Healing After Loss is Daily Work
February 19, 2021: four days after my third child was born. This was a day at home, with our new addition to the family, spent relaxing and writing a blog post about his birth and the courage of his mother. Unfortunately, February 19, 2021, turned out to be the most tragic day of my lifetime… my friend, Tim passed away on the 19th and I just couldn’t comprehend at the time how much this would impact so many people. His family, friends, teachers, acquaintances, and many more people were overwhelmed by this tragic loss.
In reality, I found out very early on February 20 about Tim’s death and I wasn’t quite sure how to process it. I laid in bed for over an hour before I could get up and go tell my wife. I remember thinking so many thoughts, and none of them were processing the truth of the matter; that my friend was gone.
Everyone who has lost a loved one processes those initial moments differently, and I know that my first few hours were a manic mess of emotions. A few hours later, I got together with all of my friends and that’s when it truly hit me… it hit me that this group of friends is missing a huge piece, and he will never be here with us again. I cannot explain the deep sorrow that came over me at that moment, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, even though I know that it’s a part of life sometimes and so many people have dealt with the same feeling.
So what comes next?
Well, from that sorrowful point forward began the process of healing. How do we heal? I really do not have a solid answer for that, but I do know that it takes real work to do so. I know that some days have been so sad and dark for me, but I always ask myself “What would Tim want for me?” and I know that he would want me to take care of my family and move forward with my life and not be sad for him. It’s easier said than done to do that, but I do know that the process and work towards healing after loss is worthwhile.
I listen to music and think of him, I go to the lake and think of him, I drive past areas we used to spend time together and think of him. I’m not going to lie, I’ve shed more tears in the last 3–4 months than I have shed in my entire life. A friend is someone you choose to be in your life, and Tim and I chose each other over thirty years ago, so there has been a different feeling to this loss than any other loss that I have endured. It’s hard not to reflect on our good times with sadness because he is no longer here, but, at the same time, I’m finding it healing to reflect back on the good times and laugh at all of his hilariously fun moments. I also look back at his struggles and find motivation because he was always working so hard to overcome the obstacles in his life.
I literally take time each day to heal and process this loss because it’s the healthiest thing that I can do. I write down what I’m grateful for and what I need to work on each morning. I read a daily passage out of a book that my wife got me, that helps me put things into a clearer perspective. Overall, I simply try to take my pain and channel it into a positive mindset.
Honestly, writing this is part of my healing process. Tim’s passing has brought about overwhelming sadness to so many people, especially his parents and sister; so if anything, I just hope this helps with the healing process for anyone who needs it right now. I can say with guaranteed certainty that I wish Tim was here to see the skatepark we’re going to build. I would love to see him continue down his own path of healing and work towards his dreams. I would like to watch a Chiefs game over at Mitchell’s. But, unfortunately, those aren’t options, so it’s best to think of what his friendship means to me and how he impacted me in so many positive ways.
I do believe, given his immense faith, that he is in a better place, and ultimately, that does give me peace.