A few weeks ago, I woke up with a knot in my heart. Then I looked at the calendar and realized it had been six months since my sister’s passing.  Over the following weeks, no matter which way I went, I saw reminders of grief – and of how easily life could be lost or taken away.
We all experience grief at some point in life, whether it is the loss of someone close to us, a job, or something we value. With time, you have to learn to cope with the reminders of the loss in your everyday life to continue to function in society. Here is what has helped me in my process thus far.

Feel my feels

I heard the tribute that Babyface wrote for his friend, Andre Harrell, who had recently passed away.

I remember how you smiled. I remember how you laughed. How you always told your truth, how you fought for excellence. You knew who you were, and if nothing else, you taught me to be me. And God will remember how you always gave your heart. So until we meet again, may you stay the way you are. I will see you in the stars.”

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Photo credit: 4TH Finger Photography

These words reminded me of my sister, “Dr. Z.” As I sat on the floor, I started thinking that my sister would not see her son or my kids grow up. I started thinking about how different life would be if she were around. I allowed myself to sit in those feelings for a while because I believe it is healthy to embrace all of my  feelings and not run away from them.

Then I thought about something my sister used to say over the years whenever I thought she was too harsh on me, “I am preparing you.” I did not think much of it then, but now I know she was preparing me for life and how bumpy the road would be.

Have Faith

Over the past few months, prayer has been a crucial part of my grieving process. On days I did not know how to start, God helped me take the first step. A few years ago, I learned to accept whatever obstacles come my way without questioning it. I learned to trust that things will happen exactly the way they are supposed to. I learned to make peace with the fact I am not in control.
I believe that when it is all said and done, I will reunite with my loved ones. That alone has provided me with tremendous peace. So when my sister’s words resonated in my head, I got up and said a prayer. Despite all the craziness and negativity going on in the world right now, I have faith that on the other side of the struggle, there will be something better.

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Be Thankful

When I feel down, I force myself to focus on the many reasons I have to smile despite whatever else may be going on.
I am thankful to be alive.
I am blessed to have known my sister. I am thankful that I had her as a role model and mentor for the first thirty-four years of my life.
I am thankful for my family and support system.
I am thankful to be healthy in these crazy times.
I am thankful for people around the world uniting to fight for what’s right.
I am thankful to have a chance to honor my sister’s legacy.
I am grateful to have all the love that I need to make it through.

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Focus on the future

I believe that there is a reason why we are all still here. We have to enjoy life while we still have a chance.
I look forward to continuing to work on my passion projects.
Over the past few weeks, I was reminded that there are more good people than bad people in the world. Seeing all of the young people driven by their pain to fight for a better tomorrow has been very encouraging. I am hopeful for the future.
Every reminder of how fragile life can be is motivation to do what I can today to make a difference because life is short.

La vie n’a pas son duplicataBryan Boris Formbor

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Hope keeps suffering in check.Unknown