Grief & Loss

I Miss You, My Friend

I miss you, my friend. It has been almost two years now since you’ve been gone. I wrote to you on your birthday, so I guess it makes sense to write as the the anniversary of your death approaches as well. 

That two years have been a roller coaster, to say the very least. The first year I thought I had it together. I was just starting to integrate myself back into the world and participate in real life again. The anniversary of your death wasn’t too bad. 

This year, as it approaches, I feel like I am on a burning rollercoaster and I can’t get off. I was just telling Nathan about this feeling, and that I wanted off the ride. 

My tattoo is almost done. It has been a year long project, and there is a lot of emotion attached to that. I look at it every single day and I think about you. It is a source of motivation for me. Yet I look at the dates inked into my arm and I just cry as the second one approaches. 

I find wanting to participate in life very difficult right now. Facebook memories are destroying me every single day. Each and every day I see the memories from two years ago. What should all be wonderful and happy memories. Usually when I think about them, they are happy memories. But seeing them daily is like a countdown clock to seeing my entire life ripped apart in one single night. 

I’ve completely buried myself in my work, and I wish you were here to see it. So I could text you about my accomplishments and the great things that are happening. Sadly, I know I wouldn’t be where I am right now if you were still alive. I’m quite sure that you are still proud of me, and I hear you say it often. Which makes me cry. I hear you in my head even now, after two years without you. 

Every time I look at my tattoo, it motivates me to be the best. Working extremely hard to make my blog and my business something amazing. When you died, you gave me my life back. I owe it to you to use that gift wisely and not waste it. You are the biggest reason I push myself so hard. I can’t allow your death to be in vain, and that is why failure is not an option for me. 

So I suppose I should tell you about work. My blog is almost a year old. I originally started last June with blogging, but my original venture was a failure, but I gained a lot of knowledge from it. It was October when I started The Prepping Wife. That has been my little corner of the internet since then, and I absolutely love it. I can’t see myself doing anything else now. 

I just launched my very own product line related to emergency preparedness. That is the one thing I regret not being into when you were alive. Because I know you would have taught me a ton about that stuff. You were the kind of person who could disappear into the woods and survive without ever leaving a trace or being found. A survivalist is definitely what you were. 

My next venture will be publishing a series of cookbooks, and that is a really exciting for me. Tons of work, but still very exciting to be working on right now. Speaking of my recipes, I made salsa yesterday and thought of you. It was something you loved, and I take a lot of pride in making because it makes me think of you. Nathan loves it as well, telling anyone who will listen about it when the conversation turns to food. 

Nathan is a pain in my booty, as always. But I say that in a very loving way. He really is pretty amazing, and always surprises me with how understanding and compassionate he is. I remember once you told me to trust him with my feelings, and that he might surprise me. When you died, I had no clue how to explain to him the horror I faced that night. Yet I could hear you in my head telling me to trust him. That is exactly what I did, and I have so many times since then. 

Since you’ve been gone, I’ve learned to trust several people more with my feelings. I’ve finally surrounded myself with the right people, where I can really be myself and express my feelings. This is something that always astounds me. Mostly because I hadn’t experienced that before, and always felt the need to be guarded. 

I hid my emotions with hostility and sarcasm. I still speak my mind and I’ve found my voice again. Every time I get ready to say something I know will be unpopular, I look at my arm and know I’m about to make you proud. Yet, I don’t cover anything up now. I am very much myself and there is no real anger or hostility. I have definitely changed how I say things. Being able to speak my mind without doing it in a hostile way takes patience and skill. 

I feel much the same way about people who have done me wrong. There’s no anger anymore, because I feel like it made me stronger. I no longer fight to keep people in my life. Having them walk out, or kicking them out myself is kind of amazing. I say that in the sense that, I’ve lost everything already when I lost you. Yet here I stand. I stand strong, successful, and happy. If people want to walk out of my life, I’ll gladly hold the door open for them. Losing them isn’t a loss for me anymore. Instead it is freeing. 

I have you to thank for that. Thinking back, I remember one time you asked me where I’d lost my voice. Because I would always say what was on my mind, and in that situation I wasn’t. After I lost you, I realized just how much I really lost my voice. Gaining that back was a pretty powerful moment for me. 

Looking back on the time since you’ve been gone is difficult because I see so much pain, drama, and loss. I walked through hell, and I came out standing strong. It is astounding how much I’ve changed in the time since you’ve been gone. I am not remotely close to the same person, and I love that about myself. Because I am turning into the best version of me that I can be. Many times I wish you were here to see that transformation though. 

