Tomorrow marks the 26th anniversary for one of my favorite festivals, Lollapalooza. The 4-day music fest brings all the popular artists from various music genres and attracts patrons from all over the country and the world alike. Seriously, if you haven’t ventured to Lolla you’re truly missing out. Go at least once, even if it’s just for a day. I digress. I’ve gone to Lolla the last three years but decided not to go this year. You see, a former coworker of mine that ultimately became one of my greatest friends passed away earlier this year. He was only 29. It didn’t feel right to undergo our yearly magnetic experience without him. As the countdown until Lolla end, the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) began to sink in. I texted my dad expressing to him my emotions to which he responded, it’s okay to feel how I’m feeling but I need to remember that I am alive and need to live. My heart sank. I knew my dad was right but how dare I live while my friend isn’t. Ironically, my friend would be pretty upset with me for not going to the fest just because he wasn’t.
Why is it we feel an overwhelming sense of guilt when a loved one passes? Are we wrong to continue our lives? Is there ever an appropriate time to continue life? We’re aware that death is a part of life. When someone passes, our live shouldn’t be put on hold. The time between my getting the news of my friend’s passing and his funeral, I was engulfed in sorrow and questioned the Lord. He was young, vibrant, why him? Why couldn’t he live a longer life? These are probably normal questions one asks the Lord whilst grieving. I tried not to blame or be angry with Him but I found it difficult. Though the words didn’t escape my lips and I clouded negative thoughts, I know the Lord knew I was cross with Him.
How do we cope with the loss? After my many tears, I reflected on the impact my friend had on my life and the life of others. Maybe that was his life’s purpose. Maybe, just maybe that’s the reason he left us so soon. That has been my way of coping with this loss. He did what he was sent here to do and the Lord called him home.
My dad has said, part of coping is dealing with the fact that you will have to live in a world where that person no longer exists. You will never get over it. The hurt will never go away but living without that loved one will become a bit more bearable as time goes on. Death seems to put life into perspective. It reminds us that life on earth is fleeting and we need to make the most of our time here. We must remember we are alive and to live.
Something to think about…
- How do you cope with loss?
- Do you feel a sense of guilt for living your life?