“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
No one can ever tell you how to grieve. How to deal with loosing a loved one.
For me, when it comes to death…. it’s always been about denial and ignoring what’s happening. I have always just concentrated on the world around me and thrown myself into everything else, anything else I have going on so essentially I don’t have to deal at all.
It’s how I deal. It’s how I have gotten through – and its worked. No one can tell you how to grieve.
About a month ago, we lost a great great person and friend… one who I have known more than MOST of my life. This is the biggest pile of bricks I have ever been hit with.
Sam and I met on the soccer field in Laurel, MD when we were both just 6 years old. We played on the same teams with our parents as coaches or against one another on different squads as the years passed.
We lost touch for a few years during the beginning of the teenage stage, but then low and behold on the very first day of soccer practice beginning my freshman year of High School my mom dropped me off at the Ruiz’s so I had a ride.
In the basement on a pull out couch were two girls, clearly best friends – and then there was me. Sitting there – silently, not knowing what to say or if they would even like me. To say I felt awkward is the understatement of the century.
After the first initial couple of minutes – I had never felt so normal or accepted in my life. Maybe it was Sam – most say it’s just how she was – always making new friends, making you feel at ease and comfortable within moments of knowing her. Maybe it was just our connection, but that first day forged a friendship, a best friendship that would last more than 2 decades.
In high school we were inseparable. It’s hard to look back and really remember ALL the times we spent together – the laughs, secrets, heartbreaks, tears, joys, disagreements, sleepovers, parties, old and new friends, losses and accomplishments we shared. It’s easy to forget as the memories become a blur – there were just too many – easy to take for granted. We thought we’d all be here forever. Looking through boxes of old photos brings back those memories. It takes me back to a time where we had our entire lives in front of us, a time of innocence and happy futures we looked forward to.
After graduation I went off to good old Western Maryland for college. Although we were no longer joined at the hip Sam made several trips up to the mountains for weekend visits and we always made it home for each and every College Park party and big football tailgate she would host. We never lost touch.
Through the years we had our ups and downs… there would we weeks we wouldn’t talk at all – but then in the next day it would be like we had never missed a beat. It seems to be a running trend in our relationship. It was always like this for us.
We got married in the same month of the same year, we had babies around the same time and we used one another as a sounding board for all the worries and fears that plagued our first time mommy minds.
For my entire life – as long as I can remember I have always considered Sam one of my very best friends, someone who was always there for me – someone I would always be there for. Since she has been gone I rely on the fact that I simply don’t know a life without her. Somehow that is a comforting feeling.
She has known me at my best and at my worst…. my lowest days, my highest highs. She has held my hand, she has laughed with me (and at me)…. and reigned me in when I needed a good slap in the face. We’ve seen each other through joys, sorrows, losses, and new beginnings. We have danced like no one was watching and there were more nights spent together that I can’t remember than I care to admit .
We have a shared past, the same memories – the basis for who we became as adults. I am not who I am without Sam.
I still can’t grasp how this has all happened… how she is just gone now. She was there – and now she is gone. It still seems like a dream, completely unreal and I still feel that one day she will call or message me with her “hey love”… or “meow”.
It’s hard not to think back to the last conversation we had…. struggling, yet still full of life, laughter and trying to make light of her situation.
Moving on is not easy this time around. Not like it’s been for me in the past. She’s in my thoughts, she is in pictures, she’s a little bit everywhere and this time, I know that it’s ok – for it to not be ok.
My sweet, silly, loving, steadfast friend. My life wouldn’t be the same without you, and it won’t be the same without you. (Karen)
The other day I asked her to give me sign… to let me know she was ok…. We had a drink together and although it’s not quite the same, it will have to do for now…. I knew she’d come through.
No one can tell you how to grieve, even yourself sometimes.
So long my friend… till we meet again ❤ Byelove.
In loving memory of my friend – Samantha Ruiz Smith 7/4/1983 -6/28/2014