Maybe it’s something about this time of year that puts me in a remorseful mentality. Maybe it’s just the associated memories with the year end and year beginning months that just remind me of how thankful I should be.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that while so many words of wisdom are passed down through cliché and non-cliché phrases, most people don’t seem to actually listen to what they quote. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t a repeat offender of forgetting the words of the wise throughout my daily activities. Maybe writing this will finally solidify my mentality about how you don’t really know what you got ‘til it’s gone, maybe it’ll be forgotten again when the feelings within my stomach pass.
Death of loved ones is something I’d never even wish upon the people that drive every feeling of angst and anger in my body. It’s something that if you’ve never dealt with, you won’t understand it well while if you have experienced it, it’s impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it. In my best attempt to explain what it does, is that it changes you, for better or worse. It puts burning holes inside of you that you never get back, it puts feelings of remorse and regret about what you didn’t say, what you didn’t do, what you could’ve done to prevent it, what you should’ve done with them, and worst of all: what you never told them.
It’s been a little over a year since one of my friends hid the severity of his cancer from me. Out of his best intentions, I’m sure. But it’s something that is permanently burned into my brain… *Why?*. It’s a question that will never be answered, a question that will never be understood. I know that some people think that not telling your loved ones and friends about something as difficult as terminal cancer is better because they will remember you before the weakest moments in life. But that’s not what happens. What happens is a self-inflicting blame, a blame that somehow you as a close friend or family member were not told or informed in any way that could help in closure means that there is something wrong with you. Maybe it’s selfish to think and hope that someone you’ve known for years would tell you news such as this, or maybe that’s just how it seems to affect your perception after experiencing it.
I think a lot of people do not see the severity of what death can do to young minds. More so than adult minds that are able to fully understand the given situation, kids have to grow up learning about the permanence of death through the realization that their last memories with the ones they cared for are the last ones they’ll ever experience, and because of their youth, those memories become faded. Next month, January 31st, will mark exactly one year ago of the death of one of the longest friends I’ve ever had. What’s strange is that maybe the worst part now is the reminder of everyone else that I’ve lost in life. It’s like a domino effect where you were able to stand and handle the previous deaths of years past, but when there’s a recent one it just knocks them all back down. Maybe it’s just me, but I have never been able to deal with the death that life has brought upon me very well. I am not entirely certain of my intentions with posting this to a public forum, maybe I finally want to throw my skeletons out in the open, because I know there have been some kept in the closet for far too long.
I wish I could say those were my first friends that I lost. I wish I could talk to my childhood self because nobody else seemed to understand the craziness that erupted within my mind. I wish I didn’t have to wonder where they all went. I wish I didn’t act so weird when I see heroin on TV, or drunk driving accident commercials. I wish every time I see train tracks I didn’t think that I did something wrong. I wish I had said more, I wish I had done more; I wish they all knew how much I miss them and care for them. But that’s all it is, wishing.
Maybe, through all the rambling and sob story asides, I am just trying to give some advice. Maybe others will have an easier time when it comes to unfortunate events. If you’ve managed to read all of this, then please just take the advice my mom gave me but I didn’t adhere to as much as I should’ve: “Never let the sun set on your wrath”. Don’t ever end a night with saying something you’d deeply regret if the next morning never came to the other person. Never let stupid petty arguments divide relationships that have met and built so much more, and always make sure they know how you feel. There’s nothing worse than a regret that is truly permanent.
In this time of holiday seasons, when drunk driving accidents are the highest, and then suicide rates spike up to February 14th, please just show your appreciation for those who you care for and for those who care for you. What’s amazing, is that even when someone can tell you exactly what you need to hear, you won’t believe them or come to the realization until it’s too late to start acting in a manner that would give you more understanding and appreciation for what you had in life.