I still miss you every single day of my life. Yet I know you walk with me every day too. Grief is a rough thing, and this year seems even worse than before. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for being such an amazing part of my life when you were alive, and thank you for everything you’ve given me in death as well. I will always strive to make you proud of me. 

20 Comments

  • TopBeautyWoman

    This post is full with emotions…. I am sorry about your friend. But I think he helps you everytime and with everything, wherever he is now. Everybody comes in our live with purpose. You have to keep your best memories from your friendship.

    • Gemma Newbery

      What a beautiful post. I hope writing it was a cathartic experience. I can certainly understand the part about coping with emotions with hostility. It’s something I hope to overcome like you have. I hope you continue to find peace in his memory but continue to let people in, especially on the bad days. Take care. X

  • Jaya Avendel

    What a wonderful epistle to a friend lost; I am sorry he is no longer a part of your life. Wherever he is, I am sure these words have reached him and evoked as much emotion as I feel.

    Writing is a wonderful way to explore all loss, love, gain, and satisfaction. I love how you have expressed yourself.

  • Charmaine Daisley

    This is so heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. It was quite unexpected, really, as I’m more used to reading your unique recipes. This touched me somewhere deep because we all share the story of love, and love lost, in our lives. Although I do not know you personally, I know you at the point of losing someone, or something, that made us sparkle with happiness. Hold on to your memories and don’t hold back the tears or feelings of dread; they are all part of letting go while holding on.

  • Megan Kerry

    I remember reading your birthday tribute and thinking it was such a beautiful way to commemorate your friendship. This post is just as beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story about your life. Stay strong.

    • Carol

      Oh Erica! I lost my best friend in May 2017 so I’m in the midst of grief also. Although, I’ve been ignoring it lately and it’s starting to catch up to me. Your post is beautiful and I know your friend would be happy for you. You’ve come along way and have a lot to be proud of!

      • Snehal

        Very heart warming post dear! Such an emotional read…. I am sure your friend would have been very happy for you! By the way I did not know you have your own product line too. 🙂

        • The Prepping Wife

          Yes, Snehal! It is currently in a local store, but I am looking to expand it to online sales through Amazon and Etsy very soon. Have you read my Blackout Box post? I’ve created a better version of them, along with paracord bracelets, and emergency binders to keep pertinent information in one designated place. I’m looking at creating a survival water bottle down the road, and cookbooks as well. It is an exciting venture, that I wouldn’t have even considered without my blog.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    So much emotion in this post. I know your friend is smiling down on you at all the accomplishments you’ve had thus far and is porud of how far you’ve come with your ventures. Grief and losign someone is hard and it takes time. Hold on to those memories forever until you meet again.

  • Susan Nies

    Grief is a funny thing. I thought the steps they spoke about would go in order. They don’t and waves keep on coming even years later. What an awesome tribute to your friend!

    • The Prepping Wife

      They definitely don’t go in order, some stages are longer than others, and it really does keep coming back. I agree with you, Susan! I heard someone once say, we never get over a loss. We just learn to live with the pain. Many times I feel like that is true.

  • The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co.

    What a wonderful tribute to your loved one. I know that they would be proud of all that you have accomplished and completed. They are now your guiding light and inspire you to be your best self. Sending you healing thoughts on the anniversary of their passing.

  • jerry godinho

    Erica what a lovely piece. I was expecting a food recipe. July 2016 to July 2018 were the two toughest years of my life. I lost one of my closest and best friends who sat opposite me for 16 years trading stocks. It hit me hard. We spoke daily. in 2017 another classmate passed away. In feb 2018 a university friend of mine died from a drug overdose.
    So i can relate to every word you have written. Writing is a catharsis. It helps in the healing process.
    Grief is a process. It takes time. WE NEVER GET OVER IT. The memories are always there. Sometimes i want to pick up the phone and call them.
    We have memories of them. Not physical anymore but we keep them alive through stories and experiences.
    A big hug to you and you will be in my prayers. Love Jerry Godinho

  • Live Learn Better

    What an emotional post! Losing someone dear to one is one of the hardest thing to process, but one can always be comforted that the loved one that passed is in a better place, and we should also do better by preserving their memories.
    Wishing you light and love.

  • Tracy C

    Grief never really goes away, but life does go on. You’ve taken these two years and accomplished so much. Your friend would be so proud of you.

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