This I Believe

Kristen - Glastonbury, Connecticut
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I believe; you can get through anything and everything happens for a reason. A few years ago I experienced a family tragedy. My aunt committed suicide in the most upsetting manner. There was no note, no reason, and there is still no explanation 5 years later. The unexpected death of my aunt threw a wrench into my life. Having never experienced a death before, I was not sure how to react. I did not know what to expect or what came next. The few days after her death were a blur of tears, family and friends. The funeral and wake happened but I could not tell you a thing about them. The year after my aunt’s death was a whirlwind. While its cliché, that year of my life truly was an emotional rollercoaster. One morning I would try to fall asleep and instead would find myself bawling, my pillow wet and my breathing hard. The next night, anger would arise. I would find myself wanting to scream obscenities out loud at my aunt for putting my family through this. Weekends consisted of my grandparents and mother drowning their sorrows with alcohol while I would sneak away to my best friend’s house in order to gain some sanity. Sleeping pills became a common medication in our house and talking about the situation was hardly an option. There were times when I wanted to scream at my mom and tell her to get her act together; but the few times I did lash out, made me feel emptier inside than before. My aunt’s death sent my family and I into an emotional hell and we just barely made it out. The one time I saw my aunt’s grave sent me to the ground in a ball of tears and needless to say, I have not visited her grave since. I tell you this because everything happens for a reason, I believe. If it had not been for my aunt, I would not be the person I am today. I am stronger then I was 5 years ago. If it had not been for my aunt I would not be able to connect to people on an emotional level in the same way that I can today. If it had not been for the perseverance of me and my family, I would not be able to stand here today with confidence and discuss personal issues that I have had to overcome. If it was not for her death, my outlook on life would be completely different. If it had not been for my aunt’s suicide, I would not have the friends and relationships that I have today. And lastly, if it had not been for her death I would not be part of a tight-knit family who supports me in everything that I do and who knows where I have been and what I have been through. While 5 years ago I would tell you that my life was horrible and spinning out of control; everything happens for a reason. I now can look at issues whether with my friends or family and really asses the severity of the situation. This experience changed my entire life; for the good and bad; and without it, I would not be who I am today.