I never mastered
how to grieve someone’s passing
its always been difficult
for me to show my emotions
especially pain or sadness
I want to be the person
that can keep it together
so others can draw strength
from my resilience,
I’m not always that person
sometimes my strength waivers
and I need those around me
to rely on for moral support.
When grieving
it’s astonishing the difference
the smallest kindness can make,
I may not know how to explain
what I am feeling
but eye contact from someone else,
a genuine smile,
a simple greeting,
has lifted me from my darkest days.

In recent years
I have faced more losses
than ever before,
my own mortality became very real
and I transformed my personal life.
I mourned the passing
of my friend and classmates
with a fierce determination
to embrace life
with an understanding
nothing is guaranteed
but life is a precious gift
and I can only do justice
to those that have passed
by trying to make this world better
by living fully
and accepting love in my life.

These commitments may seem selfish
But I do think it’s worth considering
all the lives the person that passed touched
all the people that have a chance
to do something better for humanity
so that the loss is not senseless
I do not know if this lessens
the pain of someone else’s suffering
ultimately all I can offer
is my perspective
of how I learned to deal with loss.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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