Today, six years ago.

Nothing can really prepare you for loss. No quotes, no advice, no self- talk. When it happens, it's unlike anything you've experienced before.

Whether it was expected or sudden, when those people aren't in your life anymore, the void can never be filled. Their presence can never be replaced. 

Instead, it's often new people or experiences that are brought in to minimize the impact. 

It's a funny thing, what the grieving process does. They say time heals all things, and it does; however, it's unfair that at least one day out of the year you have to either live it all over again or plug your ears and get through the day, pretending it never happened.

Each year, February 15th gets easier and easier for me to get through. No longer are the details of the day as vivid as they were the year before. No longer am I suspended in remembering the agonizing minutes of blow after blow, learning the news of how our family would be changed forever.

Instead, a lot of that night is a blur now. I remember the major events: where I was when I found out there was an accident, where I was when I found out my mom and Chase had died, how I felt when I saw Taylor for the first time, alive and okay in a neck brace eating goldfish crackers. What I don't remember is everything else. What did I eat? When did I sleep? How did I fill my time in the subsequent days? The pain of each moment, each piece of news and feelings that followed, has been numbed indefinitely.

I'm faced now with this odd dilemma of how I can make it through a February 15th now without crying or needing to take time off. That I could actually teach my students today and forget that today was the day that changed my life forever is beyond me. In earlier years there was no way I could work or attend school-- I just needed to grieve the day. But slowly but surely, I've healed. I almost felt guilty today when it felt somewhat like a normal day. I wanted to have my grieving moment, but it never really came. 

I never want to forget the impact that February 15th had on my life and I want to respect it for the defining moment that it was. I am grateful though, that God brought me through that time and that I can spend the rest of my life here living in purpose from the lessons I learned through my mom and brother's deaths. 

Loss is unfathomable until you've been through it, and there is nothing you can do to prepare for it. However, you can also know that you can get through it; you will get through it...but your life will never be the same again.

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