh with is now just an empty space. That person who we went to for everything - our problems, our funny stories, our achievements, just to hang out, to watch a movie with, to go out on the town with, one on one car rides, heart to heart moments - it's all gone. To the individuals on the outside looking in, you have some understanding as to what it feels like. But unless you truly go through it, it is an indescribable feeling. Feeling completely heartbroken, lost, stressed out, and lonely.

However, all of you need to stand up, walk to your mirror or any surface in which you can look at yourself, and tell yourself that this isn't the end. Your life is still moving. There is so much happiness at the end of this dark tunnel. Tell yourself that you love yourself, that you know your friends and extended family are with you. That you will keep going. You don't have to say this out loud, you can say it inside of you. I'm not going to mince words here, it is going to take a long time to even remotely recover from the love that you have lost, but you can get through it. Remember, though, you will have moments where you will think about them and you will break down and cry. Don't hold back the tears, let them flow. You need to. It is very beneficial to let out your emotions. In this moment, talk to the person that you lost, let them know that you love them and miss them and that their life will never be forgotten.

To the friends of individuals like myself, stand with them. Motivate them. Whenever they seem down, even if they seem happy, let them know that they are loved. More than likely they will say that everything is okay, when really it isn't. They just don't want to bother you with what they feel are their own problems. Let them know that their parents and/or best friend love them. Let them know that even if they aren't there, they are still proud of their children/friend. Give them a hug, a big hug. Don't let go. They need it. Words of encouragement and a hug are wonderful. A motivational speech once in awhile helps as well. But make sure to never leave their side. Even if they get annoying by saying or doing certain things over and over, your friend is simply trying to figure and sort out life. With your help, they can go on and lead a happier life. So stay with them, talk to them, love them, motivate them to be their best. They'll thank you in the end. I promise you that. Take it from someone who has been in both sets of shoes. They will be forever grateful and will always be there for you.

If it seems as though you truly cannot help a friend, then get your friend help. Your friend may be so devastated that they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how much love they receive. Talk to your doctor, your parents, a teacher, your neighbor, anyone you think will give you sound advice as to the proper next steps to ensure your loved one will be properly taken care of and will finally be able to be happy and love again.

Everyone needs someone who can be there even if you can never fill the void that has been left in their heart. Remember to let them know that you love them. Send them a random message, leave a voicemail telling them how much you love them, write a letter and mail it to them even if they live right down the street. Any small gesture will make them smile.

This Father's Day and all the other parental and friend holidays to come, remember to be thankful for what you have. Oh, you had a massive argument with your parents or best friend and now you'll never speak to them again? Remember that life can vanish so quickly and then you truly won't be able to speak with them ever again. Forgive and forget. Move on. Don't hold a grudge. In the end, they still love you and you still love them.

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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