77 thoughts on “Grief and Loss

  1. I believe that we are not alone when it comes to grief and loss. When I was fourteen I saw my father die from lung cancer, I felt alone, sad, and depressed. I grew up in a small town, where most kids had both parents or saw both parents even though they were divorced. I never thought anyone could lose a parent so young, and thought I was the only one going through a difficult time. Freshman and sophomore year of high school I stayed quiet about what happened, I thought no one would understand the feeling of losing a parent that was really close to them.
            Junior year of high school I met a freshman that had lost his father to cancer also, suddenly I had someone I could talk to about the pain I felt. The more I talked the more I opened up to people, and the more I learned that I wasn’t alone. I found support in friends, and in total strangers. Now I know it’s more common, and that a lot of people go through what I did. I promise you it helps to talk to someone, who is also going through it. It does get better having someone there to share how you feel with, and can relate to how it feels. It’s also alright to miss the person that is gone. You’re probably wondering what happened to the freshman I mentioned, well me and him are best friends now. Out of tragedy i learned that good can happen.

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    • Thank you for sharing with us Ashley. I definitely agree with you when you say that we are never alone in our struggles although it may feel that way at times. I also appreciate that you expressed the importance of communication not only to you in your circumstance, but even to all of us as people.

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    • An amazing way to share your story and right from the beginning you grabbed my heart. I can’t feel the pain you felt losing a parent but I know the pain you felt at that time wasn’t easy I hope you keep moving on amazing story is all I can say.

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    • I also lost a parent at 14 years old and believe you are extremely strong for getting through such a hard time in your life!

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    • Your 100% right Ashley during tough times we should not feel alone we need to all come together and be strong together. The right supporting cast can make a grief or loss feel much better

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    • Thank you for sharing this. I can’t even imagine how you must have felt and I’m so glad you found someone who you can lean on and talk to.

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    • I also agree that we are not alone with loss. I recently lost my boyfriend in a car accident and my friends have been helping me. Just remeber you’re strong and your loved one is smiling seeing you succeed.

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    • I agree with you that we are not alone because there are similar people to us that go through the same thing and feel stuck since they don’t know who to talk to, as they feel that no one will understand. But there are people who understand and will help even if they didn’t go through the same situation. Often it is best just to talk to someone so they can comfort and listen because that’s better than feeling alone and stuck.

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    • Thank you for feeling a need to share your story. It is not easy talking about loss. I can connect with you I lost my Mom to colon cancer when I was only two it’s been hard not knowing what her voice sounded like or how she acted. No matter what I have love for her and a loss in my heart. Just like your Father you will always feel something for him. Just know you are never alone on this earth. You are here for a reason and you are great for spreading your story for help to others!

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    • We have all experienced it. Grief and loss are two things that nobody in this world can escape. That being said, nobody experiences this in the same way. From my own personal experience I have witnessed grief and loss from two very different stand points. As a nurse assisting student throughout high school, I have learned and witnessed the logical thoughts on loss and grief. However, as a person, I have experienced this in another way.
      When learning about grief and loss in the healthcare setting, I found that it is widely believed that we all go through this differently. However, there is a general pattern followed. It is said that there are five stages of grief. The first being denial, the second anger, followed by bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. While working as a nursing assistant, I have absolutely witnessed patients going through each of these stages. They were not all always experienced and may not have been in that exact order, but were all shown. As a nursing assistant, I have learned how to interact with patients going through these stages of grief and loss. However, as a person experiencing these stages yourself is quite different.
      We all go through grief and loss for different reasons. This could be from the loss of a loved one, splitting up from a significant other, or even the separation of parents. I myself have gone through some of these hardships and can now look back and realize I did go through some stages. When these challenges come our way, however, we do not realize the stages we fall into. I myself felt what I wanted to feel in each and every moment. We may show anger towards those we love the most, deny what is happening to us, bargain our time left with someone, accept the situation completely, or fall into deep sadness.
      I believe that every person has the right to feel each of these feelings. It is important for us to cope and grieve our personal losses in a way that is beneficial to ourselves and those around us. I also believe that it is important to understand the feelings of those closest to us who are experiencing grief and loss. When coming together with those around you, and understanding other’s feelings, the process of grief and loss may become more tolerable for many.

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      • I agree with this statement strongly because we all go through grief and no one can escape it. i feel like in the health care system, nurses and doctors see so much grief that they get numb to it, until it happens to them on a personal level. But when you a person goes through grief, they grow as a person.

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    • I’ve never experienced the loss of a parent but I can understand how you felt when you said that you did not feel that there was anyone to talk to. My grandfather developed dementia and I lost him completely, and I felt that there weren’t any other people who truly understood what it was like to be unable to recognize someone that I’d known throughout my entire life, but I made it through that time with the support of my peers and family members. I feel that these stories are valuable simply because they can show others struggling with grief that there is in fact help out there and people who can help you no matter what happens.

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    • Thank you for sharing I have had some tough times dealing with the loss of my best friend and It really opened my eyes.

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    • Great piece Ashley! First, I would like to start off with saying that I am sorry for your lost. I can’t my imagine what you have gone through. I too also believe that we aren’t alone when it comes to grief and/or loss. In the beginning, it most definitely feels like it. Whether ome may realize it or not. I am glad that you found someone that you could relate with and that you guys are close now. Remember that it is always okay to express your grieving self. I hope you receive nothing but comfort and reassurance to the people you express your emotions too. Once again, great work! I enjoyed reading it.

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    • I totally agree with and can somewhat relate because I had a neighbor, and the father also had passed from cancer, he was such a nice man and all and for him just to leave like was not right, but I understand and feel your grief.

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  2. Grief and Loss are two things that I believe in because I’ve had no choice but to experience them first hand. I’ve lost many friends and family throughout my lifetime already but the hardest hitting ones must have been the loss of my parents. I had lost my father when I was eight year old and a few years later when I was thirteen I had lost my mother as well. The loss of my parents were devastating and I had trouble accepting the realization that they were gone. But despite this I never let their loss hinder me or hold me back, the opposite actually occurred their deaths motivated me more than ever before. I know that parents loved me and wanted for me succeed in life and I know they also wanted me to enjoy and cherish life as well. After their deaths I still continued to go to school and keep my grades up honor level. Once high school came around I even became more outgoing I joined four different clubs after not being apart of anything. I made friends and I put myself out there because I knew despite not having my parents actually being there to see me succeed I know they would be proud and that keeps me going. In addition to my own motivation losing them also gave me a deeper understanding of empathy and understanding. Many of my friends have experienced loss in their life or other hard times, this experience has helped me in comforting others who are also going through times which is a skill I am really grateful. So despite this loss many positive lessons and skills have come out of it.

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    • Serinah,
      I’m very sorry you had to lose the ones that you did. It’s a hard thing to deal with but I absolutely love and applaud you for being motivated instead of put down by certain losses. That’s what I strive for as well, because they would have wanted you to continue your life the way you would have if they were still with you. Great post!

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    • I’m so sorry you lost the ones that you did, Serinah. I admire how you were motivated instead of put down by the losses of the ones you loved though, I strive to be like that as well.

