Saturday, November 9, 2013

One Month

Today is the one month anniversary since David's passing. I still have moments of shock like I am learning what happened for the first time. I frequently want to call him, only to remember that I can't. I can still talk to him, but in a different way. I am working on that: how to talk to David without feeling foolish. Sometimes I feel his undeniable energy. It's very interesting and hard to explain. In those moments, I just know that David is with me. He's always with me, but in those moments he's right with me.

I miss our memories, our friendship, and our hopes for the future. It's very bizarre to miss him for events that haven't even happened yet. I miss him for the holidays, for his wedding, for experiencing parenthood together. I miss our shared hope to live close together again, and the fact it didn't get to happen. I miss making meals together and growing up together. I miss him.

When reflecting on how much I have learned in the last few weeks, I came up with a few lessons. I know this list will only continue to grow. It's incredible how David can continue to teach others, even when he's not here to do the talking.

David mid his Peruvian travels.

Things I have learned from David, and from losing him:

-Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Tell them how special they are. Hug them and kiss them. Love them.

-Make time to cultivate relationships. Whether stranger or old friend, never lose sight of the beauty found in people’s stories.

-Appreciate humor and take advantage of humor as a way to brighten others’ day

-Never make assumptions. Ask questions and LISTEN to the answer. Specifically ask, “How ARE you?” Mean it. Listen. Understand.

-Appreciate mental health. Appreciate physical health.

-Appreciate family. Love family. Spend time with family.

-When an intimate family or friend passes on from this earth, they live on through you. Aspire to be more like them. Allow them to empower you.

-Find joy in the simple things: a light breeze, a blue sky, or even a box of animal crackers.

-Be positive.

-Do the best you can do every day. Make a difference in everything that you do. Leave a lasting impression with all you meet.

-Some days will be hard, some days unbearable. Push through because the sun will shine again. The clouds will lift, and you will feel happiness. I understand that David's disease did not allow him this privilege. Appreciate this as a privilege.

-It is okay to have a bad day. It is not okay to feel bad for days. Seek outside help and support when needed.

-Appreciate nature. Every bird, every gust of wind. The world is so beautifully connected. Admire its intelligence.

-Keep faith. Trust yourself. Trust God.

I've also learned very much about mental illness generally, and depression and suicide specifically. Those are lessons for a different post but more poignant than any lecture I ever had studying psychology.

In one month, my life has changed completely. The way I see the world is different because my world is different. I have learned so much in only one month, and I am thankful that I am able to face tomorrow, despite my heavy heart and tear-filled eyes. I love you, my brother David.

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