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What do you do when you start to miss somebody who is dead?

Think about a funny moment and laugh.

It’s a process and its time frame will differ with different people. Idle time to think and over think is the worst way of trying to cope though at first it is the only thing you have energy to do. Being with others, having counseling and being busy are essential for future happiness. Some days will be better than others but the good days will come more often as time goes by. I didn’t think there was any possible way to be happy again but I managed to get through to that side but it took time. I still don’t understand why my love was taken from me when it took so long to find but I know my pain was nothing like the loss of a child which many go through. So I try to be so thankful for what I have and had and know many would trade places with me. I am not cold or hungry and I live in a free country. When I think of my many blessings, I know I should never complain for my blessings have far outweighed any sadness I have had to endure.

Miss them.

I watched my father die. I was there for his last moments and it’s a memory forever ingrained in me those last moments. But when I think of that time which normally saddens me, I immediately think about all the good times we had. The valuable life advice I got from him. And that helps.

r/endlessthread did an amazing episode of their MassimoL-centric podcast (Endless Thread) about dealing with loss that was called Shipwrecked. In it the shared a post that often graces MassimoL that I have come to love in times of loss, as well as it’s backstory.

“All right. Here goes. I’m old. And so what that means is I’ve survived so far and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, coworkers, acquaintances, grandparents, my mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. But here’s my two cents — I wish you could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it not to matter. I don’t want it to become something that just passes. (man’s voice reading same passage fades in) My scars are a testament to the love and the relationships that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut or even gouged. And that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love and the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find that it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s something physical. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 hundred feet tall and they crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find that the waves are still a hundred feet tall but they come further apart and when they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But, in between, you can breathe and you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song or a picture. A street intersection. The smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything. And the wave comes crashing. But in between the waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everyone, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart and you can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare International, you can see it coming for the most part and you prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming. And somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come and you’ll survive them, too. If you’re lucky you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

It goes on so beautifully. I strongly encourage you to listen to the episode, particularly the last part where the poem is read live. It’s worth it.

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