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    • I understand how hard it is to talk about something like this. That just shows how strong you are! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    • Serinah that was amazing. I understand how hard it can be to lose someone but in the way you persevered is amazing. I am sure they’re really proud of you.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story, Serinah. I just wanted to start off by saying you most certainly are not alone. You are clearly very strong, emotionally and intellectually. Despite these terrible losses, you have striven only for greatness, and I can assure you that they’re very proud of you for what you have achieved and for what you will continue to do in the future. You somehow managed to find that light and glimmer of hope within the darkness, and I truly admire that. I’m sorry for your tragic losses. We are all here for you.

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  3. I remember quite clearly the funeral for my great aunt Carol. The entirety of my mother’s family was present—uncles, aunts, cousins, family friends, and (at least to me) complete strangers. Everyone was there to say their goodbyes and recount stories of Carol, and I remember wishing that I had gotten to know her better. She seemed like a character to say the least. At her husband’s funeral, she apparently opened her eulogy with ¨John was an a**hole, but he was my a**hole and all of you can’t say shit.” But the truth was when I knelt beside the coffin I had nothing to say and only a few memories of Easter brunches and summer cookouts. Still, I cried for her and wished her the best, wherever she was now.
    The truth of the matter is death connects us all both figuratively and literally. No matter one’s standing, location, ethnicity, or beliefs—all eventually come to that final page. It is something that humans must come to terms with. Moreover, death tends to draw people together physically. It is one of the few occurrences that draws in the normally-unreachable members of a family. That day I can remember seeing people whose faces I vaguely recognized from scattered memories of family get-togethers. Each person was there to share in the loss of their loved one.
    I suppose I did not really feel sad for aunt Carol, but rather, in a way, I felt sad for everyone else. I knew aunt Carol vicariously through all their memories of her. I was sad for my grandmother who had lost a sister, my mother and uncles who had lost an aunt, and for my second cousins who had lost a grandmother. I was not familiar with her story but I knew the story of the other members of our family quite well. And she was a character in all of those stories. Vibrant, comedic, loving— these were the ways that she was described by the people who loved her and still loved her in death. I could tell how much they truly cared for aunt Carol and how much it hurt losing her. In this way, I was able to understand who aunt Carol was, and in this way, I was able to truly feel the impact of her loss.
    I believe in death. I understand how truly morbid that sounds but it is the truth. It is a way to bring people together, and a way to keep living. Aunt Carol may have been dead, but she was not lost to us. She was still present in the words and memories of her loved ones. In death, she brought us all together and she was still there with us. She was in our hearts and minds and could still reach out to others. In a weird way, I did know aunt Carol and there are still plenty of opportunities for me to get to know her further. Death is not the end of life, but rather the gateway into a new form of living. A form capable of lasting generations through stories and emotion. For this reason, I believe in death.

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  4. When I think about loss, I think of those who are now in a better place. A place that’s safe and not cruel. Sometimes I’m left wondering if they ever look down on me as much as I simply think of them. I truly miss the ones I have lost and live each day the way they would’ve wanted me to; happy. I still remember losing one of my best friends like it was yesterday.

    It was in the year of 2012 when we took a trip to the beach. We played a game of Frisbee in the ocean and sometimes when she threw the Frisbee it would get caught in a wave, so we both went to go get it. At that point we raced each other, and a massive wave crushed us and sent us under. I was stuck under the wave for longer than I wanted to be because once I was above the water to get air, another one came crashing down over me. Fear and panic spread throughout my body, nothing has frightened me more. Coughing and catching my breath, I found the Frisbee and grabbed it. I scanned my surroundings trying to tell Rachel I found the Frisbee, but she wasn’t near me anymore. I screamed her name, and the few people around the area looked at me suspiciously. I saw two lifeguards sprint into the water blowing their whistles. The lifeguards went to a floating figure, and I squinted my eyes to see what clearly was a young girl’s body with dirty blonde hair. My heart was thumping in my chest so hard I swear I could feel it in my throat. They placed the girl on the sand and started pushing on her chest. There was blood coming from her head as she failed to respond to CPR. Three other lifeguards ran over, trying to clear the area. My eyes filled up with water and blurred my vision. It was Rachel, my best friend. She hit her head so hard on a rock when she got crushed by the ocean. She lay there, unconscious and I stared at her chest to see if it moved up and down. It didn’t. There were sirens blasting but I couldn’t hear them. My ears rang and I felt like I couldn’t breathe either. I had never seen anything like this, and it was worse that it happened to my best friend. They placed her in the back of the ambulance and continued CPR on her while driving off to the nearest hospital. They let me and her sister ride in the back of the ambulance as long as we didn’t interfere. Several minutes went by and they still didn’t give up, but she wouldn’t respond. They called her death with me next to her; I was so angry, so torn up inside, but I didn’t know what to do.

    Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself for not looking after her as well as I could have been. There are so many things we could have changed to prevent this from happening, like not playing a game of Frisbee in a rough ocean for as long as we did. Losing someone you love will never be easy; losing someone at all will never be easy. I believe that even though people pass away, they are never truly gone from your life. Rachel will always have a special place in my heart.

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  5. I believe that we can learn a lot from grief and loss. While I cannot deny that the two are heartbreaking and unfortunate, loss is a natural part of the world we live in and grief, the process which follows it.
    At the commencement of my senior year, all was well, as my peers and I were settling into our familiar routine of high school. We were excited for what our final year of school would bring and felt invincible walking up and down the halls. It wasn’t until the month of November when our high of being seniors came crashing down.
    As we sat in homeroom early in the morning, waiting for the announcements to come on, they never did. Instead, my teacher wept as she read a gut wrenching letter on her desk, to my classmates and me, exclaiming the death of our fellow classmate.
    While I may have not been extremely close to the individual who had passed away in my class, his death left an inconceivable impression on me. His passing allowed me to witness the pain others were feeling, first hand. I, myself, struggled.
    There is a lot of irony in loss and grief, one being that people often don’t appreciate someone until they’re gone. It was evident now, how important my classmate had been to those around me, and how much of an impact his passing made on our community. The grief and loss process I was exposed to reminded me to appreciate those around you while they are here and never take others for granted. Nothing is guaranteed. Life can change in the blink of an eye.
    My daily routine, of giving the kid next to me quaint shrug every morning in homeroom was cut short one day. As tragic as it is, there is a lot to learn from process of grief and loss and a new perspective on life which often accompanies it.

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    • I relate to your post so much. In my senior year of high school 3 well known students who had attended there passed away in car accidents. I wasn’t close to any of them but I did know them. I had sociology with one girl that had died and I always admired how pretty she was. One of the boys that passed I didn’t like very much but he used to live up the street from me. And every now and then I see his family post pictures of him expressing how much they miss him. It truly is so sad that grief and loss are a part of life.

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    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I experienced this same feeling when my aunt passed away when I was 9. I wasn’t very close to her before her passing due to her having dementia and Alzheimer’s. I felt the pain of losing a family member with what I thought were simple tears. But I experienced first hand the grief, tears and screams of my mother when she received the news. As a young child I didn’t really understand why she was crying with such intensity but now as a young adult I understand. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    • I have also lost fellow peers too early in their lives. I was never very close with these people, but their death and the grief of others around me felt like a weight. It has taught me to appreciate life while you have it, because it is true that nothing is guaranteed.

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    • Grieving is never easy, but its something that we all have to face eventually and its a part of life. Experiences like these give people the chance to realize to always be kind to one another, because a small act of kindness can always leave a huge impact.

