I Know He's Dead, But...

Author: Shanette Booker

Shanette BookerOk, I completely understand that if you are no longer breathing, have been declared dead by the medical examiner, and have a death certificate, that it means you are no longer amongst the living, have passed away, and yes that does me that you are dead. I am completely ok with the lingo and the terminology used when discussing or describing that someone has stepped into the proverbial light. That has never been an issue. I have always grasped the concept of one dying and their death, I just wanted to get that part out first.

Now, my concern, my problem, my real issue is the fact that just because someone had died, doesn’t mean that he can’t still continue to live on in some way, that I can’t keep his memory alive, or that I can’t keep honoring him the way I choose to. If I want to have a giant monument in my yard, or have his image placed on a shirt, his date of birth and death on my vehicle, I should be able to do so without getting the crazy looks.

Our loved ones have been in our lives some for months, some for years, and for others decades and it there is never a method to our grieving or how we handle the death itself. We all know deep down in our hearts that our loved ones are dead and that unfortunately they will not be walking through the door tonight, calling to check on us, or laying there next to us when we wake up inthe morning. But does that mean that we can’t still dream about it being that way, or that we can’t continue to keep their pictures hanging on our walls, their clothes in the closets, or talking about them? It is our choice to decide how to heal and how to carry on after their deaths. It’s no one else’s decision in the end except ours.

I understand he’s dead, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t still live. I want to continue to share his memory and his story my way, the way that puts a smile on my face, keeps me laughing, and makes me happy again. That’s all I want to be able to do, share his story, his life, his legacy, without having to be ridiculed or frowned upon. I don’t want to be judged for my celebration of his life.

That seems to be the biggest problem and fear we face as grieving widows and family members; the ridicule part. We are ridiculed for grieving too long and doing different forms of memorialization in their memory and honor. People assume that it’s just on their birthdays and holidays that we should be celebrating them. They don’t understand that for the grieving heart each and every day is a special holiday, holds a special meaning to us and is just as significant and important to us even more so now that they are dead, than it was when they were alive. We miss everything about them, everything that we have shared with them, and because we want it back so badly, we will do whatever we can in order to have that feeling of them being with us again.

Some people see our grieving and celebration of life as unhealthy or unnatural, and in some cases, they could be right (who am I to judge), but for the most part it is completely natural to do so and completely healthy as apart of your healing. We memorialize our loved ones and honor them in a such away that it is almost as if they haven’t died, and I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it brings closure, reassurance, and comfort in knowing that just because Dre is dead…doesn’t mean that he has stopped living. Memories area wonderful and blessed thing to be able to say you have, and an even better gift of healing to share.

So we all don’t grieve the same way, some of us don’t accept the death of our loved ones as easily as the next person, but we all grieve and that’s the whole point. How one person decides to honor their loved one may be different from how the next person decides or doesn’t decide to do, we should be allowed that opportunity to decide how and the chance to do it any way we want with no rules or expectations of a time limit or allotted amount of memorials.  You grieve yours, and I am going to grieve mine, and together we shall grieve for one another’s loss.