How To Understand What Can't Be Understood
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How To Understand What Can't Be Understood

How to deal with losing someone you love, once you finish the pint of ice cream.

How To Understand What Can't Be Understood

In tenth-grade biology class, I was taught how the human body works. Every system is interconnected, the average person's heart beats 72 times per minute, the human brain sends synapse's to neurons to give you the sensation of living.

Weeks of lectures about what makes a person alive and we barely touched the surface of this system we call the body. But what happened to the lecture about what happens when it all ends? When the heart beats for the last time, when the brain stops sending messages to your body, when the lungs stop inflating. Which page in my textbook do I turn to, to teach me about death? Which diagram teaches me how to deal with loss?

When someone dies it’s a reflex to ask “Why?” Why her? Why now? Why me? These questions race through your mind uncontrollably like the song lyrics you can’t shake.

Cue the frustration. You still have not found the answers to your questions and you start to do the one thing you told yourself you would never allow; pity yourself.

And then the worst part; feeling helpless with no solution in sight. It’s a pain word could never describe, and one you wish to never feel again.

It becomes a cycle; the never-ending game of coping with no cheat code to be found.

Life goes on but something is off, you’re not you. You have a good day, and then it comes on, your song with them, and you’re back as a pawn in the screwed up game of coping and grief.

How do you understand something that makes absolutely no sense? I tried making sense of it. It was exhausting, and somehow I found the slightest way to blame myself, for something I had absolutely no control over. I knew there wasn’t a permanent solution, so I found the band-aid. The cool one you used to get at the pediatrician's office when “you took that flu shot like a champ!”

I stopped asking "why". I stopped trying to make sense of something that had no answer. I stopped going with my instinct to question everything. I stopped trying to educate myself on death because there is no quizlet for 1.) They died because: A,B,C,D. You’re only cheating yourself. There is no right answer to this question. Save googling answers for the chemistry problem that makes absolutely no sense to you. There is an answer out there for that, but not for death.

So what’s next? Personally, it was a batch of brownies and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, but once my food coma was over, it was accepting my situation. She is gone. But here comes the cliché idea, that “you are not.”

Trust me, I roll my eyes too.

Call me a hypocrite because I haven’t accepted what happened fully, but there’s this crazy thing called time that really is on your side for this one. This is no trek up the hill to get to the Westcott Fountain, this is mother f*cking Everest, but people do it every day. It is possible. You come prepared for the challenge.

You have your backpack, your baggage, but it’s not the "bad kind." This baggage is the friend who comes over on a whim, when you say you need a hug. This baggage is the nights out with your friends that lead to the best stories, but the worst mornings. This is the starting of the hobby you’ve been putting off for years.

This is saying yes to things you would have never before. This “baggage” is you coping. You’re always going to need your days in bed, where you just want to feel badly for yourself, which may or may not include texting in your roommate group chat begging for someone to go get you McDonald's (thanks Madi). No one is saying to not have those days. You’re entitled to your emotions. The band-aid doesn't mean there isn’t a wound under the colorful piece of adhesive.

This is you doing life without them. It's different, odd, and even distasteful at times, but this new life is not just mine *cliché coming your way* its Andrea’s and mine. I can hear her voice in my head telling me to “be happy and enjoy these years when you’re young” as she always did. And when that voice becomes a bit too distant, I listen to her voicemails. That’s not me regressing, that’s me moving on.

Don't forget what happened, that's what makes you lose yourself completely. It is about adapting. That lecture in biology about Natural Selection is true. You have to learn to adapt to your new environment. If the stink bug can learn to live in America instead of Japan, you can do anything.

I applied to be a writer for the Odyssey because this is my new life. I’m doing the things that make me happy, the things that scare me, because I’m living for us both. Shot my shot, bang.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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