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And so marks the end of the second year without you.

It feels like my life is so incredibly different since we said goodbye. And I honestly don't know if it would be if you were still here.

It's been easier to think about you this year. Easier to remember you, tell people about your quirks, and a little bit easier to think about all of the life you still wanted to live. It is almost like i'm dreaming your dreams for you. And the anger and the sadness has turned into love. So the crying doesn't hurt anymore.

A lot has stayed the same too.

I still don't believe it was your "time to go". I'm not sure I will ever believe that.

I still get mad when movies or tv shows misrepresent what it is like to get a cancer diagnosis.

And selfishly, even angrier when people in those shows and movies survive it.

I still look for you when I go to "Mom's house".

I still sob every time I think of how sad and disappointed you looked when your body was quitting on you.

And I still wish you were here. Every. Single. Day.

I hope you'd be proud of the way I have continued to build my life despite being broken inside. The way I have done my best to be more truthful and intentional about who I want to be. I think about what you would say to me on my worst days - on days I am sure I could have done better. But I think about you even more on the days when I do good for people, when I make someone laugh, when I share my heart, when I feel strong. On those days I am certain that the person you were lives within me. On my very best days I know that even though it has been two years without you... you will never be gone.

Grief seems to evolve. Kind of all the time. And it definitely doesn't always move onward and upward. There are days when I am right back in that hospital. Days when I feel like nobody could possibly understand what it means to feel your heart break in slow motion. And there are days when I am grateful for the person I am because of it. When I feel so unbothered by simple heartbreaks because I have had this one. Hard days that I am confident I will survive because I made it through losing you. And then there are my favorite days, the ones spent laughing with my sister and my mom and the people who grief has taught me to love bigger. Because I know now that love is the only thing that lives beyond us.

1 Comment

Salimah Handa
Salimah Handa
Jun 15

I love you cousin.

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