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  6. Losing someone you love is the toughest thing to go through no matter how many times you’ve dealt with it or how old you are when it happens. Dealing with death at such a young age, taught me to love and appreciate people while they are still present. Otherwise, when you lose them you will live with regret. My mom’s boyfriend Chris had been in my life for 10 years. He was the only father figure I had because my father passed away when I was 6 years old. In my junior year of high school, Chris also left us. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.

    Chris and I had such an incredible and irreplaceable relationship. He truly was my best friend and I know I will never again find such a strong connection like that to someone. He knew more about me than even my own mom. Chris knew all my secrets, pet peeves, favorite moments, hopes and dreams, and so much more. We had so many inside jokes we could barely keep track of them. My mom always used to say that if I asked him to jump he would respond, “How high?” He had a way of relating to me as a rambunctious teenager doing dumb, thoughtless things together and even advising me like the parent that I saw him to be.

    There were many times where I did not want to see Chris as my step-dad. However when he passed, I realized how much he truly meant to me and how lucky I was to have him in my life. I just wish I saw him in a different light when he was still alive. Moving forward, it is so difficult to picture the rest of my life without him. Chris was there for multiple huge milestones, but looking ahead there are a lot of events that I will never get to share with him. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t cross my mind. Chris will forever hold a special place in my heart.

    “Let us learn how to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead…”

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  7. I believe in cherishing memories made with others. My opinion is that an experience that might seem small in the moment could mean a lot in the future. I was very fortunate to have both a mom and dad who loved me very much. I grew up being able to have amazing memories with my family that will stick with me for the rest of my life. At a young age I was faced with a situation that I feel like many people including myself wasn’t able to fully understand until I became older. When I was in elementary school my mom was first diagnosed with lung cancer. At the time it didn’t seem real to me that there’s the possibility that she could die. She was a very strong person who looked at her cancer as a challenge that she would beat. She used me as a way of coping with her illness. She wanted to be able to see me grow up, and especially get into college. So aside from her being sick, she continued to keep a very positive outlook on life, and spent a lot of time keeping a very close relationship with me. I look back at these moments and realize how valuable they are to me. Growing up with these memories taught me values that I will be using for the rest of my life. These values include kindness, appreciation, and especially to not dwell over the sorrows in life. Before my mom passed away in May of this year, she was able to watch me grow into a young adult and even see me get accepted into my first choice college. Its memories like these that I know I will always look back at and appreciate the times we had together.

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    • I love that you understand that you can’t dwell upon a death, but dwell upon the happy memories that you shared with your love one.

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  8. Coming from a family as large as mine , it comes with a lot of good and bad . Enivetably the larger the family the larger and more frequent the loss. I learned this first hand at 7years old when my mom died from a heart attack . I was devasted and in immense grief but I found solace in the embrace of my family . So my moral today is that of staying strong in the face of grief and loss.
    Afore mentioned with a family as large as mine I was able to find comfort and protection from my numerous aunts uncles and cousins . They helped guide me and keep me stable through it all . But alas loss struck again the summer of my senior year when I lost my aunt Alice . It hurt losing my auntie because she was one of my biggest supporters . I did not let my loss define me though . I am the first generation from my parents and grandparents attending a four year university.
    I strive to use my loss and grief as the metophorical gas to the engine of my success . You can not allow loss or grief to define you. You must continue to move forward, profess and be successful with all your goals . I use the loss of my mom and aunt as my motivation to do the best I can with everything I do . Loss did not define me but made me stronger and more focused on success .

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  9. I believe in grief and loss because I was forced to understand it at a young age. When I hear someone say they want to be a fireman or a lawyer, I wonder why anyone would want to spend the rest of their life doing those things. Yet most people would probably wonder the same thing when it comes to nursing. Death, grief and pain are a large part of what comes with working in a hospital setting. However, at an early age I watched my mother struggle through clinical depression and drug/alcohol abuse. I saw the pain my mother went through and how she tried to cope with it. I lost my mother at the age of eight, facing a loss that even grown adults have a hard time accepting. Seeing firsthand how illnesses can cause someone so much pain has motivated me to work in a field where I can try to help those in pain. Losing my mother has made me uniquely positioned to help those who grieve the loss of their loved ones. Whether it’s getting a shot at a yearly physical or receiving chemotherapy weekly, I want to be able to make patients’ experiences a little more tolerable. I aspire to be a nurse that people remember. I want to show people that even during such a difficult time, somebody there cares and wants to see them smiling. This sense of compassion and selflessness is a huge aspect of nursing I believe I can embody.

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    • Wow, I’m so sorry for all that’s happened to you. I love the fact that you would like to be a nurse, to be there and comfort people when they do come across losses as well. That’s so sweet of you!

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  10. At the age of 11, I experienced my first family loss. It was my mom’s mother, who I wasn’t too close to but it still hurt. I was unable to stay alone in the house without remembering my grandmother being there. Watching my mom cry, over her mom, telling me that her mother was all she ever had because she never knew her father hurt me. About four years later when I was 15, my oldest brother was murdered by 3 boys that I knew of. My brothers death was the most traumatizing death that’s ever happened to my family. I was just entering my sophomore year of high school when this happened. I couldn’t sleep for 7 full months, until 5 in the morning to wake up at 5:50 to get ready for school. I walked around school each day sad and not the same. My brothers death changed me as a person. I became more quiet, sad, and sensitive. I couldn’t sleep without the lights or my T.V not being on. Till this day, I still can’t sleep without the T.V being on. After one more year, in 2015 my fathers mom passed away and my older cousin passed away in a motorcycle crash. My grandmother was basically my second mother, since she watched me because my parents would always be working. Her death killed me even more inside, because she was the fourth person I lost in my life that was my everything. Lastly, in 2016 my dog that I had for 7 years passed away. His name was Elvis, and he was there for all the losses that i’ve been through. He made me feel better because I also loved him so much. When he passed away I felt empty, because he was all I had left from all the losses in my family. I had no one to make me smile and comfort me to make me better, because friends never knew what to say to me, or do to make me feel better. They could only be sympathetic towards my situation, but had no relations towards it. It sucked because I began to think to myself, that I never had real friends, because they never knew what to say to me. I started to say to myself, “What are friends for if they can’t make me happy?” Long story short, I believe that when people are going through loss situations, they will always need someone to cry on, or someone who can relate to be by their side and tell them that everything will be okay. When that person sees that they’ve been through a loss and ended up being okay, they will feel a lot better in the inside and out. Everyone needs a person to be there for them, or else they’ll continue to be sad and it would be harder to move on from the situation. As much as people like myself felt like their friends or whoever aren’t there for them, it’s always a better idea to have them around, because trust me you’ll feel a lot better instead of being a lone. Having comfort is always good, and I advise people to have that when going through a loss, because the sadness won’t disappear, but the feeling of upset will because someone by your side is making that pretty smile appear.

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  11. I was born in a 3rd world country where I experienced the loss of both my parents at a very young age. My mother died of aids when I was 3 years old and my father got hit by a buss shortly after. I don’t remember my parents to well. All I have is the pictures I have been given and stories I have been told and I would give anything to have one conversation with them. Even though I was to young to remember my parents I still think of them and miss them. I feel like I am missing a part of myself not ever getting the chance to get to know the people that loved and did everything they could for my brother and me. After they passed my aunt took care of my brother and me until we were adopted by my parents now. After my brother and I suffered a tragic loss we were saved by 2 of the best parents we could ever ask for. I thank my mom and dad for providing us with so much more then we could ask for. Being born is a 3rd world country and then moving to the U.S is a miracle. Now my brother and I have the opportunity to go to college and get an education to make something of ourselves. Who knew 2 people could change your life forever! I don’t ever talk about this with anybody not even my closes friends because I never feel comfortable and I don’t life talking about myself. After reading all of your tragic stories I felt more comfortable because I knew I wasn’t alone, so thank you for sharing everyone!

