Kim, Eden and Justing all wrote tributes to Dylan Sterling to0day to mark the 5-year anniversary of his death.
No One Ever Goes Alone
Today is the fifth anniversary of your death – a day that changed me and my world forever. When I think about time as it has existed in my life, everything is either BEFORE you or AFTER you. Before I had you, I didn’t understand how to love selflessly, how fiercely protective and resourceful I could be - or how patient. You taught and challenged me to be better.
Before your death, I did not understand grief. I did not comprehend how to console someone who was enduring the unendurable pain of deep loss. Because of losing you, I am a better mother to your brother and sister, I am a better daughter, I am a better wife and a better friend – I am even a better stranger to someone who is suffering.
Stumbling through this burning tunnel that is grief, I continue to be shaped and forged to be a better human and I thank you for that.
The learning continues. It never ceases to amaze me Dylan, how messages seem to come just when I am ready to hear them.
A few weeks ago a musician friend was at our house. He was the first person to come by after we returned home from your funeral in Ontario five years ago. I remember him then being exceptionally compassionate and tender when he gave me a hug goodbye that day.
As he was leaving this time, I mentioned that it is almost five years since you died. He got a very sweet expression on his face and told me that he had lost his sister when she was only 22 in a car accident.
His eyes teared up as he told me that fifteen years after her death, she appeared to him while he was driving a car one afternoon. She said that it was time for him to let her go; that she wasn’t meant for this world, it was her time to go and now it was time for him to let her go. He said that he pulled his car over all those years ago and cried his eyes out.
He also told me a story that contains the greatest words of comfort I’ve ever heard. He said “No one goes alone.”
His step father had died three times while in the hospital on life support. In his final days he was fully conscious and told his wife and sons that the other two times, he had seen them there at his bed side. He also said that he saw his mother and brother who had died years before waiting to help him cross over.
He told his wife and sons that he wasn’t alone and that he wouldn’t be alone – that they could let him go and know that he was going to be okay. He told them that no one ever goes alone.
Our friend had tears in his eyes when he told me these things and he went on to say “those we love aren’t really gone, it’s like reaching through a waterfall, they are right there – the difference between ‘here’ and ‘there’ is just that thin”.
I sense this Dylan … all the time… I feel you here, as though I could just reach through that watery veil and touch your face, hear your voice, look into your eyes. I wish it were that easy - it is in my dreams.
You were not meant for this world Dylan, it was your time; you couldn’t stay but now I know in my heart you didn’t go alone and it gives me so much comfort.
Five years today – and only yesterday. I miss you so much sweetheart but I know you will be the first one there to greet me when it’s my time to come over.
Always and forever, your mom. xoxo
Today marks 5 years since you've passed. Waking up those 5 years ago left a hole in my life unfilled. April and May are both always extremely hard for me, leaving me in a continuous "down" state. Usually this is paired with sleeping an overwhelming amount, and feeling unlike myself and disassociated in daily life.
April 4th is your birthday, and this year you should have turned 27. I would have loved to see what you were doing with your life. Your opinions on what is happening to this world truly would have been so comedic you could have your own show. I would do anything to hear your opinions of the farce that is happening in the states. You would probably have continued managing Good Health Mart for a bit, which you were so proud of. I remembering you getting business cards and being so excited to assistant manage a store. You were doing so well for yourself at 22, but were hurting beyond belief unable to tell anyone of your pain hiding behind the illusion of strength being secrecy.
I like to imagine that after helping Grammy and Grampy selling off the company you would follow your own pursuits. You were such a talented music producer and were learning, pushing yourself, and making new content at an alarming rate. You were so hard on yourself that even working on it every available moment wasn't enough. You were so talented and I didn't celebrate it enough. You would have definitely made it in producing and we would be working together now making music.
Losing you has changed my life eternally in every single way. The one thing that I continue to say that helps me through the pain is understanding that I would have rather had you in my life for 16 years (of him alive for my life) than to never have had you in it at all. You made me inquisitive, resilient, understanding, strong, and funny. I feel like I lost such a big part of myself in losing you Dyl, but I know you'd still be proud of me now. I'm trying so hard, but even for me it's not enough and I know you'd be pushing me to do better. You'd definitely be on my ass about not making music at all and my shitty vegan diet, but you'd love that its been 8.5 months since I've taken a drink, and that I have an awesome place downtown for Isis and she is happy with all the love she gets, and I work really hard at my job and got a promotion. All of these things you would be happy of, but you would be prouder that because of you I value every second with my loved ones, and don't waste energy on those who don't value me. And that because of you, I long to know more about everything and actively try and question things. And that because of you, Jay Sterling and I are closer than ever which I am so thankful for. And that because of you, I healed my relationships with our parents separately. And that because of you in every way I try and be light and love as you were for us. Because of you, Dylan, I will be strong and fight. Because of you, I say whats on my mind with no apprehensions, because you taught me life is short and fuck those who are too sensitive to see the bigger picture, or who are trying to bring you down. Because of you, I will continue to unapologetically be me, as you were in every essence.
I love you forever and ever Dylan. Our blood is made out of stardust and our souls go so much further than form. We are already united in the universe brother, I just can't understand it yet in this human form. I will never stop learning from you or loving you. You are one of the massive factors that made me me and I will love you for being you for as long as I can. You are in my heart all days but heavily on this one. I love you with the lightest heart I can today brother and I watch the sunrise, and will watch the sunset with your light and love all around me. Together in the ether forever brother. <3 - Eden
5 years, 60 months, 260 weeks, 1825 days since the hardest day of my life. The day we lost you.
The process of grieving a loved one is a very strange road to walk along. You go through the natural stages, Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, Acceptance. As I’ve learned they don’t fall in that order. It jumps around from one to the other.
Even when you feel like you’ve made progress certain thoughts will pull you back to the shock, then spiral you into denial again.
You’ll start to feel acceptance then walk back into anger to sit in depression. Bargaining with reality, questioning why my 22 year old brother didn’t get to experience the rest of his life.
I was upset with the universe for awhile, if there is a higher power I was mad at it. It all seemed so unfair. I understand the world is a difficult place, and I thought I’d formed a thick enough skin in it for nothing to really break my heart fully until this day 5 years ago.
It was being stuck in a bad dream I wanted to snap out of, hoping the ground would break and I’d find myself falling and just before hitting the ground would wake up in relief that it wasn’t real.
I miss you man. I miss your guiding energy. I miss having an older brother to aspire to be like. I miss being able to chat for hours about random bullshit and laughing until our stomachs hurt. I miss the feeling of being at home I had with you. I miss being able to talk with you and having whatever drama I was going through and have it feel insignificant. I miss your wit and smart ass comments you would make about everything around you, like the word was a playground that didn’t suit your level of intelligence. I miss your empathy for people and your desire that this world would treat each other better.
I’m grateful for the lessons through your passing.
Having you leave made me check my ego, it spiralled out of control and I pushed away everyone I loved through drugs and alcohol. It left me in a psych ward rambling about love that was nowhere near my heart at the time. I was blinded by dissociation not wanting to face reality. It was the bottom of my barrel that I guess on some spiritual level I had to hit, it also marked a point of my personal need for growth.
It’s been a slow process but your presence is evident. I feel a burning purpose to pursue what you always wanted, the best version of ourselves. I love you with all my heart Dylan, wherever you are.
Your brother, Jay