The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked that phrase “He was visited by grief,” because that’s really what it is. Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.
“It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you.”
I just had a little revelation.
Oh my god. Stephen Colbert just opened my eyes up to one of the most important statements of my life. This idea gives me so much peace. Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more…
"If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door." <— I’ve definitely experienced this
I love Reina so much. Her lyrics are so beautiful, and you can tell watching her sing that she feels strongly about everything she sings.
Also, in many confusing ways, this song connects to my relationship (?) with Nick.
I miss you. I love you. I feel you. <3
“Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.” -John Muir
My dearest Nick,
Happy Birthday. Today is your nineteenth birthday. Crazy to think how much we’ve grown up—from 5th grade to me sitting here in college, you flying up above. Time flies, doesn’t it? You know that more than anyone.
Today is both a hugely sad day and an infinitely wonderful day. Today, I go back and forth between wanting to cry for all the things we miss and smiling for all the things I remember. Because I truly miss you, every single day. It hurts to know you’re gone. I often still don’t understand why you were taken. But then I remember your beautiful light and spirit. Perhaps it was time for you, Nick, to live in that higher world, being the invincible light of a star. I’ll join you there one day. For now, I remember. I remember. And I’m grateful for having your spirit watching over me, my angel. I hope you know how much you’ve helped me these last two years. Even in spirit form, you live so much more fully than most of us ever do.
So I celebrate you. I miss you, and sometimes I still feel hopelessly sad. But mostly, mostly, I try to live to celebrate you and celebrate the beauty of life.
I’ve been remembering a lot, lately. Some days I just get a flash of your smile, hearing the sound of your laugh. Your soul travelling across galaxies and stars. And I remember laughing with you in Chemistry class, the ridiculous “items” you and Albert chose to bring to the picnic for McGunit. I remember always how you helped me in basketball practice. To most people, I was the shy and awkward nerd, but you genuinely wanted to help me, cheer me on. You always held this incredible joy inside you, from “Sparta” review games in class to the basketball court to the hallways, smiling at every person you saw. I don’t know if you know how amazing you are. It’s so hard for most people to feel that joy. You found it and lived it in sixteen short years. That beauty and spirit cannot die.
I remember, too, how you have brought people together. More, lately, I can remember your memorial. I remember holding Sarah’s hand and Joel’s hand, and just sobbing when Mrs. Pierce hugged me. All around, people were crying, for a life and a lovely person had been lost. All around, people were connecting, reminded of the beauty of you and the beauty of everything. Our hugs meant more that day than any other day. I remember the stories, how we laughed and cried, how you led your life each and every single day. And I remember feeling your spirit there in that room. You bring so many people together, still. And it’s beautiful.
Life’s hard Nick. But in those tough moments, I breathe in. I breathe you in. I know you’re there still, transferring your energy to me through the good and bad. Through the dark, I’ve come to feel the joy you did. I know life is beautiful, despite the miseries and tragedies. And I am able to be happy. Our souls do not die. The stars shine on. The ocean waves crash on the beach today as I pray to you. And I know you will never leave me.
A wise man once said, “We think we are invincible because we are.” And that is so true. You, Nick, are invincible. I am. The stars are. I am blessed to have known you.
Let’s celebrate that. I know you’re partying up there. I’m celebrating you in my own way, living and loving and dancing in the sea. I love you. I don’t know why I couldn’t say that when you were here, but I so do. Thank you, for showing me and reminding me of what really matters. You’re still alive, our souls travelling the same universe. We are infinite. Keep transferring your energy, and, Nick, give some to my mom if you can. She needs that energy.
I miss you. But I love you. Happy Birthday, Nick. Happy, happy birthday.
Death feels so close all of the time. It could’ve been me. And that’s such a weird feeling. Suddenly, my heart feels jumpy, as though it could give out on me at any moment, though I know how strong it is.
Moments like this bring back all of the pain and grief of losing Nick, and I wish so much I could be there up in the stars with him. Except I don’t want to leave this earth yet. I don’t want to leave this beauty behind. I want to be able to live in both worlds, laugh and cry and swim in that deep blue purple painting.
It could’ve been me last night. It so easily could have been. And of course, I still have that small voice in the back of my head saying, “It should have been you.”
But as I grieve and respect and reflect, I remind myself to be grateful I am alive. It is a grand thing today simply to be alive, to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and breath in the fresh air.
Don’t let go. Remember those who have passed. Remember the fragility and wonder of life.
And give thanks.
For you are, for I am, still alive.
It doesn’t much matter when you have just now realized, all the time later, that you are still alive.
-John Green, Looking for Alaska
Close my eyes (maybe I am only dreaming)
Try to lie (to myself you are only sleeping)
Close my eyes, I close my eyes
And so the phoenix cries
And so the phoenix flies
I got to always keep in mind
Another great adventure waits
On the other side
I’ll see you on the other side
I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us. I want to believe that they speak to us as part of something greater than us.