This morning I found out a friend of mine died yesterday evening. He was riding his motorcycle on a county road and a car coming in the opposite direction crossed the center line and collided with him head on. My friend was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 22.
I didn't know him all that well but he was someone that definitely touched my life. He was the kind of person who always had a smile on his face, always had a good thing to say about everyone and always looked for the good. He was goofy and happy and someone you knew that you could count on. He would have gone on to do such wonderful things. And instead his life was cut very, very short.
I've never lost anyone like this before. I've lost grandparents but I'm having a hard time coming to terms with someone so young dying. I'm fine until I think of yet another thing that he will never be able to do again and then I start crying. I just cannot fathom this.
To anyone who has lost someone that was young, how did you deal? How did you come to terms with the fact that a young life was cut short?
I'm 24. I'll be 25 on Thursday. My husband died 3 months ago. Two months before his 26th birthday.
The only way to deal, is to literally only worry about the second you are in. The next second cannot even be considered, or you will lose your mind. Eventually seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, and eventually a few months have gone by and you are still breathing when you thought there was no way that would've been possible.
At this point I am ok most days, but the days I'm not ok, I am not ok. On those days I stay close to friends, and listen to a lot of good music. I've found things that make me happy, like playing guitar, that keep me occupied. I also keep my goals. Focus on them intently. They keep me going.
As far as coming to terms with it. The only thing that has helped me, sort of, is the fact that everyone, eventually, dies. Nobody lives forever. This was just his time. I wish it wasn't, but it was, and there is nothing I can do about it. If he hadn't died then, he would have eventually.
Still, I wish I had more time with him.
Death is just, so final. It's the only thing that cannot be done over. We cannot bring them back. Which, I suppose, is why it's so hard to cope with.
Anyway, I'm sorry about your friend. Death is really hard, and I know there is really nothing anyone can say to make you feel better. It just takes time. You'll figure out a way to cope with it that works for you.
You're absolutely right about finding ways to cope that are personal- different for everyone. It's identifying them that's especially difficult.
I also found it really important to allow myself to not be OK on some days. It's important to acknowledge that you're not and that if you need to lie in bed and watch Gilmore GIrls reruns.. then that's OK. To allow oneself the space to grieve.
I'm so terribly, terribly sorry for your loss. You sound so incredibly strong- please do keep your chin up. <3
My best friend died at 20. And, I don't know that I can tell you how to deal because we each mourn in our own ways. I agree that the most empowering thing we can do in situations like these is to come to terms with the fact (and it is a fact) that it is senseless and unfair and there's nothing we can do about it: nothing.
For me, I didn't deal well with it at all. In the beginning, I was keeping it together; ringing people across the world and making sure everyone was OK. I didn't cry for nearly four months. I went off on a self-destructive spiral which lasted over a year and a bit. And somehow, I snapped out of it. I didn't cope very well, but I learnt what my triggers were and what I needed to do to make sure that I was OK. It did help me to remember her though. It still does. She's still around for me in ways that death cannot take away, I refuse for that to happen.
I know it sucks to think about all the things that we said we'd do 'someday' and they no longer have that. It's cruel to realise that. But now, I try to have my somedays be as soon as possible- and I try to do those things for her as well. She's too big a part of me to let go because she's dead. That's not how it works for me.
Karie's absolutely right in that you have to find a way that works for you, figure out the ways that allow you to breathe because that tightness will never go away really, just loosen up a bit. My only piece of advice is this: when you're hurting so badly that you cannot deal with anyone or anything: please, be gentle with yourself.
so sorry you're going through this. :( time is really the only thing that helps. one of my best friends passed away unexpectedly several years ago and i still want to cry when i think about it. it's so tough. it will get easier though. love to you xx
"Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above the ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away - an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost the sense of something that lives and endures beneath the eternal flux. What we see is blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains."
It's odd, I need more than two hands to count the number of folks I've known who died young, and the thing that get me is how I slip into mortal terror for my own life, or my my husband's life, every time.
I think it never gets easier because in a weird way, it hits super close to home.