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This past Sunday was the anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of ten people associated with Oklahoma State University. Here is a link to a news story that discusses it: http://newsok.com/article/3749112 just copy and paste. Spoiler alert, you might need a Kleenex or two.

As I watched this video, I was overcome with a flood of emotions. I did not know one of these people personally however, I know many people who did know them. As I reflected on this situation it caused me to ask why. Why did it happen? Why were these lives taken and others spared? Why were the families and friends left to grieve? There really isn’t an answer to that question, but it is still one that we tend to ask. It goes with the whole death and dying thing.

All of those thoughts started me to think about this – how do you describe what it feels like to lose someone you love?

It feels like someone has cut out your heart, stomped it, and then put it back again and it feels like it will never heal. It makes your heart hurt, literally and figuratively. It feels like someone is standing on your chest. It feels like you can’t breathe and then when you finally take a breath, it releases into sobs. It feels empty. There is a void that feels like it will never, ever, ever be filled again. It feels like you will never smile again. It feels angry. It feels scared. You feel like a walking zombie. But then, after a while, (“a while” is different for every person) it begins to feel a little better.

You feel like your heart is beginning to heal. Your chest doesn’t hurt any more. You don’t feel like someone is standing on it. You can breathe without sobbing, sometimes you might cry, but you don’t always feel like you are going to sob. You discover the void is being filled up a little. There will always be a small space reserved for that person, but the hole is smaller than it was in the beginning. You don’t feel as empty because you have begun to fill up with memories. You begin to smile more. Hopefully, the memories you have of the person you loved cause you to smile more than frown. The anger goes away. That scared feeling leaves you. You start to function again. You no longer feel like a walking zombie.

My circle of thinking . . . .death hurts . . . . you get really angry . . . . you cry a lot . . . . you begin to feel better . . . . you eventually begin to lead your life again, but it takes time. Not a specified amount of time, but the time it takes YOU to feel better. It is different for each of us.

Do you ever forget? NO! You never forget, but it gets easier to cope. The memories you have of the person who is no longer with you linger. They cause you to smile. They help you forge ahead. They help you realize you can move forward. Don’t forget.