Have you held the hand of a loved one as they took their last breath? Walked into a room and have someone who has known you your whole life utter "Who is that?" It is a horrible feeling anyone has to go through. Having to not only say goodbye, but watch the person you care about have to let go.
It is usually not something they can control. Maybe they are suffering from dementia, the final stages of cancer, or another deadly illness, but it stings. It's not the same feeling as when a boy/girl breaks your heart, this emptiness is something that can never go away.
The worse part is that you know that one day they are going to be gone... you are told to plan for the worse outcome as soon as you are informed what is wrong. Yet, you still cling to the hope that they are going to be okay and make it through the trials and tribulations at hand.
The months start to pass and you can see their hearts trying to win the battle but their bodies are so tired and weary. Now, you feel bad. Questioning whether the fight is worth seeing them suffer even more. Do death and an afterlife actually sound bad right about now? Are they only hanging onto the last breaths they have because they know other people are counting on them?
It is a tough spot to be in. Whether it is a grandparent, parent, child, sibling, or just a friend, you are terrified to think of your future without them... but you have to. You have to make yourself be strong enough for that loved one so that they know that no matter what, everything will be okay. Even if you are not okay emotionally, the world is still spinning.
Then the day, the moment, arrives. You wake up thinking it is another day, but it is not. You get the phone call and feel your heart sink to the ground. They are gone. They finally let go. Inside you are going through a million different emotions from heartbreak to anger. It is normal, but no matter what you believe in, just know they are never fully gone. They will always live in you. You will always remember that over a course of time, they had a beautiful battle. Not one that they lost, but one that they simply, overcame.
I would like to dedicate this article to an amazing childhood friend, Cierra Elizabeth Aytch. Thank you for the memories, and my heart goes to you and your family.