“I’m sorry I don’t take death well,” you said.  “Who does?” I replied.

One of the most critical pieces of my journey in this life is not only having the most loving relationship I can with myself, but with the people I care about. One of my dearest and closest friend’s lost her mother after a challenging medical condition. I went to comfort my Soul-Sister by offering a warm embrace and a listening ear.

My first experience with death was at the tender age of 4 when my godfather was killed. He was in law enforcement and I remember so many things about that day… The shine of my white patent leather shoes as I clicked them together anxiously while sitting in the church pew. The wails and tears of my godmother and godsisters as my mother wiped the tears from their eyes. The black limousine that took us to the graveyard.

I’ve lost many loved ones over the years due to violence, terminal illness, and sudden death. Death truly is a loss. Not only do you lose a loved one, but you lose the person you were before that moment. As someone who has been on the receiving end of condolences, I’ve witnessed the awkward statements and uncomfortable silences that accompanied the food and the flowers. I’ve been the recipient of the cards and comforts that remind you that your loved one is truly gone.

The stages of grief provide a guideline on the way you should feel during this time. The stages of grief and loss include denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What isn’t often stated is that grief is often revisited days, months, and even years later. Those moments when you hear a familiar song or smell a familiar recipe can instantly remind you of your loved one.

Death can be life altering and life affirming. It is truly the most transformative experience in one’s life. So for now, I’ll just sit next to my Soul-Sister as we look at the lake, as her eyes create their own pools, and be still…