No one can claim to know your grief Everyone grieves differently, everyone feels loss in their own way. So while I have known loss on many different levels, I don’t know your pain.
I know that there isn’t a word that can be said that will ease your pain, there isn’t a magical remedy for the way you’re feeling. I know the unfortunate truth that time does not heal – you will always feel the loss. I can’t say or do anything to take those feelings away. Trust me when I say – if I knew how to fix that kind of pain, I would.
All I can offer is to be a person. A person who you can cry to, vent to, lean on. Tell me stories about the loved one you lost. Don’t feel you are a burden to me. While I don’t know your specific pain, I know what my pain was like having lost someone I loved, and I know I couldn’t have made it through the pain without the ears that listened and the shoulders I cried on. I couldn’t have made it without the unspoken words, either. Those that didn’t judge me for the scatterbrained mess that I was. The people who didn’t look at the dark circles under my eyes, my messy hair and rumpled clothes and ask “Why? What’s wrong?” The people who gave me my time and my space and were there when I was ready to open myself up again.
I don’t know your pain, but I know its horrific. Its Hell on Earth to lose someone who was part of your day to day.
When you pick up the phone and burst into tears, realizing you can’t call them.
When you hear a funny joke and suddenly it isn’t funny anymore because you can’t tell it to them.
When something amazing happens and it loses some of its sparkle because they aren’t there to witness it with you.
When you lay in bed at night and think of the why’s and what if’s.
When you feel empty, as though your very core is missing.
When life keeps on just the same as it always did and you wonder how the world didn’t stop when their heart did.
You see, I know grief on a very personal level.
And I also know that if you let it, it will eat you alive. You’ll be just as dead as the person you lost. You will go about your duties and obligations, but you won’t live. And maybe that sounds harsh. But I say it because I lived it every day for a long time. And some days, I still do. Sometimes a ghost of the way life should be clouds my view. There’s no sparkle or joy. I do what I have to do and then go home and crawl inside my sadness, dwelling on all the maybe’s and why’s, dwelling on last words and if only I had’s.
I can’t tell you not to do that to yourself. Because just as the thoughts you have won’t change anything, I also know that you’re still going to think them.
I can tell you that the turning point for me is when I decided to stop running from my pain. To stop being ‘brave’. To start talking about it. To share every memory, and stop shying away from thinking about it. Running and hiding from the pain doesn’t make it less. It really does fester inside, and what comes to the surface isn’t any prettier than a physical infection.
Healing is a process. And what worked for me may not work for you.
But please know that however you decide to cope, I will be there. To listen or to just sit in silence. I will not judge because I am too well acquainted with grief to do so. And I will continually wish for you to find the peace you deserve.