I think it’s safe to say life never really turns out as planned! When things don’t go the way we had hoped or imagined, we tend to be left rather disappointed and can struggle to get back on track.
The death of a parent, or in this case two, is certainly not something I had ever imagined I would experience; especially not in my 20s. The thing with losing a loved one is that no matter how much you expect it, it will still hit you like a ton of bricks and leave you wondering if you will ever feel anything other than pain and anguish.
Whilst death is something we all know we will be faced with at some point in life, we are simply never prepared for it. Even though my father did his best to prepare us from a young age, frequently repeating “you know girls when I am dead…” or “you have to be more grown up than your friends because I won’t always be around” or some version of this, we did not feel his death any less. These conversations began when I was about 13, my father was already 79. Even with several years to try and get accustomed to the idea of a life without him, this did not make that particular day, or any day after, any easier to bear.
Death is a complex subject which many people try to understand. It is present all around us throughout our lives, but until you experience it close to home, you simply cannot understand the impact it will have. The good thing is that like everything in this world, there are always two sides to the story and even death can have a silver lining!
When you have lived in the depths of darkness it becomes easier to see the light. You begin to notice things you had never noticed before and you make it a point of focusing on all the good things surrounding you. You see just how blinding the kindness of others can be when you are inundated with calls and messages from friends, family, acquaintances and even complete strangers. You are reminded of all the good in the world and the innate desire of people to help those who are hurting. But most importantly, you are reminded that you are loved and never truly alone!
I will forever mourn the death of my parents and miss them a little less every day, however I am grateful to the universe for these events as I would not be who I am today without them. What death has taught me is not something that can be learnt other than through personal experience; that is compassion. Death has given me the ability to feel and understand the pain and suffering of others as my own and to do anything in my power to help alleviate it.
Knowing how to be there for someone in pain is the greatest gift death has given me. Feeling pain to it’s deepest core makes it easier to see the pain in others and having the right words to say to a person grieving in that moment can make all the difference in the world. Knowing that I can now bring a glimmer of light to a person who feels like there is no tomorrow is something I would never give up and almost makes death worth it.
We are all living death at this time, death of life as we have known it, and we are all grieving for the loss of what we once knew. It is not an easy time for any of us but the way we choose to look at the situation is what makes it easy or hard. Yes, we must say goodbye to what once was in order to make space for what will be, but perhaps life will be better on the other side? What does that future look like to you? Can you see the silver lining emerging from this crisis? To make this transitionary period easier, I choose to focus on all the good things taking place at this time: being able to live life at a slower place, having more time to connect with loved one, to read, to meditate, to spend time in nature.
Remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel, simply choose to see the positive over the negative and things always get easier.