Three years ago today you left us. It was way too soon.
You were forced out of our lives when none of us were the least bit ready.
I’ll remember that day, that feeling, those words forever.
“Abby died” my dad said. And in that moment, I thought my heart had been ripped out from within me. It was a pain I never knew existed. A pain that seeped into the deepest crevices of my body. It spread through my veins and encompassed my whole self. It tore me apart, and I could feel each and every tiny piece of me breaking.
Missing you is hard beyond words. When you were still with us, we only saw each other maybe once every few years, or twice if we got lucky. So missing you does not necessarily feel as if there is a hole in my everyday life. I was used to missing you in the way that no matter how much time we spent apart, I knew that the moment I did get to see you again, it’d be as if nothing changed. We’d go right back to being best friends, to you making fun of me for my taste in music, to us staying up late at night talking about anything and everything, to reminiscing on our precious childhood memories, to making plans for our futures.
We were always apart, but with the understanding that there would always be a next time. And that made it okay.
But there are no more next times. Now it’s just a lifetime of missing you.
I wanted to write something today, because even though losing you was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through, it was also a turning point in how I choose to look at life.
We have many choices in life. But the biggest choice we’ll ever make is how we live.
Do we live in hope or in fear? Do we live in optimism or in defeat? Do we live in happiness or in sadness? Do we live in love or in hate?
In losing you, I recognized I had these choices. And as my heart heals, more times than not it has seemed easier to pick the negative.
To see darkness instead of light.
But each time I chose the positive, I became a little bit stronger. Day after day I chose the positive because I knew that’s what you’d want. For me and for all of us.
So with this newfound strength, I have also found the courage to cherish every moment. To live in such a way that I take advantage of every second here on Earth. To believe that each moment is sacred, nothing is guaranteed. Knowing we are blessed to be here and recognizing we are meant to be happy — despite the sadness life brings along the way.
Most of all, it has been the people closest to Abby, those who did see her everyday, that have taught me the most. Their resilience, even as I observed from afar, has taught me what it means to live. That even in the darkest times, when we are at our lowest of lows, there is a hope to be found to pull us out.
And that hope lies in your memory, Abs. Knowing that you existed, even for such a short period of time, gives us that glimmer of hope we need to keep pushing forward.
Because even though the world took you away, the sheer fact that someone as beautiful as you existed in this world keeps our faith that our lives are still worth living to their fullest.