Loss is unbelievably hard to comprehend. To put it into words would be nearly impossible. It can come at any moment, in any form. It can creep in slowly, looming and impending, or it can appear so incomprehensibly fast that you can hardly process how it’s happened. But, no matter its appearance or its swiftness, it almost always produces a gut-wrenching, “take your breath away” kind of feeling. The wind has been knocked out of you. Your body can no longer support your weight. A pain and a confusion that is so utterly horrible, it mentally and physically drains you. Whether it’s the loss of a pet, friend, parent, grandparent – anyone – it hurts. It forces you to stop and put your own life on pause. To think about how you’re living your day-to-day, and what kind of legacy you’ll be leaving behind when you are called home. It’s raw perspective, more often than not unwanted, into just how luck you are. It’s the tragically painful reminder of how, truly, each and every day you wake up alive is one to be exceptionally grateful for, regardless of work deadlines, mountains of bills and the other countless worldly stressors we all face. At least we are able to face them.
Today, as I, along with so many others, face the loss of a good friend, I’m hit with the sobering reality of life’s utter preciousness. Yes, while this should be a daily thought, I know I don’t go about constantly thinking that today could be my last. And, I’m not implying we should fill our minds with perpetual fear and distress, but I hate that it takes such a shocking slap in the face for me to remember to remind myself how truly blessed I am. Life isn’t always easy, and some days I feel completely and totally spent. But, holy cow, I’m grateful that I even have the opportunity to feel stressed and spent, to feel anything.
Life will never always be sunshine and daisies, that’s for sure. But in our moments of dark and despair, at least we can call to our bright moments. At least we can move forward knowing there will be sunshine. At least we have moments at all.
Trying to comprehend loss, or figure out its meaning, can be a dark hole, because it’s just so agonizing. For me, putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) at least helps me unload some of my thoughts – to try to unjumble what seems to be a completely tangled web. I am not here to act as if I know another’s pain or suffering, just to process what exists in my own mind.
I guess, in my pain and confusion, I am drawn to remind myself (and any of you who arrived at this corner of the Internet) to be grateful for your life – to appreciate every wonderful and rotten moment you are granted. Appreciate the lives of those you love. Appreciate the world and its beauty. Bring the world beauty! Take a day off for no reason at all. Call your grandparents. Hug your dog. Take your family out to dinner. Go on a hike. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. And love – hard – because life can change, and be gone, in an instant.
Rest in peace, Kyle. Your energy, humor and spirit will never, ever, ever be forgotten. You are truly one of a kind, and I am so lucky to call you my friend. XOXO.