Learning to Cope With The Loss of A Significant Other
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Learning to Cope With The Loss of A Significant Other

Death doesn’t just take old, sick people; death comes for healthy, nineteen-year-old boys too.

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Learning to Cope With The Loss of A Significant Other
Storm Shearer

If you’ve never experienced the death of someone you were close to, no attempts made will ever accurately describe the emptiness it leaves behind. It’s not just sad; it’s all-consuming. Sometimes it’s easier to accept that someone has died if it is expected—if the person is old or sick—but it comes as a complete, life-altering shock when young people with their whole lives ahead of them are taken.

I used to think that death was something that carried a lot of hurts, but it was justified because that was the way the world works. In my mind, it wasn’t too terrible that my uncle had died, because he had been sick and hurting for years, and dying would bring him a relief he hadn’t known for such a long time. But then I experienced death in a completely new form. I learned the hard way that death doesn’t just take old, sick people; death comes for healthy, nineteen-year-old boys too.

A year ago yesterday, I was forced to say goodbye to a boy I care deeply for. We had been a part of each other’s lives for three months before we had a pretty big falling out. In those three months, he opened up a whole new world to me full of different music, movies, and mindsets than I was used to. Six months of silence followed before he swallowed his pride and confessed that he missed having me in his life. He spent three more weeks trying to convince me to try doing “us” again and to let him move into my apartment with me, despite how angry I was at him. I was just beginning to cooperate with him when he was involved in a house fire that would simultaneously end his life, and change mine forever.

For days after he died, any task beyond breathing, sleeping, and eating was too difficult. Even then, sometimes dedicating energy to those simple actions felt like enough to break me. I didn’t want to go back to school. I didn’t want to sit in a classroom and listen to professors go on and on about topics that didn’t feel purposeful anymore. There was a gaping hole inside of me that no one else could see or feel the effects of. It was frustrating, that others could sit around me and carry on with their lives, oblivious to the insurmountable hurt and regret I was carrying within every inch of my body at any given second.

Some days were better than others. Thinking of the way he expressed his desire to travel the world and have kids to me on several occasions never failed to make me feel paralyzed by the weight of my hurt. Other days, I would feel on top of the world, like the boy had given me the breath from his very own lungs in order to push me to keep going. Eventually, those good days outweighed the bad. Now, a year later, there are still days I find myself sobbing uncontrollably because I dreamt about him, or I thought about the life he wanted for us. But those days are rare. I still think about him every single day, but the sting that used to follow his name is gone.

Instead of focusing on the fact that he is not here with me right now, I try to focus on everything he taught me. He was the first person I confided in about my desire to write, and he encouraged me to keep writing time and time again. His confidence in me allowed me to find confidence in myself. I am much stronger and self-aware, thanks to him. I’ve learned the importance of never being afraid to show others how I feel, and the need to forgive quickly. His constant talk of dropping everything and exploring made me want to travel the world. So much of the person I am today can be traced back to him, and I am so thankful for the person he was and aspired to be throughout our time knowing each other.

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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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