In this book I will tell you three stories of personal losses I have lived through, from age 17 to age 27. It will seem hard to believe but in each and every one of those stories is a smile, a warm feeling and an all encompassing feeling of peace. It may have taken me years to reach them in some cases, but each and every moment of pain that I suffered short of the losses themselves, was worth it. In the end of this book I will share those moments, the ones that brought me to my knees in happiness and peace that I searched so hard for from the day I lost my first friend. I am writing it in hopes that my hard earned lessons will ease your transition as well. Things it took me 10 years of struggle and pain to learn can be shared here with you. If I save one person one moment of unnecessary pain, then I am satisfied and the deaths of my friends and the lessons I learned from them were never in vain. I want to show you how to look for the things that may comfort you and give you the closure you may need now, and exactly where to find them. I will not pretend that it is easy. As a matter of fact I want to make it clear that this is likely the hardest journey that life has ever taken you on. I will however pledge one thing, that you will come to the end of this passage and be a different person then what you were before you faced this loss. Death does different things to different people. We are not all so lucky as to have a wonderful counselor by our sides. We are not all so lucky as to have a guidebook with which we can decipher our emotional tribulations in facing such tragedies. One thing we are all lucky to have though, is friendships and families that endure these heartbreaking trials. Even though these things should be enough to carry us through the heartbreak, occasionally we need the wisdom of an outside voice, one that isn’t so close to the heart. I only hope that no matter what you learn from the following pages, that you take from it a lesson that I have learned. In doing so, you will be saving yourself a lifetime of relative despair. You may be saving yourself worlds of pain by just reading these words and trying to feel yourself within them.
Although it might seem to be, the following pages are not about my individual pain in particular. They are about human pain, human suffering and the very human emotion of love. The most important thing to go into this book with is the awareness of one truth. Just because you have lost someone dear to you, it does not mean the love is gone. Indeed, the love has not even been altered, it lies within the very same place that it did before you suffered
this loss. The only difference is that right now, it lies beneath a place that is aching with emptiness. That place is your heart, spirit and soul. That place deserves to be uncovered and cherished just as it was when this life that you valued so much was available to you as it sadly never will be again. It is of utmost importance to appreciate the entire journey, before you can learn to value the destination, the end of this journey you never wanted to embark on. Let my mistakes help you to understand why the pain seems to be intolerable, but that in the end, it is that very pain that will help you to gain the knowledge that will carry you through the rest of your life past these devastating days of loss to a place that is more comfortable and enduring. Under that hollow aching pain in your chest you still have a heart, soul and spirit that needs to be uncovered and sent back to work in the world that so desperately needs it.
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