Life Lessons

Loss.  I’ve been through it a lot.  At, what some call, a young age of 27, I’ve gone through more than I should have.

At 18, in my freshman year of nursing school, I learned that a girl whom I graduated with died unexpectedly in her sleep.  This was a girl who I shared homeroom with for the 6 years that we had homerooms.

A few months later, another friend from school, a close friend, committed suicide.  His mom babysat me off and on when I was younger.  He too, shared homerooms with me.  Though, I’m still embarrassed to admit, even as an adult, I had a huge crush on him for much of my elementary years, and then again, in high school when our lockers were right next to each others.

The same weekend he died, my roommate was in a terrible car accident.  She broke her leg, but her boyfriend at the time, was in REALLY bad shape.  A guy who hung out at our apartment, another friend.

Again, another few months later, a friend was admitted to the ICU for over a week for a very scary medical problem.

Fast forward another few weeks, and my boyfriend breaks up with me.  Though, that same boyfriend is now my husband, so that worked out ok in the end.

In the next few years, my favorite pet, Punkin, had to be put to sleep, a cat I had for over 15 years, all of my childhood.  My grandmother, whom I was very close with, passed away pretty unexpectedly.  Friends had moved away, taking my heart with them.  More pets have died.  Family has walked out of my life, without looking back.  And even more close friends have died, one such friend died only 2 months ago from brain cancer.  He would’ve been 30 this Sunday.

To say I’ve had my fair share of grief and loss is an understatement.  I’ve been through the ringer and back.  I can’t say that it is any less painful each time another one dies too young, but it does get easier.  Since I’ve been through it enough, I know what to expect.  At 27, I shouldn’t be able to have the wisdom to say that, but I do.

C on the other hand, hasn’t gone through much.  Grandparents dying of old age is tough, for sure.  But not near as bad if you’re not that close to them.  When a close friend passes away, well, it wiped him out.

I’ve seen my husband cry a few times.  He looks like a tough guy.  He IS a tough guy.  But he’s sappy when it comes to people he loves.  Tears of joy spilled out when our daughter was born.  Tears of fear escaped at a prayer vigil for our friend with cancer before his coming surgery.  And, though he held it together for that same friend’s funeral, I saw him at home.  I saw the confusion, then the rage, then the sadness.

The steps of grief I had been through so many times.  Except, this time, it was him.

Yes, I was hurting terribly from our friend’s passing.  But I knew what to expect.  I knew that eventually, this too shall pass, and I would be able to smile in fond remembrance.  But C didn’t know that.  And if I could ever take anything away from him, I would’ve taken that pain.  I gladly would’ve carried the burden.  The hurt.

But, at 30, he’s now starting to learn what I had to learn at 18.  That life passes.  God puts us here for a period of time, and when our job is done, He calls us home.  And when that happens, though we respect God and love him for relieving those earthly duties from close friends and family, it still hurts.  Unfortunately, it’s a life lesson.  One that we all need to learn on our own.  And one that God choses when we learn on our own.

He must’ve thought I was pretty badass and could handle it at 18.  Which, I did.  I didn’t have any choice in the matter.  But He knew, that one day I would have to help C through it, too.

And that I did, in September of 2014, a few days after our 3 year wedding anniversary, and a few days shy of 9 years of being together.  And together, we will help each other through whatever else life has to throw at us.  We’ll get through it.  Because now we both have scars to show for the pain we’ve gone through.

❤ Erin



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