You cannot answer the meaning of life, without first trying to explain the existence of death. Indeed these two awesome forces, though opposite, seem juxtaposed in some cosmic love/hate, good/evil, yin/yang sort of dance. Thus, the true of acceptance of things is to realize that one inevitably leads to other. Nothing can live on forever, and new life can flourish from that which has perished. This is the view I had to take when I lost my best friend of seven years, Zachary Lloyd Heath, Jr., in 2013. It has taken two years for me to accept that he is gone, and even now there are times when I find myself questioning the grand scheme of things. Below are five sure fire actions to help you deal with your own grief.
#5. Grief does not have a time frame…whoever tells you that you have been grieving over a loved one long enough is nothing short of an asshole. There is no time clock to instantly punch and tell you that now you are happy again and over this death. Take all the time you need to sort through your feelings, to miss your loved one, and only begin to move on when YOU are ready.
#4. Hindsight is not 20/20…when people pass we love to look back and think we saw clues that were warning us of their near death. This is a fallacy and a sure pathway to one of the most paralyzing emotions in existence–guilt! There is most likely nothing you could have done to prevent their demise. LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Right now is about you and how you feel. Deal with these emotions. The longest journey began with a single step–forward! Now is your time to walk on.
#3. Grief is shared…sad does not mean selfish. You have to realize you are not the only person who has just lost someone. Remember every single person you will ever meet has multiple roles, titles, and relatives and they are hurting too. Use this shared lost as a support group, lean on one another. Burdens are hard to bear alone, share the load and press on.
#2. Attend the funeral…You would be surprised how many people avoid funerals not wanting to endure the service and combined grief of the masses. No matter how hard you may find it, attending these homegoing services is critical to your closure; and the first big step to letting your loved one go. Accept what has happened and not what you would have things to be.
#1. Offer Immortality…You are the key to you loved one’s immortality. Physically they are no longer with you, but their memories, lessons, and the experiences you had with them live on forever. Take the positive aspects of your loved one’s personality and integrate them into your own. You will find they live in you, and you in turn are stronger than ever.
Honestly, there is no easy fix to grief. You never get over losing a loved one, you just learn to live with it. Zachary Heath was everything to me and I hear his wisdom in every thoughtful decision, I hear him singing in the wind, and I see his style in every classic fashion choice.You see my loved one is not gone, but my grief is managed every time I look in the mirror and see the powerful influences he had in every aspect of my life. He lives on. I love you Zach. God Bless Us, everyone!