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  12. Grief and loss are a part of life. A part of life that gives you no warning, whether you’re ready to deal with it or not. When I found out my uncle was sick I was hesitant to visit him in the hospital. Nobody likes going to hospitals but it’s just something you have to do, although I decided to wait at home. A few days had gone by and my uncle was not getting any better and I still was hesitant to go see him in the condition he was in, so I waited again. When he was still in bad shape and things were not looking good, I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t not go see him, I wouldn’t be able to live with the regret if I had several opportunities to see him and I didn’t use any of them just to say goodbye. So I decided the next night I would go visit him. That was it there was no more being selfish, that’s what I was being. My fear was getting the best of me and I was allowing it to happen. Well not anymore. It was the next day and right after school I was going to go visit my uncle. School got out and I was ready. Little did I know it was already too late. My uncle had passed away that same morning. So many times I could have said goodbye, so many times I could have seen him just one last time, but he was gone. Everyday I live with the loss of my uncle and the regret and grief that come with the selfishness of my own actions for being too scared to go say goodbye. Everyday I wish I could just have one more moment with him so I could have that chance. Grief and loss is a part of life, a part of life that gives you no warning. It’s something that makes you realize you cannot just let life pass you by, you need to cherish every moment while you still have it. Don’t let fear keep you from doing anything. Grief and loss are hard, but after that comes acceptance and acceptance is much easier to live with than regret, but everyday I move forward. I don’t let the loss or grief define me as a person, instead I use it as motivation to keep going. Loss and grief made me stronger as a person and made me cherish the memories that I have and to love every moment that is to come.

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    • Seth Lewis – Grief and Loss
      Early on  I was taught you have to fight in this life and there is nothing handed to you. I lost my Mom at the age of two to a battle with cancer.  For years I have been told countless stories about my mom, and showed many pictures but none of them seem to take the pain away. I have grown up with a mentality to make my Mother proud in heaven and to make up for her life. To be honest I don’t break down everyday, but from time to time I question why did God have to take her. I was her second child and I was three months premature. If anything God was suppose to take me. I know there is a reason I am on this earth. One of those is to help others, and to also keep her memory going. From time to time I go on retreats and tell parts of my life. I talk about the loss of my Mom and the affects, which caused my rebellious childhood. Every time I talk I feel an immense happiness from those who I am able to help. My Moms loss yes has hurt but it has brought a lot of good into my life. Its hard growing up remembering nothing about your Mother. We all experience grief and loss its how we deal with it that matters. When someone passes you don’t give up, you keep fighting and living the life they could not have. 

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  13. Grief and loss is something that everyone will experience in their life time. It not something that you can prepare for either. When it happens it hurts. You want to scream; you want to cry. You want the world to stop so you can pull yourself together… but it doesn’t. The world keeps going but you feel stuck, or at least that’s the way I feel the first time that I suffered a loss. Grieving is also different for everyone, so describing my experience with it only shows one side of the spectrum. Though grieving is not necessarily a bad thing it is a natural part of life.
    My first experience with it was when I lost my great grandmother. It happened about four years ago. I was twelve years old at the time and she had lived with us for a little under six years. Earlier the week that she pasted she was in the hospital for some health issues then she was moved to a nursing home for recovery. We went and saw her a few time while she was recovering. She seemed to be getting better every time we went but I guess she wasn’t, as a few weeks she passed away overnight. The day I was told she pasted was just a day of nothingness and confusion. I didn’t know what to do with myself, nothing I did felt right. Even though I was surrounded by family for the majority of the day, I didn’t know how to express the way I was feeling to them since I was mostly a quiet child I was use to keeping my feeling contained to myself.
    It’s still hard to believe that it has been six and a half since then. I still get a rust of emotions when I think about her. I guess it’s going to take a bit longer to full come to terms with it.

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  14. Within in my lifetime, I have watched two of my grandparents pass away from cancer and one from Alzheimer’s. This year, my memere was diagnosed with stage IV lymph node cancer and is expected to die within the next six months. Every weekend I go to her house to help take care of her, and every week she looks sicker than the last. If there is anything I’ve learned from this tragedy called Death, it is that Death is the ultimate unifier within our world. No matter where someone comes from, we will all be affected by someone’s death and eventually die ourselves. It’s something many people fear, but something I do not. It has taught me to never take a day in my life for granted. It has taught me that we are all in fact equal and that one should stay close to their family. It is cherishing the memories that you have had with that person and making new ones while they are still there. Life is not all rainbows and sunshine, and death is awful but when you have family to grieve with you it makes things a little easier to cope with. It makes families grow closer trying to fill in the gap that is left. It’s a sad event to experience, but it makes us stronger and no matter what, we are never alone in that fact because everyone is affected by it. Everyone in the world experiences grief and loss regardless of who they are or where they are from.

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    • On Christmas day a few years back, my Grandfather suffered a major heart attack and passed away. We got the news that he had been taken away in an ambulance around 10, and by 2, he was gone. He had suffered heart problems in the past, but, as with most hear attacks, nobody saw this coming. I can remember the initial shock, and not physically being able to cry, just staring around the room as my father leaned against a wall and slowly fell to the floor. The sadness, the fear, the questions; everything was spinning through my mind as I tried to comprehend the fact that I would never be able to sit on the edge of a dock and fish with him again. Death is evil and it rips the people we love from us relentlessly and without a second thought. We all know the pain. Everyone who has come before us knows the pain, and all of those to come will know the pain. We have to accept this and grow from it.
      You put it very well when you said, “It makes families grow closer trying to fill in the gap that is left” and that death “makes us stronger.” After I lost my Grandfather, our family grew stronger and tighter than ever. I have never been so close to my aunt, uncle, and cousins as we are now. I’ve met my Dad’s stepbrothers for the first time and heard some of the wildest stories. My relationship with my brothers has grown beyond compare to any time beforehand. Life is good.
      I wish my grandfather were still here. I have so many questions for him and I wish I could show him my accomplishments. He was a great man and nobody can deny that. However, from the ashes of that fateful Christmas has arisen a family with fresh values and an unbreakable bond. You’re right in every way, especially when you say “Everyone … experiences grief and loss.” We will all deal with hardships and pain, but that pain doesn’t have to ground us, in fact, sometimes it lets us soar higher than ever before.

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  15. I believe that friendship has the power to alleviate grief. My boisterous friend group known as “the Pals” did everything together. In the summer before entering 9th grade my best friend, Anna, was diagnosed with Leukemia. None of us knew what was going to happen, but we did know that we all loved each other and that the only way we could get through this was through supporting each other. I no longer lived across the street from my best friend, but that didn’t stop me from seeing her every day. Every day after school my friends and I would walk over to Children’s hospital to give Anna her school work, catch her up on what’s going on at school, and to just hang out. Hospital room 622 soon became known as the “party room” because of how often it was packed with teenage girls. We tried our best to make Anna feel like any other normal high school girl.

