I believe the dead are not really dead as long as they live on in the hearts of people who they have touched and inspired in their lifetime. I never had a death in the family when I was growing up; the day I went to my first funeral was when I was 19 years old. But this year I lost one of the most inspirational, loving, caring, and courageous woman I have ever known, A woman who has been like a 2nd mother to me. My Aunt passed away this summer of cancer which she has been battling on and off for the past 3 years. Growing up, I would see her every single day since she has lived across the street from my house my entire life. I not only had my mother staying up at night waiting for me to come home, but an aunt looking thru her window in the living room waiting for my arrival safely at home. That is one of the most painful things I face each day, arriving home and seeing the window of that house across the street without having someone looking back at me. But now my tears are gone and I remember the lessons she would teach me, like “live life to the fullest”. I begin to cherish every moment and begin to do things that I know that she always wanted to do. A week after her death I went on a trip to Europe which I had planned months in advance which she was real excited about for me. It was very difficult leaving Costa Rica where we buried her, surrounded by family and go travel on my own with some friends. She always wanted to travel but never got the real chance to do so. Every location I went, I would seek out the church, light a candle in her name and take a moment to reflect on her life and how it has molded me into the person I am today. From the Notre Dame in Paris, France to the Basilica in Milan, Italy to the Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain and many more.
It was my form of closure and it helped me mentally and emotionally, and I know I will continue this new tradition I have formed. I know that every morning as I wake up she is right there with me and I am always aware of what she would say or think in certain situations. Then when I feel alone or in need of guidance I always get the recurring dream at night of her giving me a hug and it helps me push on in the struggle of life. That is why I believe those who have gone to the other side leave a part of themselves here with the living.
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