People always ask, “Does grieving ever get easier?” and my initial response, following the death of my best friend, was that there’s no possible way that the hole in my heart could ever be repaired. But as time has passed since by far the worst day of my life, I’ve learned an incredible amount not only about myself, but on how to focus and channel the worst into expanding the better. Grieving doesn’t become easier, it becomes manageable. The biggest lesson I have gathered from this tragedy is coping with the hardships by doing good for others and feeding the soul of the loved one you lost.
Jaclyn had the world’s biggest heart. I have some massive shoes to fill with this one. But I promise her, every night before I go to bed, that I will continue to talk about her, do the little things she always did for everyone else, tell stories and recall memories, and show pictures of us from our best days together. I never knew how crucial it was to stay positive during negative times until August 8th, 2021. Her family taught me that as well. The strongest group of people that G-d has put on this Earth. Their smiles, their love, their support. They are amazing. Like my grandfather told me when he was in the midst of comforting me …. love builds strength. I took that saying in and haven’t let it go. Every day when I wake up, I ask myself, “What would Jaclyn do? What can I do today to make someone smile?” Grieving sucks. It truly does. But now I have to live life for the two of us and that means no time to waste. Only time to prosper, grow and be happy. Jaclyn wouldn’t want her loved ones sulking or crying. She would want us pumping our fists hard at every event and screaming at the TV during every game.
The greatest advice that anyone can ever give you is to channel the best energy you can gather to help eliminate the worst. There are too many people, unfortunately, that face the loss of someone they love every day. My message to you is you are not alone. You’re now given an additional responsibility to remind yourself that life is too short to sit around and sulk. You live for two. Yes, everyone needs their moments of grief, but by making that loved one proud you help to bandage up the wounded heart. My Rabbi once told me that while the person who passed may not physically be here any longer, their energy and soul will always live on. But it is the job of those still living to make sure that it continues to prosper.
I miss you J, but I know you’re with me everywhere I go. 💛
Cover photo via Molly Phillips