When I was a kid, I thought death only comes to those who are old and sick. My dad wasn’t any of those. He was young (46 years old when he passed away) and was generally healthy. Although, he has maintenance medicines to keep him going. He was a big man whom by looks alone demands attention and dictates authority. How could he just be beaten by his first cardiac arrest? I don’t know. I had just seen him that morning before he took a shower, I didn’t know it would be the last.
“The experience of losing someone we love is a process most everyone endures in a lifetime,” says Annie Vaughn, MA, LMHC. But before, I used to think he was invincible, as he had always been. I was wrong. Until now, I still couldn’t believe that he was gone just like that.
Losing my dad made me realize how short and cruel life can be.
The person you are sitting next to on the subway could be gone in a day. A family friend may die in a snap from aneurysm. A loved one could meet an accident at any time. Every morning, we are given a chance to start anew and embrace life to the fullest. A hug and a good night kiss to your loved ones wouldn’t hurt. What would hurt is the fact that at one point, you wouldn’t be able to do those things to them. When you realize how short life can be, you would know how to value the people you may be taking for granted. A piece of advice, make time for them as they would for you.
Life is unfair.
According to Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC “No one is born knowing how to cope with the wave of grief that follows the death of someone we love. As a psychotherapist who’s worked with many grievers, I know when faced with overwhelming grief, many people feel like they are alone in what they’re experiencing and can feel like they’re going crazy.” Same as me. No matter how cliché it may be, this life could take you by the storms before you realize it. I lost my dad while he was at the peak of his career, right before we were about to purchase a new car and when everything was going well. With his passing came all of those bright things we had wished for our family. If I could ask for anything when he was alive, now I would have to work hard if I would want something. Today, buying a pair of shoes that I’ve been eyeing in the mall for a long time with my own money is more fulfilling than asking my dad to pay for it. It taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. It is true that life can be unfair. But, never let it bring you down. Fight with all your might because…
Life is full of hope, dream, and love.
Right after my dad’s funeral, my siblings and I, together with my mom, all hugged and promised ourselves that we will make it through. When a door closes, another opens, they say. We believed that the reason my dad left was to let my mom take the stage and show us how strong she can be by raising all four of us on her own. It was her door that opened, and we couldn’t be more than proud of her. Amidst the grief and longing, our home is full of love because we chose to stay and work together. It is okay to grieve and mourn. But, choosing to be brave amidst the sadness and conquer it is a decision that is yours to make, a choice that you should take. “What does typically help is a combination of finding a place to process the loss and talking about it,” says Gregory Kushnick, PsyD.
Like everyone’s favorite TV series, Game of Thrones, life is a complex wonderful thing. It has so many plot twists that never cease to amaze anyone with all of its revelations and surprises. Hold on, wonderful things await.
These are just a few realizations about life and living. Life is a series of decisions made by you and the people around you. Together, each decision makes ten-folds of difference that affect so many lives. Make sure they all fit together to make it right.