Project Purple is excited to introduce guest blogger Stephanie Zavolas. Stephanie graduated from Pace University in May 2018 with a bachelors in psychology. She was very active during her years in undergrad, a few examples were becoming president of her sorority, and top fundraiser of Relay For Life for 3 consecutive years. She spoke in honor of her late Mother at a Relay for Life event which marked the importance her story had on those around us. Stephanie enjoys writing and believes that even if you may be “broken” you will still be able to succeed. She has a blog, Broken Crayons Still Color, which she continues to write about how to keep going when you lose a loved one. Stephanie knows that feeling all too well, she lost two aunts and a grandmother to cancer, and her mother to pancreatic cancer. But her positive spirit, keep going energy, and ability to write about it all, is inspiring and she hopes to inspire those who have been through a similar situation as her. “You might be broken, but you will Still Color, because Broken Crayons color, too.”
They say, “Time Heals All Wounds,” but they, whoever they are- aren’t necessarily true or maybe have not experienced certain situations. This saying may apply to some things in life, but not all. The death of a loved one takes a toll on you. It changes you in more ways than you can even begin to think. It makes you realize the little things in life are the most important, it makes you realize that timing is everything, it makes you realize that losing someone is easily one of the hardest situations to bounce back from. Finding your way back to that original lifestyle you may have had is the hardest part. Because every single thing that you do now, waking up, eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, going to work, celebrating milestones- it all changes. Every thought changes throughout the day. The emotions can go from anger, to sadness, to complete emptiness inside in just seconds. Wishing that loved one was beside you, but getting angry that they are not is the normal feeling of everyday.
Some people look at you as if you’re this sad story, this sad life that they wish they could help you, but they just cannot. Some people look at you as if you should have moved on by now. Remember something, this is your life, your story- do not let anyone else try to be the author. This wound isn’t like a wound of a broken heart from that boy that cheated on you, or that cut that you got when you fell off your bike. This wound is not one that a Doctor can fix, or a band aid can heal, every memory, picture, missed holiday/birthday, etc. are constant stingers to this open wound. The hole in your heart will never be filled. Because you know what pain feels like- the extreme heartache- the type of heartache that the person you are missing is never coming back.
Of course, you are not done crying. You will cry on their birthday, the anniversary of when they left this world, the holidays, the missed memories, the photographs, scrapbooks, accomplishments, milestones, and more. And that’s okay. You know what unstoppable pain feels like, but you also know that you are unstoppable, and you are capable of anything. You are capable of having a wound that will take more than a lifetime to heal, but that’s because the strongest people in this world have a loved one in heaven. If you can get through this, then you can get through anything.
Some wounds are small, and some wounds are big. Some wounds can be healed with a band aid, some wounds can be healed with a box of chocolates and flowers. Some wounds can be healed with a kiss, while some wounds don’t heal at all. But this open wound will never close, it will never be fully healed. It will never not sting, and yet there will be so many times this open wound is being stung by so much around it. The memories, the heartache, the love, the pain, the wound will constantly feel like it’s being touched, being poked at, being infected. But in fact, this wound may not physically be shown on your body, and you may not be bleeding on the outside- but you are on the inside. This open wound will never be fixed. Time cannot fix it. Love cannot fix it. Just because you have this wound, does not mean you are not capable of living life to the fullest. This wound may stop you at some moments and it may resist you from doing certain things. But, if you attend to the wound, remind yourself that it’s okay to have it- because some wounds take more than a lifetime to heal, but give you the most strength, even the wounds with the deepest and longest pain.