In each loss there is a gain, As in every gain there is a loss, and with each ending comes a new beginning.Buddhist Proverb
It’s been seven years since I last held your hand since I was able to hug you and tell you how much I love you, but these seven years have felt like a lifetime. so much has happened in these seven years, and it hurts that you are not able to celebrate with me. Of course, I am blessed that I can celebrate with mom and my sister, but a part of me wishes you knew that all the sacrifices you made were not in vain.
I no longer wake up with night terrors every night as I did for the first couple of years. Now they’ve subsided to once a month. For a very long time, I had the same dream over and over again. Night after night, I relived your death. I dreamt that I rushed you to the ER knowing what was to come, and I warned the doctors. I begged them to operate before it was too late. I begged them to save you, but you never made it.
For the longest time, I blamed myself for what happened, and that’s a heavy burden to carry. I always wondered, “what if?” what if I had been around more? What if I would have insisted we go to the doctor when my gut told me something was wrong? What if I wasn’t away at college? What if I wouldn’t have signed the papers to take you off life support? What if… the truth of the matter is “what-ifs” only serve as reminders that there are no re-dos; that there aren’t any ends to the ifs.
I lost you when I was twenty; now I am twenty-seven. In these seven years, I have heard stories you never once shared with me. I have learned about the struggles you faced, the injustices you lived, the sacrifices you made. You shielded me from all of that hurt and all of that trauma, and you protected me, and here I am, feeling like I could not protect you.
When I visit your friends and hometown, I am always met with an overwhelming amount of love. The love is suffocating but in such an amazing way. It is a breath of fresh air to see your memory is still alive and to see with how much love you are still remembered. These are the seeds you planted, and now we reap the fruits of it. It saddens me because when I hear these stories, I realized there was a whole other side to you that I never knew… Just like you never got to know this version of me.
Thank you for always guiding me and preparing me to be the best version of myself. Even though you’re not here, I know that through all my struggles and wins, you are there, cheering me on.