Op/Ed: When we lose a loved one


Photo by: Steve Marchitto

Grandsons as paul bearers at my grandmother’s funeral.

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings” -Socrates

How interesting that death can be thought of as a blessing, even to a genius such as Socrates. All that seems to come with it are grief, tears and complete brokenness. We are left feeling empty and numb inside for so long. So, how can any of these feelings become a blessing?

Recently, I have lost an aunt, grandmother and cousin. My family has been left with memories and keepsakes. Pictures become hard to look at and bring tears to the eye. Tears, though tears, become smiles eventually.

With death comes love and peace learned.

The loss of my aunt and grandmother brought together a family that I haven’t seen in so many years. After mourning our relatives, we gathered together to share and swap all of the stories we will never forget. The room filled with laughter, and soon, our loss was gain.

We left feeling more as a whole, than the broken that was before. Love, pieced us together.

My brother and I are much younger than the rest of our cousins, so, they had times with each other that I had no clue about. Hearing their stories made me feel as if I were right there in that time with them. The love in my heart that has grown for those individuals is indescribable. I’m able to see my family in a whole new way. The good, the bad and the ugly, sticking with one another through it all.

Peace is not often felt. Stress, anxiety and depression fill our everyday lives. Why is it that, and I may be the only one, we feel the most at peace when we are broken-hearted? It seems as if our world moves slower and our breaths are longer. Peace is such an uncommon feeling, yet unmistakable.

The day I had lost my grandmother, it seemed as if that was all I felt. For some reason, I knew I would be more okay now than what I was. Perhaps, the thought of losing her soon had ridden me, and when she was gone, the feeling had gotten rid of itself. I’ve only felt true peace in that way twice in my life: the loss of her, and the loss of my great grandmother many years before.

It’s an indescribable feeling of knowing we will be okay.

Loss of a loved one is hard, but it’s inevitable. We have all felt it, and we will feel it again over and over. It never gets easier. Again I say, with death comes love and peace learned. Loss is a blessing, even if it’s very well hidden in disguise. Death brings heartache, tears, togetherness, smiles and best of all, cherished memories lasting forever.