Last March I lost one of the most important people in my life… my Aunt Margaret.
I wish it were easier for me to put into words who she was and how she impacted my life but I still can’t. The best I can do is to point you towards a piece that I wrote a few years ago, titled Memories, Short Stories and Saying ‘Goodbye’.
You see, Aunt Margaret was a light in my life. Everything about her was good. To me, she represented the purest form of joy and love; when I was around her, I always felt as if I could do no wrong and that life could never possibly be that bad.
When she passed, I experienced a dark few months. With my light extinguished, I felt lost and unable to find my way… I did not know how I was supposed to move forward without it. Suddenly I became hyper-aware of any negativity around me. It was as if I was experiencing the real world for the first time and I was sickened by the turmoil of it all.
For months I let my grief get the best of me. I shut down, closed myself off, and developed a lot of anger towards the world around me. No matter how hard I tried to fight it, it was becoming harder and harder to find happiness in my daily life.
Through it all, I was blessed to have my partner AJ by my side. Without him, I honestly do not know what I would have done. He gave me the strength I needed to jolt myself back to life, during a time where I honestly felt I had nothing left to give. It truly is in our darkest moments that we realize the value of certain relationships. For me, being able to lean on AJ through this time was exactly what I needed to help me remember that there is still so much light in my life – the light that I have created.
Because of my relationship with Aunt Margaret, I have learned how to build deeper relationships. She showed me what real love feels like and taught me how to truly appreciate the people around me. After she was gone, it took me some time to realize that she had already given me everything that I needed in order to share my own light with the rest of the world, just as she did for so many years.
Recently I read a very powerful passage in a book called The Book of Joy:
“The way through the sadness and grief that comes from great loss is to use it as motivation and to generate a deeper sense of purpose… I have told those who have lost their dear friend or family member, it is very sad but this sadness should translate into more determination to fulfill their wishes. If the one you have lost could see you, and you are determined and full of hope, they would be happy. With the great sadness of the loss, one can live an even more meaningful life.”
– The Dalai Lama
To me, this quote represents everything that I have been trying to accomplish within the last few months. In a way, I feel as if I have been reborn – like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Without the pain of losing Aunt Margaret, I’m not sure I would have ever been able to experience the joy of finding my real purpose in life.
What I have realized is that it is now my turn to be a light in this world; to create and spread joy in the same way that she always did. My purpose is to be the person that can brighten a room and make those around them feel as if they can accomplish anything in life that they want. I want everyone around me to know that they are not alone; I am here and I will always be here.
I would have never believed that a single loss would change my life so drastically but I am so incredibly thankful that it did. And although I miss her so much every single day, I am more determined than ever to work towards building a world where people rediscover the power of deep connections and the impact of spreading positivity. Where we create more meaningful relationships by helping to build each other up. It the type of world where even if you fuck up, you know that someone is out there that loves you so much that they will never, ever, ever stop believing in you.
Remember: no matter how dark life may get, we all have that light deep down inside of us. It is up to us to help each other find it.
Thank you, Aunt Margaret. I will love and miss you always.