Seven years is a pretty long time. Not in the grand scheme of life or anything, but at 23 years old, it’s a good chunk. That’s how long it’s been since you died, and my life has changed in ways I never saw coming, in ways your’s never will. I’ve graduated high school and college. I’ve met the man I’m going to be with until I’m six feet under too. I’ve gotten married and secured a good job. I’m just starting to make a name for myself in fields that I used to think were too far out of my reach. I’m defining myself as an adult, instead of a flabbergasted young adult who didn’t know right from left.
Someone once told me that your death was a blessing because you’d stay forever young, but I hated that statement then and I still hate it now. There’s nothing beautiful or profound about dying young. It’s a lot of missed opportunities and unfinished life. I hope, however, that you are somewhere beautiful and that you are getting to listen to your favorite music and eat your favorite food. I hope that you feel comforted and happy and safe.
The thing about death is that it’s hard for the people left behind. I know that sounds selfish, and maybe it is. I don’t know what happens after people die. I’m not sure I ever will, but I do know that death is final and harsh. It’s unforgiving and indiscriminate. There are so many things I do regularly, and in the back of my mind somewhere, there’s a little voice saying “she won’t get to do that.” I don’t agree that time heals the wounds, but it’s more like lidocaine, numbing them so I can keep moving forward and stop messing with the festering wound. Every now and then, it wears off though and I feel it again. It would be a disservice for me to spend my precious time being sad that you don’t get to be here.
So, Becky, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to keep hoping and praying that you’re getting to dance where you are while I’m here dancing through life. I’m going to live my life taking the chances I need to and playing it safe when necessary. I’m going to try to do enough for the both of us, even though I know I can’t. I’m going to keep praying for your family and the other people whose lives you touched while you were here. I know you don’t know the impact you had, but trust me, your fingerprints are all over this world still today in our lives.
Keep dancing, Becky.