Op-Ed: My perspective on grief and the passing of loved ones

Tyler Frost, Reporter

It’s past midnight, and the moon seems to be the only thing shining given your current state of emotions. 

You’re driving and listening to a song that you and your loved one sang together many times, while chowing down on their favorite gas station snack. 

Your tears are making it hard to speak, though you feel that the moon would be the only thing that can hear you. 

That assumption is false, as your loved one who passed can still hear you too. 

Grief is a topic so relatable among those who have lost a loved one, yet is handled so differently by each individual. The reality of the situation is a tough pill to swallow. 

I lost my Dad on Oct.  16, 2017. This month inspired me to share my experience, and enlighten those who have lost somebody to know that you are not alone. 

My Dad and I were as close as a father and son could be, and I was grateful to have spent 18 years of my life with him. 

His passing was sudden, amidst an odd situation to say the least. 

I reserved every right to be angry with him for seemingly leaving my life. 

Instead, I acknowledged that resentment would only make my grieving process more difficult, and I decided to use this event as an opportunity to improve my mindset and become a better person in honor of my Dad. 

I received an entire childhood of priceless memories with my Dad, and learned everything I could from him. 

I feel honored knowing I had a great run with an incredible father, more than I feel robbed of additional time with him. 

My mindset will shape my experiences in the darkest of times, and maintaining a positive outlook has made this experience much simpler than I imagined. 

As a child, I thought that I would never be able to live without my Dad. 

I still miss him terribly, but oddly enough I would describe my grieving process as enlightening. 

That may be a confusing concept to grasp, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of doing everything I can to make my Dad proud. 

I’ve become a stronger individual since, and have learned to appreciate every moment spent on this earth. 

I have also enjoyed the opportunity of becoming closer with my mom, stepmom, and sibling. 

Most enlightening of all, I now see that every little thing that passes me in life is far more meaningful than I once understood, and there are reminders of my Dad all around. 

No matter how you chose to handle the loss of a loved one, we will all have our moments where we feel lost without that person. 

Reminiscing and mentally sorting through memories is far more sentimental given the circumstance, and I believe that is okay. 

We should allow ourselves to cry and grieve, but understand that you will never be alone, and your journey cannot be put on pause. 

Our experiences with loss are all separate and different, but a positive mindset can shift the entire process. Attempt to grow from the situation, and know that the time with your loved one will never be erased. 

The most important thing to remember, is that your loved one can hear you when you catch yourself talking to the moon.