For weeks I watched your body deteriorate, your smiles fade and your light dim as your pain increased. I can't lie to myself, I wanted you to die. But now you're gone I'm left with a crippling sadness that breaks me to my core.
I've never watched somebody I love lose their fight and die before. It's one of the most helpless and painful experiences I've ever had to go through. Even though you fought so hard and kept your shit together till the end there's no dignity in death. I watched you change from a shiny ray of sunshine, spreading smiles, laughter and terrible singing all over the world. To being reduced to a prisoner trapped in a failing body in a hospital bed, surrounded by the heartbroken faces of those who love you so much.
You didn't give up easily, you fought the vicious demon over and over again. When given the diagnosis you changed your world and fought so bravely. But sometimes the fight is not enough. My only solace through the overwhelming disappointment that you had to leave is that I refuse to believe this is the end of your journey, it cannot be possible that you haven't moved on to another adventure in my mind.
I feel so lucky to have known such an amazing inspirational and fiercely independent human being. Since you passed on I've realised how interwoven you were in my life and how much of an effect you've had on my lifestyle choices. I don't remember the first time we met, but I remember the moment I understood that a different way of life was possible. Living simply and making a living based on being able to travel and do what you were passionate about, earning only enough to fund this simple lifestyle came from you. Being brave enough to travel the world as a solo female came from you. Not being pressured into settling down and choose a family over your passions came from you.
I look at my life on a daily basis and see you, my van is filled with memories and things that belonged to you, my iCloud is filled with pictures of the amazing things we did together and mostly they make me smile, but sometimes they bring me to my knees. Grief is a funny thing, just when you think you've got a hold on the whole situation, a song, a smell, place sparks a memory and there you are alone on the road sobbing so much you can't see the road.
Sometimes I'm strong and the memory of you is enough to make my day, but sometimes it breaks me into a thousand pieces, I can still hear the sound of your voice so clear and I never want that to fade, but this pain I feel deep in my soul, I hope that gets easier.
My method for coping with the deep grief I feel when losing someone is to hide away. I struggle to talk about that person, and to the people who are hurting around me, sometimes just looking at pictures or hearing the songs can be too much for me to cope with. So please don't think I'm trying to forget or avoid, it's simply protection and sometimes our own preservation is the only way we can hold that grief.
My wide smile hides a multitude of loss and pain, so I wear it with pride. I'm proud that I'm strong enough to continue, despite the tests and challenges the universe seems to throw my way and proud to still be here living the life all My people that have passed would want.