A Tribute to Everyone I lost in 2016
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A Tribute to Everyone I lost in 2016

It's been hard to see you go, but I know you want me to be strong

A Tribute to Everyone I lost in 2016

Everyone seems to come to the consensus that 2016 was a bad year. While I don’t think this is particularly true, some have had it worse than others. Personally, I have lost a lot of people in my life this past year, and I’m sure others have as well. I wanted to take a minute to write about them and to any others who are struggling with grief this year.

My stepfather, and a few friends were taken from me this year. The first was definitely the hardest to get over. Death like this makes me so angry and hurt. Everyone who I lost was such a wonderful person, and they didn’t deserve to die. To all I lost, I want to say thank you so much for all that you have done in my life. You have impacted me in ways you couldn’t know. Some of you made me laugh in English class or made bio more enjoyable on days when I really needed it, and others introduced me to some really great music. Of course, those are shallow things. Watching you all work in the world and seeing your kindness shine through is what really made a difference to me. It made me want to be a better person every day. My friends have taught me that I can find comfort and friendship in the most unlikely places, and to not judge people you do not know, as well as to try to be a friend to everyone. My stepdad taught me to value myself. I really didn’t know that’s what he was doing when he was around, I didn’t even realize it until recently, but remembering how he treated me and my mother reminds me every day that I shouldn’t settle for being treated with disrespect, nor should I treat others that way. He taught me to keep an open mind because he introduced me to a bunch of music I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. Although my stepfather had the biggest impact on my life, all of you have made me think about my life more carefully and think about what I can do to make a better person. You left quite a big legacy for those who knew all of you, wonderful things to remember, and a great role model to continue to look up to even after you are gone.

To the others who have lost people this year. I know what you’re going through and it sucks. It’s going to suck right after it happens and once you get over the shock and realize what happened, it’s going to suck a whole lot more for quite a long time. People are going to try to make you feel better, and really it will just make you feel weird (for some reason when my stepdad was sick, everyone thought it would be really comforting to pet me… it wasn’t it just made me really uncomfortable). The unfortunate truth is, there isn’t something that someone can magically tell you to make everything ok. Time is the only thing that is going to make it better, and closure helps a lot too. If you want my unsolicited advice, it would be to write a letter to the person you lost. I know sometimes it feels like you didn’t get to say goodbye and that’s a horrible way to leave things. Write a letter, tell them exactly how you feel, get it out. It really helped me feel a lot better. Other than that spend time with people who will make you not think about it, or help you talk about it, or whatever will help you feel better. Spending time with those who took care of me when I went through this is what made me be able to take care of others at the time. Sometimes, you’re going to have to do that too. Sometimes you’re going to have to be the one who bucks up and acts like everything is ok. Everyone else may just be too broken to deal with that. It sounds hard, but I promise people are going to take care of you while you take care of those you need to.

It’s weird because the people I lost this year really helped me get closer to the people I didn’t lose this year. My really good friends all showed their true colors and helped me get through some tough times. Losing loved ones is such a hard thing to get through. They would want me to be strong going into 2017 and to not let too much sadness come into the new year with me. I also know that no matter what the year, my friends will always be here for me, and vice versa. One more thing to those I lost, 2017 is going to be hard without you, but I know you’re somewhere (maybe it’s heaven, maybe it’s somewhere else) watching me and protecting me. One final word to all those who lost someone: We’re going to be ok. I promise. Stay strong, keep your chin up, and know 2017 is going to be better.

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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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