Honestly I don't think anyone can cope with losing someone close to them. The last images or vision you have of this person is them laying in their final resting place, in their decorated coffin and the best suit or dress you've ever seen them in, and it replays in your head constantly. Your best friend, your son, your daughter, your mother, father, grandfather, grandmother taken!

I know it's hard to comprehend but I can say that time will definitely help! But the thing that helped me the most was accepting what had happened. Giving myself time to digest and really embrace what had happened, and letting go. Because when I had found that I had accepted that this person was taken, all of the good memories I remembered of this person started flooding my mind and drowning out the last images of them. The last images of the ropes lowering them down, the last images of his sisters screaming at the grave, the last images of them laying in their coffin, and started bringing back the good memories. Me and them in Aussie on a pirate ship, me and them shooting hoops on the driveway, of me and them tucked away in the room playing guitar, I found myself with a big grin and a tear.

But it was so overwhelming because it was the first thought I’d had of them since they passed that made me tear in happiness, and not of guilt or tears or what ifs.

You will never cope with losing people close to you, but learning to live with it is the best way. Don't be scared of letting go, because all you’re really letting go of is those final images you have of them. The best memories of them will always linger in the back of your mind and pop up and surprise you now and again, but you will feel like a weight is lifted, because you have let go, accepted, and now only see the good memories of them.

It's okay. You can do this.

CousinClea Pettit