I met Chad 14 years ago. I lost him in July.
I am still in disbelief, unable to process, this can’t really be happening.
The painful void is so great that it feels like all the air is escaping from a hole burning in my chest. It feels almost unthinkable to be able to move forward from such a loss.
Our friendship was instant and effortless. He quickly became part of my family. If you saw me and my husband out somewhere, Chad was sure to be right there with us. The three of us were a packaged deal. We were the Three Amigos.
Chad was snarky, quick witted, and fiercely loyal. He was sarcastic and stubborn. He loved a good meme and our texts were filled with funny gifs and inside jokes. He brought a pop tart to work every morning and could never decide where to go for lunch. He loved dressing up for Halloween and watching scary movies (but only in the daytime). He was the grammar police and often over used commas. He was my go-to for what television series to binge next. He listened to my rants and offered advice. I’m a better person for having had him in my life.
My children thought the world of their Cha Cha. He hung the moon in their eyes, often higher than even we did. He has been such a big part of their lives since day one. He is my oldest daughter’s Godfather. Cha Cha was the buyer of all things slime and glitter. He read to them, baby sat them, and loved them unconditionally.
Over the last few weeks, grief has consumed me.
Grief is hard and unfair. It is suffocating, unforgiving, and always there just below the surface.
I have learned that the world will continue spinning and life will go on around me, and that is okay. There is no time line on moving forward when processing grief. I am allowed to feel all the emotions and cry without apologizing. I have also learned nothing can truly compare to the frustration and regret of wanting to go back and say something or do things differently. I wrestle with how to cope with the regret of those missed and wasted opportunities.
Before experiencing a loss like this, there was always a sense that tomorrow was another chance to get it right. My hope in sharing this is that you make time to let those close to you know what they mean to you. The finality of loss robs you of tomorrow, so don’t wait to strengthen your relationships with people and hug those close to you a little longer.