Hi my loves. Today I am one year older and one year more versed in all of life’s experiences, including the tough stuff. Last week you may have noticed that there was no new post, no update on my life, and no explanation as to why. Today, I would like to explain.
C/W death, grief, loss
On November 20th, 2019 Alexander David Wolf died unexpectedly at the age of 30. Alex Wolf is my best friends brother. When you have a best friend like I do, they are a part of our soul- their family becomes your family. When my best friend hurts, so do I. This last week I sat with her family in the pain that is the loss of Alex Wolf.
My hope today is to not only speak of loss but also of life. The first time I met Alex I was in La Crosse, WI. I immediately was crushing… hard. He was easy to talk to, a vegetarian, cared for the earth, and overall was one of the sweetest people I had met. Bonus, he was my best friends brother. “Rebekah, we could be sisters for real!” I remember saying on multiple occassions. Every time something bad would happen with a boy I would remark “it doesn’t really matter, I am going to marry Alex someday anyways.” He never knew I had a crush on him, but it’s a dream I never want to forget.
Alex lived in Minneapolis, so I didn’t get to see him too often. Although, Rebekah and I spent some weekends visiting him. Each visit with Alex I could see his love for his family and friends. Alex knew how to make people feel welcome in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I would sometimes wonder if I built him up in my head because of my crush, until this past week when I got to hear more and more stories from family and friends. Alex touched people in a deep way, a way that made them feel safe. Every story that was told brought tears, yet at the same time, brought smiles. It seemed almost impossible for people to speak of him without feeling that connection and his love.
Last week was absolutely one of the toughest weeks I have endured. Not only was I grieving for someone I held dear, but I also was trying to help my best friend who was hurting in a way I have not felt before. How do you help someone who feels as though a piece of them is forever gone? How do you hold your best friend and hear her say ‘I don’t know if I can get through this.’ What words suffice?
The answers are not simple, but I think when it comes to loss and grief we all just try to do our best. Sometimes it is saying nothing at all, just letting people feel exactly what they are feeling with no interruption of that thought. Sometimes it is holding a hand and/or wiping up snot. Sometimes it is posting quotes of grief and loss to instagram that seem helpful. Sometimes it is reflecting on the life of the person now gone. Sometimes it is reminding people to breathe and reminding them that sometimes that is all they need to do. Sometimes it is drinking wine at 3pm. Sometimes it is zoning out in front of the TV, turning off the brain for just a moment. This list could go on and on. The one thing though, that works without fail, guaranteed, is simply being there. I don’t necessarily mean physically either. Just being available to talk. Reminding people that you love them. Reaching out. These are the ways to help people work through pain. I often believe for most of life’s painful experiences, that we don’t need advice or even any words at all. There is power in hearing tears and not feeling the need to interrupt them. There is nothing that can bring Alex back and that is painful- nothing flowery about it. It sucks and it hurts and it is not fair. The loss of Alex is painful for the world. He was a gift to the human race. Alex lived simply and beautifully. He is gone too soon. So, for now I am here to hold a hand, provide a shoulder and/or ear, and a hug for those grieving Alex, or any other people in your life that you have lost. Grief is one of the toughest experiences for us to go through.
Though, as I enter a new year of my life, there is something I have learned from this loss that helps me to keep going: Live life like Alex. I’ve repeated it several times to myself since finding out. For me, there is no other option and no better way to honor his life and to work through the grief. Simply put, love each other and be there for one another, as Alex was.
To read Alex’s obituary follow this link.
a smile, a tear, a fist, a laugh, a wish,
hurting and healing,
in their own way,
on their own time.
a loss is a loss is a loss.
-how people grieve