It’s hard to believe that a year has passed without you in it, at least physically in it. I say this because there is not a single day that I have not thought of you; you have been very much alive in all 365 days.
Last year, on this day, at 11:28am I texted you to ask how you were doing and tell you I love you. I never heard back from you that day, I hope you at least got to read my message before you left us. The pain we felt that night will never leave us, but neither will the joyful memories you left us with.
In the days after your passing, I wanted nothing more than to savor each and every moment or memory of you that I could. I put your photos, ones you took, and ones taken of you, all over our home, elephants, cards written by you, a million little things to help me feel closer to you. In every beautiful sunrise or sunset, I still think of you. I am so grateful for your photographs, for the chance to see the world through your eyes. I looked for you in all the details of creation, and I thanked God for those small details that you showed me. And with the help of an old friend, I was able to be reminded to remain hopeful. Friend, you don’t know how much you encouraged me during that time.
If I have learned anything through your passing, it’s that grief affects everyone differently. All seven of your siblings, your parents, your friends, your family, our experiences, have been quite different. No two stories are the same. However, one thing we all have in common, is that your presence will always remain with us, and we will all continue to have moments that will make us sad without you. I heard it once before that grief is not something we get past, but rather we learn to build our life around it; and I couldn't agree more. Honestly, I don’t want to forget the pain or the sadness, because it’s the proof of your impact here on earth.
It was not easy to be grateful to God, knowing that He could have saved you, but instead took you with him to heaven. I just try to remember His way was and is better, for you, for your joy and for your eternal life. And I can’t be selfish and wish you were still here with us, especially knowing how much you suffered.
Has it caused me to question my faith? Yes. Has it caused me to doubt? Yes. And there were and still are moments when I feel far from God, when sometimes I’m asking you to guide me when I know I should be asking Him. But there are also times when I know my faith has increased. And I will continue to remain hopeful.
I am grateful for all of the family, friends, and even strangers who were there for me and for our family, who remained steadfast in prayer and still continue to; Lord knows we can never have too many prayers on our side. I ask that you continue to lift our family up in prayer as we are still picking up the pieces, and the healing has only just begun.
So today, as I remember the most difficult day of my life, a day that would forever change me, I try to find peace and hold on to some ounce of faith, believing that today is the day Seth was able to walk free from the pain and the suffering on this earth. And while I’m not a fan of the unknown, I find it easier to accept, at least for now, when I remind myself that we aren’t supposed to ever really be able to understand and be okay with death; it’s not how we were created. We were made for eternity.
video by Parth Upadhyay (thankful for you and for this)