When you look back at the times you had with them, you may remember that not all was perfect. But you would still relive those fights, silly arguments, and sometimes hurtful moments to spend more time with them.
This is the year that you won't forget; the year of chaos, the year of unpredictability. The year that you lost someone so dear to you, whose presence can never be replaced in your life. This was the year you were forced to accept the fleeting nature of life and accept that not everything is in your control. This will always be the year that broke you but also showed you that strength can still come from the pain.
You find every cherished tradition turn into a painful reminder of your loss.
At the end of every year, you and your loved one may have sat out on your porch and reminisced all the good and bad of the year that passed. Every Christmas, you may have gorged on leftover pudding at midnight while watching your favorite holiday movie with them. But now, you are surrounded by things that remind you of their absence. You can still hear their hearty laughter and you still remember the feeling of their arms around you. And you find yourself reminded of all the things you loved about them.
You used to look forward to certain days but now you desperately want to avoid them.
There was a time when you eagerly looked forward to their birthdays, to anniversaries, and to every holiday that you could spend as a family. But now, you dread those days because they make you feel lonely without their presence. You may even have tried to do things the same way they did, like decorate the Christmas tree the way they used to or try their favorite Thanksgiving recipe. But even if everything looks exactly the same, nothing feels the same when they are no longer here.
You never imagined life without them but now you're forced to even when you're not prepared.
This was the person that you never imagined life without. Their death almost felt like one life came to an end and another life started—life with them and life without them. Although you feel like life has come to a standstill, you know deep down that you have to face the newness of it all, because no matter how much you wish for it, you can't turn back time.
Finally, you try to live the way they would've wanted you to.
Whenever you look back at the times you had with them, you may have realized that not all of it was perfect. But you would still take those fights, silly arguments, and even some of those hurtful moments just to spend more time with them, to feel their love in your life one more time.
You know that things won't ever be the same but the more you deal with your grief, the more you feel the pain ease. You may still never be able to listen to their favorite song without tearing up or watch the same movie you used to watch every New Year, but you start making new traditions to honor their memory. You find their voice echoing in your head when you wonder what advice they would've given you. When you're having one of those days where you miss them even more, you'll remember that they would've wanted you to be happy and you try to do the things that they would be proud to see you do.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.