We are all familiar with the sting that death brings; whether brought to us by the passing of a family member, a friend, a pet, or the end of a once beautiful and happy era, the pain is the same. It may turn us into people we are not, or it may bring clarity to who we really are, or who we wish we could be. Death is an interesting topic as societal expectations tell us to feign bravery in the midsts of the unknown. In an attempt at explanation, we make desperate grabs at theology, even for a moment losing faith as we can never be completely sure that they are in a better place or if we will meet them again in another life. We are dumbed down to man’s greatest fear and we splinter under the weight. For a moment we become our worst selves, believing that the person we knew and loved could perhaps meet a grisly afterlife. But let me tell you, this is all ok.
I have been fortunate enough to experience very little death in my 20 years on this planet. Sadly, this is not true for many of us. A man very near and dear to my heart has lost two close friends to suicide within the last year. I would not blame him if he were to command the world to stop, insists the rivers cease flowing, and give up altogether. However, I admire his bravery in accepting this ending as I remember the pain and anger I have harbored years after the deaths I have experienced. Though I was small, I recall the devastation that hit my home when my grandmother left this world, when pets said goodbye in my arms and all the deadly endings that have ripped out my own heart. To this day, I sometimes have intense feelings of hatred towards those who have left and the endings I have faced very much alone, but I do not reprimand myself for these feelings. In fact, I find it interesting how difficult it is for us to handle death, and I suppose I am writing to you to tell you that this is ok. It is ok that you cannot process the unbearable loss. It is ok to break down, it is ok to feel angry. It is, however, ludicrous to believe that death ends all suffering. Death simply recycles the pain. As the agony leaves one person behind it is passed on to plague many others. In fact, I can recall many times when I have wept for those whom I have never known. Their pain has been amplified to break the will of more men than they could have imagined; so don’t expect to be ok, don’t expect to ever feel the same again but that does not mean you should not try to forgive. Try to forgive death, for it is everyone’s destiny. Some days it will prove harder than others but together we will make it.
I write this article to give strength to those with fallen friends or those who must face dismal endings alone. Your passionate anger, your unbearable emptiness will come to an end as all things do. I feel for you, I really do, but endings come with aloneness. I cannot help you but I can hold your hand, I can be there to hold you through the pain. It is ok, and sooner than you think, you will find forgiveness. One day you will greet death as an old friend and your heart will be at ease.