    Unfortunately, Anna passed away in October of our 10th grade after a long and difficult battle with her cancer. I now have to deal with never seeing my best friend, which is incredibly difficult. However, my firm belief in the power of friendship leaves me knowing Anna is with me every day. This challenging journey has brought myself and the other pals together with an unbreakable bond. We laugh together, cry together, and miss Anna together. Losing a friend is one of the hardest things imaginable, but having an amazingly supportive group of friends makes it a little bit easier. I will forever be thankful to my best friends, for they have taught be to believe in the power of friendship. Friendship defies distance, it defies death, it is unbreakable. Anna and the Pals will forever be in my heart, for true friendship never ends.

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  16. Accepting the fact that you’ll never see someone that has made an impact on your life is more than devastating. Today I am proud to say that I’ve physically and mentally grown stronger as a person because of my losses. The healing process of a broken heart is not easy to cope with, not only does it leave you deeply depressed but also scarred for life. Having random breakdowns, not being motivated, being in denial, feeling confused, having so many questions and worst of all…Having no answers. On June eighth 2015 I lost the closest person to me, my grandmother. My grandmother and I always had a special connection since I was named after her and because I resembled my aunt, her daughter who passed away. Every time I’d see my grandmother she would hug me and cry because I reminded her so much of my aunt. I would hug and cry with her until she was ready to let go, sometimes we’d be hugging holding each other for a while but i didn’t mind. My grandmother’s loss made me realize that no matter the situation I’ll always have strength to pull through. Knowing that my grandmother is in a better place is what keeps me motivated, I know she will always be watching over me guiding me towards the right path. God knows I’ll do anything for one last hug, rest in peace grandma.

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    • I agree. Accepting and dealing with loss is so hard but in reality, it’s what needs to be done. When a person is physically gone and theres nothing you can do about it, you just have to deal with it. As harsh as it might sound, unfortunately it’s true. But its okay because like you said, dealing with those losses will help you become a stronger person. I lost my baby sister, i’ve lost some of my best friends, and nothing feels worse than losing the people most important to you. But life is filled with emotional opsticals and it will test you in a way you have never been tested. In the end, it’s all about how you want them to remember you. I know that in the moment, it is devastating and heartbreaking but one day you will look back and realize that it is okay to move forward in life and make the best out of a terrible situation.

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    • Losing a grandparent is tragic you’re not alone. If your Grandfather is still around make sure that you visit him often and show your compassion and love for him as well.

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  17. Grief, a powerful emotion caused by loss, and a reality that everyone must face. Grief can be influential to people in the worst possible ways, it can consume you if you let it. My name is Haelei Martinez, and I know firsthand what grief can do to a person, and sometimes it’s not pretty. I entered high school at fourteen, young and oblivious to the true cruelty of the world. That is, until my step father committed suicide. I believe that grief is one word to encompass the multitude of emotions that come crashing down on you after losing someone that you held so close to your heart. From already having trouble expressing my true feelings to those around me, I became even more inverted. Seldom did I express how much pain I was in over the ordeal, how it had really affected me. How, the thought of never seeing my amazing step father again would sentence me to crying in my room in bed with the door closed every time I wasn’t at school. I didn’t want people to see how hurt I really was over this. I wanted to appear strong to those around me, especially my mother and siblings, I wanted them to think I was strong, that I was being strong for them. However, you are not weak for grieving like I had thought. I was wrong. Grieving in healthy ways can make you grow as a person, and make you realize the importance of things you may have not realized this before. At my step father’s funeral is when I started to fully understand that it was okay to cry along with everyone else, that I didn’t have to shut myself out. That, even though this was the most soul crushing thing I have been through, I will be okay, eventually. If you have lost someone, even a pet, you are not alone, and although it may hurt now, it won’t be so excruciating forever. I truly believe in the saying that, “Time heals all.”. Time can heal all if you let it. As I enter my freshman year of college at seventeen, I am still young and though I may not be as oblivious as I once was, the harsh reality of the world has not broken my spirit. I will continue to enjoy and embrace the beauty of what life can offer. Grief will never be able to dull my sunshine again, because I will get through it and so will you.

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    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I felt a similar way when my best friend passed away a few years ago, I felt like I needed to be there for everyone and not really express how upset I was. I only really got emotional when I was all alone. However, like you I learned that shutting myself out was only making things worse. I started to talk with my friends about what I was feeling and they responded back with an incredible amount of support. Grief is a very difficult thing to get through, but it can’t stop you unless you let it.

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  18. Self-Forgiveness

    I remember how it was a bright sunny day. It was so beautiful out; it was the beginning of June and you could hear the birds chirping and see the flowers blooming, beautiful bright colors like fireworks. It was too beautiful a day to be told your best friend is dead. Especially too beautiful a day for teaching a child what true loss feels like. Every adult tells their child that you are always your own worst critic, and for me that was always the case. I never thought I was pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, I was just never enough. However, there was one person in my life who would always remind me that I was enough. Hannah. I still think about her everyday, my nine-year-old best friend with the devilish smile that even though she was three years younger was wise beyond her age, and wise even beyond my twelve years. As you notice this is titled self-forgiveness. I blame myself every day for this one moment I wish more than anything I could take back. It was the last two days of February vacation, but I was tired of playing outside everyday. I loved her more than anything, like a sister; but I didn’t want to bike ride around the neighborhood, I just wanted to lay on the couch with my mom. “don’t worry Hannah, when you come back to your Meme’s house we will bike ride then.” I can still imagine her disappointed face looking at me. She agreed and she walked to her grandmother’s house sadly. Of course, I never knew she would die on Easter with a grand mal seizure, or that she was epileptic. I have always hated myself since, every day every second. But now, I have this girl I met at work. She was struggling to make friends and being bullied, and she has become like a little sister to me. I think I have finally found someone who can show me I am not the terrible person I think I am….maybe after 7 years I can forgive myself…

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  19. August 14th, 2016 was the most emotional and hardest day of my life. I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my grandmother had passed away. At the time, I was in California visiting my brother when I heard this news. I was overwhelmed, and very sad because before I had left, I saw her, spoke to her, I told her I loved her, gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye and hoped to see her by the time I came back. Meanwhile the whole time I was in Cali, I was crying half of the time and was very homesick. I wanted to go home and be by mother’s side and just be there for her and comfort her throughout this whole thing.

    My grandmother’s health began to decline about late 2015, and we all had hoped that she could FIGHT through it and we would all be by her side. Unfortunately, it all had to come to an end about a year later. For quite awhile, I was upset, sad, and angry until one day I came across this quote, “May the radiance and beauty of their lives never be defined by their death.” I engrained that quote into my memory to always keep her spirit alive and to remember all of the good times I had shared with her in which I’ll always cherish. The way in which I look at it now, I no longer have to watch her suffer and hope that the place that she is in now, she no longer has to experience pain and that her soul is at peace.

