The Dying Is Teaching Us How To Live
You changed me. You taught me how to live.
It’s been three years since you’ve died. At first, I thought I wouldn’t make it without you. A clueless guy left alone with a 14-month-old daughter. “Forever and ever” engraved in our wedding rings didn’t last that long.
I wanted to give up and join you in eternal emptiness, and the only reason I didn’t was our daughter. I didn’t want her to lose both parents. I realized that I had no right to selfishly pity myself. I realized that I had to stay here with her, for her. She’s four years old now and I see you in her eyes every day.
When you died, I suddenly found out that I had no idea what to do with all the time we used to spent together. I needed to fill this void but I didn’t want to wander in the past and replay the memories of you because it was too painful. So I started to deliberately entertain my head which allowed me to stop thinking about you.
Whenever I felt the sadness and sorrow building up, especially when our daughter fell asleep and I stayed alone with my memories, I searched for some kind of distraction. I grabbed the book or listened to the podcast. Anything to run away from you, anything to help me survive yet another day. I started to enjoy the present moment when I didn’t have to worry about the future or replay the past. But I never anticipated that what started as a therapy would slowly turn into a habit. Even though I gradually stopped thinking about you, I didn’t stop this small healing ritual.
It’s been three years since you’ve died and it changed me. At first, I didn’t want to live at all, now I can’t get enough of life. I realized how precious life is and how grateful I am for every new day. I learned to enjoy the most mundane moments. I’m free, I gave up building a career, I realized that I don’t need to own stuff to feel successful, that I don’t need to travel the world to find myself, that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
What started as therapy and turned into a habit became a mission. I have so many ideas in my head and projects in my to-do list that I’m not sure one life is enough. At first, I didn’t want to live at all, now I don’t have time to grow old and die because there’s so much to do.
It’s been three years since you’ve died. At first, I thought I wouldn’t make it without you, now I think I wouldn’t make it with you. I love my life more than ever before. On the 24th of January 2016, I somehow died with you only to become someone else. Someone you probably wouldn’t like that much, someone with different values, thoughts, goals, and plans. You sparked this. You changed me. You taught me how to live.