Because She’ll Never Really Die

Last Friday, I had the chance to spend a few hours with one of Emily’s best friends from high school. I’d heard so many stories about this particular friend, but we’d only talked once over speakerphone before Emily passed. However, I saw this as an opportunity to connect with yet another person who loved Emily, and I was excited about it.

We enjoyed coffee, wandered around Target, and spent some time at Emily’s gravesite. Since I didn’t meet Emily until she was finishing up her bachelor’s degree at MTSU, I loved hearing stories about things Emily and her friend did in high school and how they kept in touch even after Emily moved away to college. I honestly felt like I got a front-row seat into a different time in Emily’s life, and I loved filling in more pieces of her past from a different perspective.

Bigger Than The Whole Sky

As Emily’s friend and I sat on either side of her grave and talked, she asked me what song I loved the most from Taylor Swift’s new album. Of course, I answered without hesitation because I’ve been playing Bigger Than The Whole Sky on repeat since another one of Emily’s friends reminded me about the album release.

The more I listen to the song, the more it makes me think of Emily. Obviously, the song explains what the devastating loss of someone important to you feels like. This is exactly what I’m dealing with right now. However, there’s more to it than that.

To me, the idea of being “bigger than the whole sky” really sums up Emily. Despite her small size, Emily really was (and still is) much more than the space her body takes up.

Emily touched so many lives during her time here, and I’m not sure she even realized the extent of her reach. I’ve heard from her co-workers, friends, and acquaintances, all of whom shared stories about how Emily touched their lives in some way. That held true as I heard stories from her high school friend.

I’ve seen people donate to causes Emily would support. I’ve heard about people volunteering their time to help others. I’ve watched people continue to care for themselves and support their recovery or challenge themselves to do things in their lives that they know Emily would have encouraged them to do. It’s powerful stuff.

It’s also much simpler than that too. I’ve noticed that several of her friends and I have all been sharing pictures of gorgeous sunsets since Emily passed. And maybe it’s just coincidence, but I have decided that I don’t think it is. I think it’s a small way for us to experience her presence, and it’s a fitting tribute.

It has also happened in my own home. The kids bring up Emily in some way nearly every day. Sometimes it’s a simple request to “listen to that glue song Emily likes.” Other days it comes out as a child’s request that we donate to the homeless or help someone who is having car trouble. She touched our lives and influenced the three of us in ways I never even imagined a single person could.

It’s Not All Over, Though

I’ve struggled a lot lately with the idea of mortality and death. I think we often forget how quickly people can leave this life, and we often take our limited time here for granted.

I know I was guilty of this. I never imagined Emily’s life would end in a matter of hours, and now that it has, I’m questioning everything. However, people keep reminding me of a simple truth: Emily will never really die.

Yes, her soul left us. Yes, her body is buried underground. But Emily isn’t gone because she will continue to live on forever, both in Heaven and in each of us here on Earth.

I started this blog to keep Emily alive. I am sharing her story and volunteering my time to pay it forward. I am committed to checking items off her bucket list and sharing anything I can about her with anyone who will listen.

I feel Emily’s presence in little things that happen throughout the day. I see her in my own children and her nieces. I learn even more about her in the stories others share with me. It all keeps her alive, and I can’t imagine a more impactful tribute to someone who dedicated her life to loving everyone who crossed her path.

Even in death, I am holding onto the idea that Emily’s legacy will live on in all the hearts she touched during her time here on Earth. And every time I see her in the sunset, I know she’s still here in a different way.

One thought on “Because She’ll Never Really Die

  1. Yes indeed.

    The more you express your feelings about Emily you begin to access deeper portions of your mind which know the truth: we are eternal spirit.

    Yep; we grieve the body, especially the body we knew loved ones, as, because we’re not quite identifying with eternal spirit. But accessing that eternal knowing more frequently helps you and I understand that no body we see is who we are, because who we are is never born, nor, ever dies. We keep going forever.

    This idea offers liberation, peace, freedom and joy, especially when the bodies appear to come and go and the ego wrestles with fear, loss and grief, along with guilt.

    This frame of mind definitely helped me over the prior 12 years as I observed my mom’s body experience a 12 year, long term, terminal illness. She finally put her body aside 2 weeks ago to continue her eternal march.

    This human experience seems so real but it is a skit for eternal beings. Remembering this can gently nudge us through the concept of death and the feeling of grief.

    Fabulous job with your blog.



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