Photographer & Mental Health Advocate
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Anxiety Awareness

Until we meet again

It's so hard writing about loss because I have felt too much of it. Living with anxiety, I'm always in constant fear, a fear that is so complicated to understand. But I want to help you all understand how I felt when I lost two people that I loved and I how dealt with my anxiety while mourning. 

I want to say that it's NEVER easy losing someone, especially when suffering from a mental illness, death is so perplexing. I always thought I was "safe" that me being cursed with anxiety was enough and that all my loved ones would live forever. I know it sounds silly but for most of my life I was covered from hurt and pain from my mom. She did whatever she could to make sure that I was oblivious to the pain. Unfortunately, when I  started to deal with anxiety, my perceptions about life did a 360. I questions death and birth and pain and happiness so much that when there were no answers she could give, I would cry. I wanted to understand why we die and where we went. 

My mother was never really religious but she was extremely spiritual and she would tell me that nothing ever dies, it just changes. Changes like how, well, she never really could explain, but she did want me to know that no matter what, when someone dies, its not painful and they are always in a better place. For a while, I allowed that to be the answer and comfort that I needed. But growing up in such a diverse area, I learned about so many places that we go to when we die; Heaven, The Summerlands, Nirvana, and even reincarnation. It always baffled me how many places we could go because when I asked people they always said there was only ONE place. But if there was only one place we would go when we died, does that mean it just has different names for different religions?

I never wanted to argue with people in their religions because I believe we all have the right to believe in what we want but it frightened me not knowing where I would go or the ones that I loved. But when I did lose someone 4 years ago from yesterday, my anxiety went through the roof. I needed to know where she was going, if she would be okay, if I would ever see her again. So many questions that people could never give me the answers to. 4 years ago, I was in a depression, afraid to live because I didn't want to lose anymore people and then someone even closer to me passed away. 

It threw me into a spiraling madness of questions, fears and loneliness. Everything hurt and I hated life, I hated whoever it was up there for taking people that I loved away from me. What traumatized me even more was the two people that passed were of two different religions.  Did that mean I'd never see neither again or that one made it to Heaven and the other didn't because their idea of "heaven" was different? 

I couldn't fathom that fact that I might not ever see them again. And for me, I needed to open my eyes and let love in rather than this fear and pain of unanswered questions about death. I told myself that wherever we may go after we die, is all the same and it is all the same because what connects us all as individuals is not religion but love. Our love is the universal connection, so If I have a loved one in Heaven and another in Nirvana,I know that all I would have to do is open my heart with love and that I'd feel them again. 

I know it sounds strange and for those of you who are closed to the facts of religion, that is okay, I'm not asking for you to change your beliefs but I am trying to show you that love is the one thing that connects us all. When I opened my eyes to that fact, life became beautiful and I appreciated it more. I celebrated four years of my sister's death yesterday and it hurt, I cried, but I know that the love I have will NEVER fade and that is what keeps me connected to her. My anxiety is a product of my mind, a mind that I believe is far too expansive to understand that some questions can never be answered. So I look to my heart for help for the healing and comfort that I need to know I will meet her again. And for any of my friends that I shall meet throughout my life, no religion can disconnect us in this life or the next because the love I have for them will be the compass that I need to find them. 

Death is painful mentally, physically and spiritually and it can be draining. It makes you question so much more and it even brings out the fears inside of you. Like anxiety, death is misunderstood,it is only seen as the end of us all. But somehow something inside of me, I guess because I deal with anxiety and its confusing ways, makes me see that death is NOT the end but a beginning to something much more beautiful and unimaginable. 

Rest in Paradise Nicasia and Grandpa. 

Forever will I miss you both, until we meet again <3

 

Xoxo, Jacklyn