Review: If I Die Young

Recently I’ve been obsessed with this song – playing it on repeat in my house – and I can’t get over how beautiful it is.

I think it resonates with me because I am absolutely having the time of my life. I love my job, I love my neighborhood and the place I live and I have great friends. I feel like I am accomplishing something and making a positive change in the world. I am happier than I have ever been, I think, in my entire life. This kind of happiness – it can’t be sustainable, right? There are times when my circumstances looked perfect, but inside I was still miserable and torn apart. Surely I’ll go down that road again.

But let’s say that I don’t – let’s say that I continue with an attitude of being a servant to the world, to building other people up, creating beauty in my work and in my relationships and can actually hold onto this joy. Practical? We will see.

So this song, and how it reflects how I feel, that I’ve achieved just enough and enjoyed just enough, hit me harder when I found out a classmate had passed away.

The last two times I’ve found out that someone died, I’ve started to smile. It is an awful, shameful moment, because my head is telling me to be sad but my knee-jerk instinct is to smile, and I don’t know why. But maybe I’ve figured it out. I was raised to believe in heaven and that death means being present with God, and I love God and God loves me. It is the moment you are fully loved and fully yourself.

I think it has even more to do with when my grandma passed away two years ago. I felt distant from her the last few times I talked to her. She had a lot of health problems, in fact, she had been in pain for many years. So, it was sad for our family to lose her and lose everything she brought to family gatherings (life of the party!) but we also knew she was finally free of that pain.

I think, when someone has cancer, and is slowly losing life, maybe it is a cause for joy at the end. Our loss, but that person is free of pain, finally. And is it so different when a person is depressed and despite professional help and supplements is still trapped by their own mind? We’ve all been depressed to some degree, and it is painful. Of course it is sad for us to lose someone who has such potential, but I think we can breathe a sigh of relief when that person is set free.

This world can be beautiful and miserable all at the same time – navigating physical wounds and emotional traps is tough. It just is. I consider myself lucky to believe that one day, everything will be made right. If you don’t hold this same belief, I would encourage you to search for it.

Buy my book, Shameless: How I Lost My Virginity and Kept My Faith, now:


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