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  20. Grief and Loss, two things that aren’t easy to deal with. At a young age, I was introduced to the harsh reality that is people don’t live forever. My grandma’s passing was a very confusing time for me. I felt sorrowful that she wasn’t with us anymore, but I was confused as to why I couldn’t express any emotion about how I felt. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. I was old enough to know the feeling of loss, but too young to understand it. All I could do was be there for my family, especially my mom. I saw how much pain she was in and all I wanted was to take that pain away from her.
    It wasn’t until a recent event, that happened in the beginning of my senior year, when I finally broke down. I remember the day, like it was yesterday. I was at soccer practice. My team was scrimmaging one of our younger teams and I had just scored. I heard my coach call me to come off the field and I was confused. Why would he be calling me over after I just scored? Once I got closer, I saw that my mom was standing right next to him, tears streaming down her face. I have not seen my mom cry like that since my grandma’s pasting, so I immediately started to panic thinking that something had happened to someone in my family. My mom looked at me and I have never been so scared of the look on her face. It was a look of pity and I couldn’t understand why she was looking at me like that. It terrified me. In that moment, I was informed of a serious car accident my friends had been in and that one of them didn’t make it. That was the day I finally broke down. After hearing those words I blacked out. All I remember is falling to my knees, letting out years of built up feelings and shock of the news I just received. It hurt knowing that he was gone and that my friends and I will never get to see him again. From that day going forward, my I will always have that one day that will always be in the back of mind whenever I look back on my high school experience.
    Grief and loss is a part of life. I now understand why it is so hard to deal with because it’s a lesson no one is ready to learn. Everyone deals with it in different ways and is sometimes easier for others. Grief and loss are two of the many challenges life throws at you and it’s up to you to figure out how to deal with it. Life is too short to not take risks and live life the way you want to. Unfortunately, this is a step we have to take in order to open our eyes to do just that, but that’s life.

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  21. Grief and loss are the two most heart ripping events in ones life. I lost my amazing boyfriend on the night of my orientation. Starting off at UMASS Dartmouth with the wrong type of “BANG”. My angel Chase was on his way to visit me on the 15th of June. That night I had an awesome time at orientation, I met friends, found out what’s in store for me, got to see the campus more. Then my awesome time turned into the worst moment of my entire life. The moment I lost my everything when I was just begging my everything. I searched the parking lot waiting for my Chase for over an hour , calling and leaving voice mails with no response. The friends I met that day told me his phone most likely died and he went home because he was not able to find me on campus. The next morning I got a call when surrounded by people I just met the night before. The call explains to me that it was not his phone that died. I am still going to UMASS Dartmouth even though every time I think of the school I picture that day. Reasoning for this is that my angel Chase knows I am going to attend at this school. The night before the 15th he slept over my house and I was telling him about how nervous I was about meeting friends. That day I send Chase a message and I tell him I met four friends already! He tells me he knew I would be fine. For those reasons I am going to continue to be exited for my journey at UMASS Dartmouth not just for myself but for my love.

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  22. I walked into my high school on the morning of September 14th thinking that it was going to be the beginning of an amazing senior year. My class was the closest and best class that my high school had ever seen, and we were all extremely excited to finish off our high school careers with one another. Never would I have thought that I would receive the heartbreaking news that one of my good friends named Thomas Bisbee, had passed away due to unexpected heart failure. It felt as if my world was falling apart. Thomas was the guy that everyone turned to when they needed a laugh. He would do anything for anyone and was the most loyal friend that I had. Not being greeted by him at my locker or hearing his laugh down the hallway broke me. My whole class felt the dark sadness and frustration that I was feeling. I did not think that any of us would be able to go back to the way that we once were; a happy and close- knit class. However, I was wrong. Not only did we come together as a class even more than we ever had before, but we also received love and support from our community. During times of heartbreak and despair, I believe that there is a choice of whether to come together or fall apart. My community came together and gave each other the support that we needed, which provided everyone with the strength to keep moving forward. I carry Thomas with me every day, but I keep moving forward because of the love and support that my community showed me in my time of need.

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  23. I Believe in reincarnation. Which is when one dies and is reborn into someone else. When one dies it is believed that they are gone forever but in my beliefs people are reborn in many different ways as in an animal or another human being. On the day that my little sister was born her grandfather from her dad’s side had died. The birth of my sister made her father always have the thought of the grandfather in mind. My vovo had passed not too long ago (aunts mom) and during my aunts graduation a butterfly had landed on my aunt’s arm while she was at the cemetery. To my aunt that butterfly was my vovo congratulating her. Every time that something reminds one of the dead it is a positive feeling. It gives one hope. Which is something everyone needs every so often. Reincarnation is not only a religious thing, anyone can believe in it especially if you lost a loved one. Seeing something that reminds you of a dead one can just be comforting and relieving. This can also be a coping mechanism to relax people because it makes them realize that their loved ones are in a better place. Everyone has that question “what happens after death” yet not everyone has the same answer. Some believe in heaven ,others believe in the afterlife and some just believe nothing happens. That the body lies there but I believe in reincarnation. The rebirth of someone threw something or someone else.

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  24. I believe that tragedy can reveal sides of people we never knew existed. Everyone deals with tragedy and grief in their own way, and I was first introduced to this idea through the death of a classmate’s mother in eighth grade. While I was never close to the boy who lost his mother, there were classmates who had grown up with him, and felt like his mom was a second mother to them. That day resonated with me because until that day, all the tragedy of death in my family happened when I was too young to really understand what was going on. The deaths of my father’s dad and my mother’s mom happened when I was so young that I don’t even have memories of the events. But on that day in middleschool I got to see sides of classmates that I never even thought existed. I saw the cool, tough guys reduced to tears at the loss of an honorary family member and it taught me that inside we all feel loss and tragedy. Sadly I experienced this mydelf in my Senior year of highschool. A close friend of mine, Spencer, took his own life three days after thanksgiving. I remember the next day when they announced it to the school. My body just went numb. It felt unreal. I didn’t even process it for a while. All around me, people were dealing with this tragedy in their own ways. The teachers and administrators at the school seemed to take the news the hardest. I saw many new sides to people I had known for 4 years that day, and for the rest of the school year. It taught me a lot about dealing with loss. The sad smiles my friend group would give each other when we remembered funny moments we shared with Spencer remind me that even though we experience these losses, we will never lose the impact that person had on our lives, and the lives of those around us.

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  25. Yes, grief and loss are things that are hard to deal with. There are different ways people lose someone or something and are disappointed about it. For me, I have a lot in my life. I had lost a parent in my childhood at a young age, not to death or anything too serious but because my parents had problems within their marriage. My father use to travel a lot, every couple months or so and come back after holidays and birthdays and my mother wasn’t happy about his traveling and everything else he did but, that wasn’t the only problem they had, I just rather not mention them. When he would travel, it was never for business or anything important, but that’s what he would tell me and my siblings. I was always so happy to see him come back but, my mother would never react. One day, I heard them have a really bad argument when he had come back. I never knew what they were fighting about since I was just a kid but, I figured it was really bad because weeks later, my father said he had to leave again for another trip and said he would be back soon again and this time he didn’t returned. For years on end, I hadn’t seen my father, but one day he came back on my birthday, I had never been so happy to see him. When he came, I thought that my parents had fixed their problems and we could be the family that we were. He spent a few months back with us and we had our fun. And again, he left. He was gone when I came home after school. My mother told me he couldn’t stay long and my siblings and I were disappointed again. When he left, I had got a message from him on Facebook, saying he was sorry about leaving again like that and he would make it up to us. And til this day, I haven’t seen or spoken to him in person, and I’ve spoken to him on Facebook through the years he’s been gone but, that’s about it.

    I can’t exactly grieve the same way when a person has lost to death or something else, yet I also did lose someone dear to me, but this, this is my loss to my life.

