Throughout life there’ll be people who come and go. You’ll face through what it’s like losing someone. You’ll meet people, get to know them, hang out over a couple of years… but then slowly they fade away from your life. This is simply just a part of the process; maybe you’ll go through brief periods of time where you meet up again. You’ll text each other or catch up on social media. It’s no big deal. People get busy and this happens.
Other times, you’ll grow close with people. You’ll learn from each other and share fantastic memories, but then they’ll pass away. Death is inevitable. Losing someone is apart is a natural part of life. As we grow older we learn to accept this fact. When our loved ones pass away, people will tell us that they are now “closer to you” in spirit.
Of course, this is a reasonable response. This is a general way people will try to comfort one another. Unfortunately, you don’t want to hear the same thing over again. You want them back in person. Right now. Those people don’t understand EXACTLY how you feel.
By all means, these people just want to make you feel better. Everyone deals with a heartbreak or loss at some point in their life. I’ve lost relatives. I’ve lost close friends. I was in the process of finishing middle school when my Dad died of lung cancer.
I didn’t just sit there, complain, and make excuses to stop trying
When the news first hits you, you don’t know what to feel. You don’t how to react. You might feel a million emotions, or nothing at all.
This isn’t an excuse to give up.
It was the summer before my Freshman year when I went with my family to lay my Dad to rest. He wanted his ashes to be spread out in the Maui ocean.
Hawaii has been a home away from home. Each year my family and I make sure to visit the islands at least once a year. It has been the threshold to a variety of celebrations and adventures on the island, but I wouldn’t have guessed that this is the very place where my dad would be laid to rest. I never thought I would come here after losing someone.
How could a paradise host such a shocking event? A place where laughter flourished was now transformed into a domain where I found only questions with thin answers. Dad has always been beside me, teaching me how to live a positive life, and, suddenly, as I’m about to enter the next chapter in my life, High School, cancer steals him away.
I felt lost. Call it a major bump in the road, or direct collapse of rocks in the middle of a cave, but my direction vanished. Losing someone…why now?
On the morning of the memorial, six members of my family were chosen to be present on the boat that would sail to the middle of the ocean. I knew without a doubt, I would have to be one of the six.
I remember being greeted by our guide, Vene, who met me with a sincere smile. He had a positive vibe surrounding himself; faces were lit up by his friendly demeanor. Naturally, I forced myself to show a smile, carefully shielding the thoughts that crowded my mind. Vene widened the sails, assisted our group onto the boat and directed the bow towards the morning sun. The journey began.
With every stroke that sliced the water, Vene talked about the importance of life. His lessons tied into what it was like for losing someone. He related each lesson to unique stories that every local on the island knew by heart. Although he never actually knew my dad, our shared stories about him allowed Vene to get to know him. He listened carefully, gently asking questions to truly in a sense “meet him.”
I was the one who would gently release my dad’s ashes into the water. The time finally came, and the five others onboard helped me finish. I was choked with the fear of losing grip and I was stunned by the fact that this was it. The crisp breeze spread out the ashes, and not a single noise could be heard. Just then, a mighty splash erupted from the still waters. Fins shook the air as the uninvited guests danced their way towards the boat. This was no coincidence. A school of dolphins enlightened us with their smiles just as the last physical remains of my dad left us. There was no sense of fear among neither them nor us on the boat. With fantastic flips and jumps the dolphins ignited the sky like fireworks celebrating of the life that my dad had led. Each acrobatic gesture unleashed hope onto my lost world.
The appearance of the dolphins was like a calming grasp on my shoulder that told me all was not lost. Life still had to be lived. Losing someone is apart of life.
This incredible moment sparked a flame within me to put forth all my effort into every aspect of it. There was a new passion within me now, a renaissance period of self-discovery. I now felt at home with the ocean, knowing some part of my dad will inevitably be right with me.
When people are hit with depression they’ll make excuses. They’ll stop trying. Some turn down the wrong path, they’ll completely transform their image. Sadly, they might take up drugs or get involved with crimes. They take the perspective that the world is against them. They use their feelings as an “excuse” and a “reason” to act like a loser. They let their feelings of losing someone take over.
They’ll play the victim.
Why in the world would you abandon ship? Why would you add misery to your life in the midst of a failure or loss. If something doesn’t go your way, go fix it.
“But Jordan, it’s too hard, you don’t understand…”
You’re right no one understands. No one is you. They don’t go through your EXACT perspective. Everyone has a low point, however. Everyone feels weak and alone. Let it out, pick yourself up, and get back to work!
When you’re broken, you don’t want to put effort. You believe there’s no use. There’s a purpose for why you feel low now. This’ll be a life lesson and make you stronger. You’ll look back at your broken moments once you make it to the top.
You can let it consume you, or you can fight back
You will fight back. Envision how you want to succeed, and don’t let go of that goal. Yes, I had those sad moments when my Dad died. I didn’t know what to feel, I didn’t know what to do myself. Each day, I found a way to pick myself back up. I looked at the bright side. I used perspective.
Yes my Dad was gone, but he left teaching me the value of a positive mindset. If you don’t give up you’ll have a breakthrough. No matter what it takes just keep on putting in an effort to improve!
Henry Ford was often mistaken to be heartless. What people don’t know is that he had a plan, set a goal and stayed tenacious. When his engineers told him that it was impossible to complete an 8 cylinder vehicle he replied with: “produce it anyway.” Ford didn’t know how to give up. It was a foreign concept to him, he didn’t understand it. He didn’t care what his engineers told him, but he knew what he wanted. He didn’t say “oh okay, let’s just settle then like everyone else.” When Ford told his engineers “produce it anyway,” he told them to accomplish this goal with whatever it takes.
Don’t dwell on the negative of losing someone. Don’t just give up and make excuses when life happens. If you feel completely hopeless: find something, put a little effort each day into your success, and rebuild.
I lost my Dad right before High School. I didn’t give up or make excuses. I stuck with what I was good at, and added a little more effort each day. Instead of thinking “why me” I reminded myself of what I did have. Yes my Dad was gone, but I had lots of other Father figures to look up to. I had plenty of mentors, uncles, and older cousins. Most people know what it’s like losing someone. The world didn’t owe me anything. It’d be a waste of time to be angry about this tragedy.
Everyone is good at something. Everyone has a passion.
Go find it! I joined the cross country team because I had nothing else going on. I didn’t know where it would lead me into. I was generally a good student growing up, but I wanted something else to be apart of me. I stuck with this, and worked hard at school. I put a little effort every day, and worked to improve myself. I stayed motivated.
If you feel completely worn down, find something that interests you. No matter how small the first step is, go ahead and take it. The time will pass anyway. Would you rather spend that time drowning in your negative thoughts?