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Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Unfortunately, the one thing I have learned about life in my early 20's is that nothing can or will ever prepare you for the loss of someone you love. May that be a family pet, family, or words can explain the feeling you have when you get that phone call that they are no longer with you. The first time I experienced this was when my Great-grandmother passed away. We weren't close at all, but she meant something to my father and to see him cry is what hurt me.

Those that know me well, even the ones that don't, know that my father is my partner in crime, my right-hand man, and my number one fan. So you can only imagine how I felt waking up that early cold October morning with all these missed calls from everyone in my family except my father. Call it intuition, but I knew something was wrong. It was not the telephone calls that woke me up, but it was the feeling that something was not right in my world. It was as if I felt him leaving this world MILES away from me.

He took a part of me with him when he left, but he also left a part of himself: his children & the lessons he taught us. Every day I get up, look in the mirror and see his face looking back at me. He did not have a curly mane like me, but I see his smirk in my smile & his voice in my smart ass-ness. I hear him when I laugh & when I sing Tennessee Whiskey to the top of my lungs in my car as if he was sitting right there next to me. When I decided to go car shopping, I could hear him with me the entire way telling me what I needed to do.

I write all this to say a few things.

Grief comes in waves. One minute your world is calm and chill. Then the next, your world is crashing down on you, drowning you. Just steadily sinking that feels never-ending. While you are praying to God that you'll catch a breath of air, I promise at some point you will. You will find that fresh air. I will not say that as time goes on, the loss will hurt less because it does not, but with time, you find healthy ways to cope with your loss. NEVER. I repeat, NEVER let anyone tell you how long your grieving process should be or how to grieve (unless you are out here doing something stupid). Take as much time as you need, but do not wallow in your sorrow. The person that passed LOVED you & would not want to see you become less than the person you are.

Try to focus on the memories you had with them. Please do not get stuck in the "what if I/we" rut. "What if's" change nothing and only make you feel worse. Every single one of the "what if" questions you ask yourself can never accurately be answered anyways. It's natural to ask yourself that question(s), but do not let it darken your entire world. As I said, the person that passed loved you & would not want to see you so low.

Your loved one is not completely gone. Though they are no longer physically here, they are still with you. It could be in your looks like my father and me. It could be that little voice you hear in certain situations where you know they would comment on it if they were standing next to you. The one you love is looking out for you whether you know it or not, and if you believe in the afterlife, you will see them again one day..

Until next time folks,


Richard Shelton Jr. 07/29/1975 - 10/21/2018

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