Positive Outlooks

Woman asked for advice on how to deal with grief, old man’s incredible reply captivates everyone

There is a goodbye in every hello, just as there is an end in every beginning. We all know that our inevitable finale is to leave this world, and hopefully we made an impact in this world and will leave it a better place.

Yet, despite of death being a part of the cycle of life, still, it never fails to tear a hole in our heart whenever we lose someone we love. It’s just one of the hardest things humans have to go through — to grieve a departed lovedone.


Death leaves a heartache that’s difficult to heal. The fact that you would never see your love ones ever again, nor be able to hear their voice once more, makes the grieving process all the more devastating.


A woman seeking an advice in Reddit, an online forum community, experienced losing her cherished best friend. She was mourning over her death and turned to Reddit, looking for someone who could give her an advice in order to heal from the devastating reality… that she would never be able to hug her best friend ever again.

“My friend died. I don’t know what to do.”

A lot of Redditors shared their own experiences of losing a loved one, most of them expressed their condolences towards the anonymous woman. Among the number of responses which the woman’s post garnered, the comment which came from a self-confessed old man, answered with an honest and beautiful response.


Here’s the old man’s response to the Redditor’s unfortunate circumstance, which amassed the highest upvote.

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.”

“I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter.’ I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it.”


“Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.”

“As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.”


“In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out.

But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.”


“Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself.

And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.”

“Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”


A beloved’s death would leave you with a pain that does not fully heal, but the love you have formed and shared would always leave you with a memory that no one can ever erase.

The ones we love never truly leaves us. Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘a coward is someone who incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.’ So be proud of the scars your heart have endured, it only goes to show how much love your heart could give; it only goes to show how your heart never gets tired of loving.