If you asked me one week ago how I would deal with the loss of a loved one, I would have told you I would accept it. I would have said that I believe they go to a better place free from the troubles of this life. I would have said that their memories keep us strong and I would be thankful for the time that I had to spend with them.

And then, I lost my dear cousin who was only 31. He was loved by everyone and everyone loved him. It was completely unexpected and all of the platitudes and expectations of loss mostly went out the window. I discovered that losing a loved one unexpectedly feels a lot like a slap in the face to your soul even if you consider yourself a positive person.

While it may have been o.k. in the past to attend funerals where lives are “celebrated” and where people “rejoice”, when you just wish you had more time with an exceptional person, it doesn’t seem so appropriate any more. The only thing I can think of to say for hurting people is “I am sorry for your loss”. If I ask how I can help, there probably isn’t a way they can think of, so, it is best for me to just help how I can. Buy a meal, send a card, clean the house, feed the pets.

In trying to discover something, anything positive on which to focus when thinking about this past weekend, I discovered something of which I am proud. I was my best, most authentic self. The person that I have always wanted to be, the giving, caring, loving person I strive to be, I was she. Therefore, Kevin, thank you for many laughs, lots of fun and for helping me to be the person I have always desired to be.

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