Losing Someone Close To You – 5 Things You Can Learn From It

Having to experience the death of a loved one is an extremely devastating thing one has to experience in life. I know, I went through it. My dad passed away when I was 20. He had an incurable disease called ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It was a painful day for me to watch my father pass on. I’ve many takeaways from the experience and it has shaped me for what the man I am today. Here’s how:

Something the average person does not go through

Death isn’t something most people in life encounter, meaning many don’t have a near-death experience or have someone close to them die.

Put it this way, the average person in life wakes up in the morning, and reads up on tragic news of the world in the papers.

And then they move on with life.

That is a very fortunate life.

Now, I hope to relay some messages and lessons over from my own experience, something which I think many can learn from.

1) When death comes close to you, everything else in life seems so minor

That’s the truth.

This is an extension towards, “Seeing the bigger picture”.

Work, money, career or dealing with people all suddenly become so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

It’s good to see the bigger picture in life. Sure, we’ve our responsibilities and usual routines in life, but ask yourself, is that all to it in life? Is it making you happy?

When my dad passed away, I didn’t see a point in making myself feel so stressed in my studies or caring about what others think of me. I didn’t see why I should be weighed down by the world, when I can sit on top to live the life I want.

If you open up your eyes a bit, seeing the bigger picture in this world can actually bring you far. The grasp of society and expectations on you would wither, allowing you to go forward for a better life.

2) Care for yourself, more than anything in this world

I used to be a lot angrier before my father’s death.

Because I kept doing the right things in life. I never argued back against friends who insulted me. I walked away from fights and I always held back my opinions.

But all the right things in the world just made sure that I’d be going home angry.

Upon my father’s death, I realized it’s very okay to care for yourself, more than anything else in this world.

I was always angry last time because I felt so repressed. I had so much I wanted to say or do, but yet I held back.

When my dad passed away, it made me wonder why I tried to keep doing the right thing only to suffer a tragic loss. It felt like everything was thrown back in my face.

So care for yourself more, and watch out for your own well-being. That’s not to say that you should become a self-centered person, but do a check on what’s important for you. Dive deep into your innermost feelings, rather than always having to appease the world.

3) Life is really short

It is.

It is a universal truth, but not many can realize that. I think most people realize that only after they retire and start getting old.

Life is also very unpredictable. You never know what it can throw to you.

That being said, what do you want to do with life?

All too often people are too caught up with the world to realize that our life, is not the world.

The world is big, but our lives are short.

I say, start living. You don’t need to go through what I did to realize life is short. Start living, before it’s too late.


4) Make a positive change for yourself, and those around you.

I had several friends who were there for me right after my dad’s death. I was extremely touched as they willingly helped me as they went through the exact same thing before.

I was very comforted to know that I wasn’t alone in this world.

Now, I want to pay it forward and help others.

That’s not to say I think “everything happens for a reason”. It’s also easy for me to advocate kindness and giving others a helping hand.

I just think positivity and kindness exist in their own right, simply to be. It is as clear as that.

And that is an important message because all too often love today, is based on conditions, a form of exchange which both parties must benefit one way or another.

I felt at my lowest when my dad was taken, and it made realized, whatever that I was feeling then, many others in this world are too.

So pay it forward, and help others. It would go a long way, for both you and others.

5) Love your parents

Because they’re pretty much the only two people in this planet who can offer you unconditional love.

And this picture pretty much says it all.


Just for PickTheBrain readers

I’ve put together an email course for people who’ve trouble blocking the noise out. You know, when you’re constantly thinking about what others think.
This course was specially made by me for you. Not many people have gotten the chance to see it yet, so I’m hoping to spread it around, starting with you guys.
Head over to Alden Tan, drop in your email address and I’ll send this 
course over to you.
-Find out how to gain the confidence to do what you love.
-Learn how to talk to others and be yourself.
-A comprehensive list of things you can tell yourself, to be yourself!
This email course is only available through this link to Alden-Tan. Thanks for giving it a chance!
Photo credit: ‘Sun and Rain‘ by Big Stock


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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