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  26. Through the tears, sobs, and unexplainable grief almost always come the obvious question, why?. The most undesirable and least obvious answer, “because sometimes people, even the most innocent, need to die”.
    Most see death as a glass half empty situation, but if one thinks, rather than feels then perhaps he’ll see the bigger picture, and that glass will appear fuller. These “unnecessary deaths” are very necessary. They’re not actually a loss, but an unknowing sacrifice; martyrs for must needed change.
    One martyr, Monique Koumate,was a married mother of two with two more coming. Little did she know that on the day she would welcome her babies, all three of them would actually say goodbye. She didn’t know this event would begin a revolt against the corruption of the Cameroon medical system. She was unaware that the death of her children and she would become the passion behind a young girl’s medical career 6,894 miles away. The day monique died infront of a hospital, denied medical care because of deficient funds, the day her sister made a desperate attempt to save them; performing a C-section with only a blade and no medical training, was the day I knew why I needed to pursue medicine. The day I cultivated my belief that the loss of an innocent life is more than death. I believe that those who have ears will hear a cry for change, rather than a defeated weep,because these deaths are a beginning rather than an end.

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  27. It was Senior Night at my high school soccer game. The team and I were mentally and physically ready to go play our hearts out. The moment right before I stepped onto the soccer field I heard my dad call my name from the stands. I went over to him only to hear the worst news of my entire life. He began to tell me that my grandmother had stage 4 cancer and it spread throughout her body. She only had a few more months to live. All I wanted to do was wake up from that terrible nightmare but I soon realized that it was all reality. After that night, I spent every single second with her. From sleeping on the couch by her side to enjoying every last laugh. On January 3rd, 2017 at 5:00 p.m., my grandmother passed away. She was like a second mom to me. Her and I were very close with each other. All I ever wanted was for her to see me start my college career and to see me succeed in life. From that moment on, I soon fell into a dark and dismal place feeling very hopeless until one night I received this card from my friend. As I opened the card I soon began to realize that so many other people gave their condolences and was there for me if I needed it. If it wasn’t for friends like that I don’t know where I would be today. Knowing that she’s happy and smiling down on me now is all I could ever ask for.

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  28. April 23rd 2017, something just felt off. Something wasn’t right, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I tried going to the beach to take my mind off of whatever was bothering me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I tried to enjoy myself that day, but something in the back of my mind kept telling me that something awful is going to happen. I always trust my gut, so I decided to go home, thinking I’d get caught in some freak accident and die or whatever. Later that night, I got a call saying my grandfather had a heart attack in his truck, and he had been dead for a few hours when they found him. I had talked to him on the phone a few days before, and he seemed fine, everything was going well. However, I feel like deep down, he knew his time was almost up. He just knew somehow, and maybe he was at peace with it. But it’s scary, because it was so unexpected. A few months before his passing, he would always talk about “when I go, I want people to remember me by this and that,” and every conversation I had with him up until his death was very nostalgic. I started realizing it all shortly after he passed away. Suddenly, he was always talking about the past. My conscience was warning me of his impending death all day, and til this day, I still get scared whenever something feels different/off. When I got the news, it hit me like a truck. My world came crashing down, and I didn’t believe it one bit. I was really close with him, and he was the closest thing to a father figure I’ve ever had, since my real father wasn’t in the picture. The grieving process was awful. I found myself unmotivated to do any schoolwork, or even hang out with my friends. I sat in my room with the shades drawn, just soaking it all in. The thing that bothered me the most was that he was by himself. Did he know what was happening to him? Was he scared? Did he try and call for help? Was he frantic when he realized that no one was there to save him? So many questions I’ll never know the answer to, and I’m still stuggling to find closure. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The hardest goodbyes are the ones that never got said. You never realize how easily and quickly you can lose someone you love, until it actually happens to you. My grandfather’s passing made me realize that you can really lose someone at any given moment, and that you should be thankful when you wake up every morning. Never take life for granted, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

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  29. I believe that grief and loss, while it is one the saddest parts of life, can change people for the better. The initial shock of losing someone is a stinging and burning pain that most people fear they will never be able to shake. It breaks the hearts and souls of those affected and it seems as though recovery is impossible. However, from personal experience and what I have seen people close to me deal with, I believe the experience of loss makes us stronger.

    When I was six years old, my sister was stillborn which was, of course, a huge loss for my family. Recently, my best friend lost her brother at the age of 23 to an overdose and six months later, her father to the same thing. My boyfriend lost his father a few years ago in a car accident which affected the whole community as he was a captain with the Mass State Police. From all the losses that myself and these people have dealt with, we have all come out of the grief as much stronger versions of ourselves. The hurt always lingers but with time, acceptance comes. After sitting and living in denial of loss for so long, the day that you are finally able to accept a loss in your life is the day you feel as though things are starting to look up again.

    I strongly believe that although loss causes an immeasurable amount of pain, it can also bring out a side of a person that might have never had a chance to come out. Grief and loss is an unforgiving battle and really becomes a time that people can reflect on their own lives. When a loss occurs, especially at such a young age, such as my friend’s brother, it really opens your eyes to how precious life is and how we often take it for granted. I believe that after a loss and after we have overcome our grief, although there are still so many tears to be shed late at night for no one else to hear, we come out stronger than we have ever been.

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  30. I believe that grief and loss are two things that people have to go thorough at some point in their life, some sooner than others. I started grieving the loss of my father when he passed away when I was only seven years old and at the time I didn’t quite understand everything that was happening because I was so young but I still understood the grief I was feeling. Two short years after my father’s death my grandfather passed away, and then five years after my grandfather’s death I was 14 years old and my grandmother passed away. Losing the majority of my family at such a young age has taught me a plethora of important things in my life. I learned a lot about grief and loss and the effect it has on members of the family for not only short term but long term as well. I was the man of the house at 7 years old and started to take care of things that my father used to do. It helped me to mature a lot faster than others my age did, be thankful for the little things in life people take for granite and much more. I learned that I was not alone and that other people were going through the same thing that I was going through which is one of the toughest things I have ever gone through and ever will go through.

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  31. I believe everyone has their own way of grieving and dealing with death. Facing death was never easy for me. In fact I never faced the inevitable end of my mothers life until the days nearing her passing. There was never a grieving period, only coping with reality by plunging myself into games and in a sense creating a barrier so I didn’t have to see her so weakened and broken by her illness. In the time since I’ve come to realize how stupid I was for thinking I could shelter these feelings and keep them suppressed without internal damage. Everyday I regret not facing what was in front of me, everyday I regret my actions. I wore a mask to hide the person who no one wanted to see, underneath my exterior I was broken. I tried smiling everyday to hide the internal grief that dwelled within. I’m reminded of the hurt with any sign of stress or emotional troubles. The occasional song on the radio reminds me of what I did and the guilt I carry from it. However learning from this scar I’ve acquired, I learned to appreciate what I have been blessed with and the time I still have left on this Earth. It took time for me to allow myself to be happy again and feel the warmth of a genuine smile. Slowly I found myself straying further away of the darkness of isolation and began truly living. This was the start of my grieving, this was me making amends with myself and accepting what was done is in the past. This was my way of making it up to my mother, I smile for her in memory of her.

