It's one of those moments that's got your name written all over it.
I heard this song just the other day when I was driving and I knew my best friend was sitting next to me in my passenger seat. There was a sunset happening just outside that was absolutely stunning. He must have known that I was going to miss this gorgeous masterpiece of God because I was too concerned with being stuck in traffic and just wanting to get home. I found myself getting tears in my eyes and laughing, suddenly filled with funny memories of all of us hanging out as friends. The rest of my drive was filled with a calming peace.
I can say without a shred of doubt we have all been there. That Earth shattering moment when you are living in your bubble, not a care in the world, and someone sits you down. Or like me, you received a phone call. You get news that a loved one has passed. Be it a parent, a teacher you knew, or in my case, one of my best friends.
I was just leaving work on Black Friday at the lingerie giant that I worked for and was fresh off a buzz of working for 12 hours straight seeing thousands of faces come through my register line. I turned on my phone and slowly the missed calls started coming through.
Fifteen missed calls? I thought to myself. This is particular.
They were all from a consistent group of friends. Friends that knew each other and knew each other well. Then, once my phone got proper reception, the text messages flooded in.
"I am so sorry." A friend wrote. "I'm thinking of you during this time."
If you reacted anything like I did, it was in utter confusion. I was baffled as to why I was now in 3 group messages and was continuing to receive these well wishes. I am out in the back hallway behind my place of business and I make a call to my good friend. She was the last message that I had gotten around this mysterious pattern of I am sorry.
"What's going on?" I said through a strained voice. At this point, I am growing concerned. People I haven't had a chance to catch up with in a couple weeks are messaging me now.
"You haven't listened to your voice mails yet?" She asked. Her voice as low as I have ever heard it. Barely audible.
"No, not yet. I'm just getting out of work."
The room felt fuzzy as she uttered the words that I couldn't believe I was hearing.
"He passed away." She said. "Just the other day. Nobody knows what happened. Word is now getting out and everyone is concerned about you."
The calls started making sense. The messages all making sense.
"What do you mean?" I said. My vocal chords refusing to acknowledge what I was hearing.
"He's gone." "I'm so sorry, Bex."
Standing with your arm around me here.
I cried in the shower for at least a half an hour. It felt like just yesterday that we were all out camping in Glacier National Park in Montana.
I just saw him a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't shake that thought out of my head. I just saw this person. They were in a physical form, tangible, and full of laughter.
Life gets easier though. As a woman, we tend to over analyze everything. We over think all of the moments, before we find out the reasons behind the why of it all. It races around and around in your head. I have learned that I cannot live in that space. He wouldn't want that. You learn a thing or two as you grow from the death of a loved one.
1. You Become Stronger.
Regardless of what the situation is, you become
2. You gain an Angel.
Whether or not you are spiritual, you feel an inkling that your loved one is nearby. You may hear them in a song, a joke, or see something that reminds you of them. Trust me when I tell you that it is them, letting you know they are thinking of you too.
3. You learn to cherish your memories just a little more.
As time inevitably moves forward, you find yourself taking just a couple more photos than you usually would. Heck, you're even taking candids. Because like it or not, you really never know when things are going to drastically change again.
You'll be taking too many pictures - showing them off to everybody you know back home, even some you don't.
4. You become adaptable.
Dealing with the death of a loved one creates a fire inside of your soul. You quickly learn you have two roads to take and you know they would want you to take the one that teaches you the most. You know things are changing and they are moving quickly and you know that they are watching over you. After the initial shock, you learn that you are okay and you will overcome this tragedy and it will make you a better person.
I can tell you from experience that it is an interesting change in your own sense of self when you begin to move on after you lose someone you cared about. I can also tell you that it is a somewhat scary feeling when you can't exactly remember what their voice sounds like anymore.
But just know that they are there always and they will guide you onto your next adventure. They were there for the time that they needed to be. You learned all you needed to learn from them. It was their time and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it.
You should be here.
Although sometimes, and don't get me wrong, there will be a moment when you think to yourself, Gosh, you should really be here.
And that's okay. Just know that they already are and always will be.