If You’ve Ever Lost Someone

Loss doesn’t happen the same way each time.

If you’ve ever lost someone, by your own actions — like because you were mean, or pushed them away, or did something stupid — apologize. Whenever possible, make amends. Forgive yourself.

If you’ve ever lost someone, by their actions — like because they were mean, or pushed you away, or did something stupid — forgive them (even if they didn’t ask for it). As Brault put it, “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” And if in any way, you feel it was your fault because you “let it happen” or “had it coming” or “should’ve known better,” darling just stop. Stop beating yourself up. Be forgiving of yourself.

If you’ve ever lost someone, because of death — allow yourself to grieve. Expect to go through the motions and the phases of trying to recover from a loss: You’ll deny it’s happened. You’ll be angry at God or life or yourself or another person or even the person who passed. You’ll try to bargain with God or life or fate, say Please God or life or fate, just one more moment, I wasn’t done loving this person. You’ll feel sad, so so sad.

Allow yourself to think and feel all these. Create a space for the pain. It will pass. No matter how much you believe it wouldn’t, it will. But only if you give yourself fully to the process of grieving. You’ll get to acceptance, but you can’t force yourself to be there already when you’re not. Loss and grief will take you to dark places, but you’ve got to have the courage to go through them, in order to get to the light again.

And you’re right, by the way — you’re not done loving the person who passed. You can and will continue loving them, because love transcends time and space and yes, even death.

If you’ve ever lost someone because — well, because life — still, allow yourself to grieve. Remind yourself to forgive. Recognize that these things happen, and it’s not necessarily because it was his fault or her fault or your fault or God’s fault or life’s fault. Life just is, and it’s not wrong or right or good or bad to you. It just is. It doesn’t apologize for the things it takes away, in the same way it doesn’t require your gratitude for the things it gives.

Life simply moves the way it does, and you get to choose whether to resist it, or move with it.

Life will continue moving even without your consent, though.

That’s because life is larger than you.

It was here before you.

It will continue to be here after you.

And —  life is, at present, with you.

Even as you’ve lost someone. Life remains with you.

Don’t forget that. Life is still with you.

I hope you stay with it, too. ◊

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