Some individuals have various dates in which hold a significant meaning such as their birthdates, anniversaries, death dates of their loved ones and so forth. Like many of you, there is one date that will forever hold a very special meaning for me.
April 11, 2011:
This date represents the day in which my life would forever change in more ways than one. I met this incredible man who changed my perspective on love and life. The months that we were able to share together were nothing short of amazing! In all aspects, he was my equal, he was talented, socially conscious, educated, dedicated to trying new things. He was everything that I ever imagined💛 Although his life was taken abruptly, I will forever cherish our moments.
I contemplated for years to openly discuss my love life but I truly believe that by allowing myself to have an open discussion, it will allow me to heal, completely!
To be young and experience a loss, is such a profound event, in itself. But to be young and lose a significant other is a tumultuous event in life. As for myself, I just turned 20-years-old and was living my best life with the greatest guy, ever! Suddenly, he passed away in a fatal car accident. This particular event in my life is one that has molded me into the very being I am today! Dealing with the thoughts of never being able to fully love someone due to the fear that they would leave me suddenly, depression, isolation, and drinking were the only coping mechanisms that I knew! Various friends could not relate to what I was going through, so many friendships were lost because of that; as well as family members being unable to console me. Before I began my walk with Christ, the only strength that I knew was my own. However, my own strength was not enough to help me get through this. In order to process the loss of my boyfriend, it seemed as if I went through the process of grief many times for four years. There was nothing anybody could do or say to alleviate the pain that I felt, attempting to date after that was nearly nonexistent because I felt a sense of guilt as well as comparing every guy I met to my perfect guy.
It was not until recently, that I gained the courage to speak openly with friends, families, and co-workers about the tragic event. With speaking to those that wanted to listen, I was able to gain a sense of peace. Although there are some days in which my mind wanders to what could have been if he were still alive, it will never overshadow what was and the wonderful memories that I have left to always remember him by.
One of his favorite artists was Big K.R.I.T, which is now one of my favorite artists. His music is relatable, real life but also includes his journey in poetry form. So this past weekend, I was able to attend his concert in Atlanta, Georgia at the Tabernacle. My heart was full in more ways than one. There are specific songs that I can not listen to because it will have me in tears halfway through the song but on April 7th, 2018, none of that matter. I truly enjoyed the energy in the room, the company that was around me and just being able to face those feelings I felt in 2011 but with a clear heart and mind. Now I feel at peace and I feel as if I am free!
No matter how many years it has been, I will forever remember exactly what Preston meant to me and the memories we shared. Yes, it is okay for me to have those days in which I can cry. However, it is very important that I remember to keep going!
Life lessons that were taught to me during my experience of loss:
- Acknowledge your feelings and speak about your feelings: As it is hard for me to speak about my feelings, it was extremely important for me to learn how to do that during this time. I would not talk to anyone, at all, about what I was experiencing Not a healthy way to cope with your feelings but that’s the only way I knew how. Express yourself!!! It is important for your mental health.
- Talk to others who have experienced loss: Now, not that I need for others to have a pity party for me or anything, I know death is apart of life and all that other sympathy stuff that everyone tells you about. But seriously, speak to those who know exactly where you are coming from. When you speak to those who have not gone through what you have endured, they will attempt to relate but miserable fail! Or they will try to give you advice. No, the advice is not what I need at this point, I want someone to listen, give me a sense of peace to know everything is going to be okay and give me ideas on how to move past death.
- Enjoy life: Life is short! Enjoy every minute you have with those who love you unconditionally. Use the words ‘I love you’ to those you truly and deeply love. God has bestowed upon all of us L I F E, He did not provide us with a knowledge of our own expiration date, enjoy your borrowed time!
- Life goes on: Yes, death happens but that is not the end-all-be-all! Your loved ones would not want you to sit and wallow in the pain and agony of them transitioning to be with the Lord. They would want you to be happy, thriving and accomplishing all of your hearts desires and goals that you shared with them. Make them proud!
- Stay active: Keep going!
- The pain of the loss will return: There are still times where I sit down and think of Preston, constantly! I still cry, I still visit his grave, I still look through his social media pages, I still speak with family and friends of his, I still listen to songs that remind me of him, I still look at pictures of him and I still need time to myself–with doing all of these things, I brings up so many memories as well as pain.
- Last but not least: Make God the center of your life, lean on God for understanding, for peace, for comfort, and for strength!