My parents have influenced pretty much every aspect of my life, but they have also left room for me to grow on my own. I make a lot of my own choices and believe in a lot of different things then they do. My firmest belief is that a single experience or moment in your life doesn’t define who you are. Society today is amazing with labels. You can’t just be you. I’m not Serena; to society, I’m a girl, I’m a student, I’m a millennial. People who are in prison for murder aren’t called “Jake” or ‘Sally” or “Maria”. They’re called murderers. They’re tied to that title for the rest of their life, but I don’t think that’s fair. I believe that one event in a person’s life shouldn’t define who they are, because a person is more than just that one event with one label. “Jake” or “Sally” or “Maria” could also be called “Chef” or “Artist” or “Mother” or “Husband”. Labels don’t define people; they confine people. I hate that.
It was a beautiful morning, and nothing was wrong. The wind whistled mercilessly through the bare trees, but despite the bitter cold, I was looking forward to the day. The sun shone bright and crisp, and the frost on the lawn sparkled like a million diamonds that were cast away. I slipped on my sneakers and earmuffs, strode out of the house, and started my daily three mile jog around the neighborhood.
"Good morning, Ms. Daisy!" I shouted at my elderly neighbor next door as I ran by. Ms. Daisy bent over, grabbed the paper off her porch, and waved.
First, it's the bright blues melting into yellow golden sunlight fading signaling that the day is ending. Gold swirls into pale tangerine and tangerine into rust, creating a symphony of color so bright and pure and magnificent, an array that ought not to be painted, for any piece would taint it's beauty. Reds mesh into rose, and rose into violet pastels mingling as darkness approaches. Violets cascade into blues, like the depths of the ocean, deep and dark, until it's just an ocean of moonlight, illuminating the night.
Death. It happens. Most likely we all know someone who has passed on. But for the select few who haven't felt this pain you are lucky. But you don't realize you are. At least I didn't.
I was one of you. One of the "of my goodness, that's so terrible" people who never gave it a second thought. One of the "That'll never happen to me" Just you wait. Your time will come.
And there's no way to prepare for it.
Death is a funny thing. Grief is even more hilarious. It's funny in the twisted sense that everyone is different. It's so sick to think that there isn't one single cure for grief. It's almost as if people grieve while thinking about how to grieve.
It's not easy. Not in the least.
When someone close to you leaves the world the first thing that hits is all of the "could have beens".