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  32. I believe that when you lose a loved one it kills your whole inside. I personally, have lost a father in my life so dealing with grief and experiencing loss is all I have been fighting for the past few years. It isn’t easy to overcome it and to be honest I don’t think I ever will over come it. But, the best thing to do is to stay busy and always have a goal set for your life to come. Having a twin sister plays a big role on how I handle grief. She is the best person ever and I have to be strong for her and also the ones around me. Seeing her grow up with out a father makes me more protective and much more passionate when dealing with her. I am a minute older, fun fact, but that one minute makes me feel like such an older brother. So not being alone is better because I know my sister is here fighting with me. That in the big picture, makes it all better to its extent. Playing sports and working out has definitely made me more mature and helped me in the stages of grief. I love my life and wish it was different, but nobody’s perfect. Every single person has their issues and it is up to them to fight them and never give up. Life is way to short and people need to realize that sooner. What I believe in is so much different than others but this is my life and nobody will change that.

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  33. When I was 10 years old on August 18th 2010, I got woken up from a deep sleep by my father who told me that my mom had passed away. At the time I had no idea what that meant and I honestly did not even believe my dad. I could hear my older sister crying in the room next door, so it started to sink in that I will never be able to hug, laugh, or even talk to my mom gain. I had no idea of the everlasting memory of this morning in my head. To this day I still have dreams that my dad wakes me up like a normal day and life just goes on. But as soon as I wake up I know that she is gone forever. As I have grown and matured I have learned to cope with this loss even though I still miss my mother, I have learned to move on. I have also gained so much knowledge and self dependency from doing my own laundry to going to the doctors by myself. Being forced to grow up at a young age has its pros and cons. A pro is learning how to do many things on my own, where a con is obviously the fact that I can no longer see my guardian angel. I know that if my mother was still here today that she would be very proud of me. Im glad I was able to make memories because those will last forever.

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    • I also had to face the loss of my mother at a young age, and I totally agree that it forces you to gain so much self dependency. Not having a mother to do your hair in the morning, or do your laundry every week, or take care of you when you’re sick, causes you to grow up really quickly even at a young age.

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  34. This past summer I was ready to go see my mom’s side of the family all the way in Eastern Russia. 2 weeks prior to our family trip I lost my Grandfather on my dad’s side of the family. It was a tough time and happened so fast but it made me realize a few things. I realized how big of a part in my life he was and how he helped me grow up. My grandfather always had a positive message that his purpose in life was to make mine easier. He always taught me that opportunity comes and goes and that one-day ill have to be able to make my own decisions. When he moved to America from Moldova he became a self made man and helped structure my future. Another thing I realized that it was bound to happen at one point and it will make me a stronger individual as I grow up and understand how big of a privilege it is to have had him in my family. Losing someone eventually gets easier to cope with after family and friends comfort you. Grieving isn’t anything anybody wants to do but in the time of need it’s something that you must go through. At the end of the day everyone’s time must come which motivates me to drive my own purpose in life in order to carry on my family’s last name. June 13th will forever be a date to remember as I grow up and make him proud.

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  35. Don’t lose hope, when the sun goes down the stars comes out. January 12, 2010 a date that will be forever engraved in my mind, I remember being at home and seeing everything shaking, not really having time to process anything. At the time I was at home with my mother and my brother, during the whole time my father was at work, my family and I were so concerned about his safety.
    In a flash, all you heard in the street and around the neighborhood were people crying, grieving, weeping and yelling for God to help. Buildings started collapsing, houses started smashing down and people started dying. Dead bodies were all over the places, not enough spaces in the cemetery. In a fast second, everything flipped upside down, no time to run if we could run. My family and I thought we were going to die, I began to wonder what was going on outside, why people were crying and what happened to my father who was at work? when we stepped outside there was chaos everywhere, we couldn’t believe it, I realized that I might have lost my father, we tried to contact him but all the telephone networks went down, there was no communication whatsoever. Later we soon realized that he was alright the whole time.
    Life after the earthquake was not easy at all, majority of the population was ruined, it was just a disaster, a lot of cadavers in the street, a lot of people’s home were destroyed.I remember not being able to go to school because of the losses of so many teachers, students and faculty. We had to cook in the middle of the street, one bag of water shared with ten people, but it bought love and harmony between us. Despite all we were going through we had to fear about our safety, since there wasn’t much protection living in the tent, gunshots, report of rape and sexual violence had taken a heavy toll. The situation was inhumane and degrading, no security, no work, no food.
    However, we did survive the earthquake and this was mainly because of the support economic of other country, `although the emergency supplies couldn’t go to all places but we luckily find some. I lost a good friend of mine that day, but sometimes life can bring you pain so you can find true happiness.

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  36. Death is inevitable. While many people fear death, without it, life itself would have no meaning. In the modern age, we treat death as some dark and horrible thing that should never be talked about, but truly it is quite the opposite. Welcoming the truth that one’s life will some day come to an end is what brings each day its worth and beauty.
    In the same sense, society in modern times seems to shut out grieving, and make it a more isolated and personal subject, almost to avoid being talking about death and bringing everyone down. Society almost makes it seem like people should be done grieving after a certain amount of time, and people who grieve after long periods of time are often told that they “should be over it by now.” Some say that time heals all wounds, but for some individuals, that time may take a lot longer than others. I believe that is is perfectly fine to grieve for however long one needs to. Some people may get over a loss very quickly, but that does not mean that everyone has to. There is no need to shut it out or keep it inside. It isn’t “dark” or “morbid” to continue grieving after long periods of time. Accepting a loss helps give meaning to one’s own life. I believe that death is not something to be afraid of, or to be viewed as negative, it is simply a part of life that everyone needs to accept, because without it, life would have no meaning.

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  37. When people mention “that the good dies young”, I am a true believer in this statement. April 24, 2016 was a moment in time where I changed my overall views upon life as well as realization towards the bigger purpose in life. One of my dearest cousin, Jonathan Descartes, had passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident on his way to drop a carepackage to his little sister in college. His life was very meaningful and he was heading down all the right paths. So as his little cousin, its very heartbreaking that I will never get to obtain any more of the life lessons learned from him. Descartes was the type of person you would never catch and frown on his face. He sure never would ever have any problems with anyone and that is the character trait in which everyone who knew him admired the most. I’m envious of these traits and will do my absolute best to look towards him and also never hold a grudge of any hatred.

    Bouncing back from such a tragedy seems to be impossible but it is very much possible and when it is achieved, you turn the tragedy into better for yourself. I learned from my Descartes tragedy to always smile and aim better for your family and most importantly yourself. I appreciate every moment I have spent with Descartes and will apply every knowledge learned to the best of my ability.

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  38. The thing about grief and loss is no matter what age you are and no matter what point in life you are at, it affects everyone who experiences it in a way that makes them feel extremely wistful and hopeless. September 2, 2017 was the five year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. My family and I were headed up north to a friend’s lake house for labor day weekend. We were on the boat when we got the call. My grandma called my mom informing her that my grandfather had had a massive stroke. The doctors said that even if he made it through it, he would never be the same person that we knew him as. He died the next afternoon. The man that was basically my second father was gone. More importantly, this was my mom’s dad who she had a very close relationship with him. Right after I heard the news about my grandpa, I had to know if my grandma was ok. I didn’t care if I talked to my grandma or not, I just wanted to know if she was ok. I I was bugging my dad asking if she was ok. Looking back on this, it was a very maturing moment for me. I realized that keeping an eye on my grandma and mom was something that might not be done by kids my age. We will all miss my grandfather so much but the grieving process for me definitely made it easier thinking about how much of a great life he had. Our mindset as a family was to focus on the good and not the bad in his life.

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