You have no idea how you did it, but you made through the initial stages of grief. The darkest days are behind you. You’ll have bad days ahead, but you will make it through those days just as you’ve made it through the most difficult and painful day of your life.
The bad days will come in strong, unpredictable waves crashing upon you and knocking you off your feet, but you’ll find your footing again. You’ll slowly be able to find beauty in every day, even if you have to look a little harder some days.
You’ll find yourself becoming impulsive, because you’ll absolutely realize how very precious life is. You’ll recognize and understand that each moment is a blessing. You’ll have an appreciation and thankfulness that you’ll never be able to put into words for every moment you spend with loved ones.
There will even be times you may actually feel truly happy and you’ll find yourself wearing a genuine, unforced smile. And then, out of nowhere, the sadness will fill your soul and wash the beautiful glow off of your face. You’ll experience moments when the memories of the most painful day of your life will overtake your every thought and you’ll find it hard to catch a breath.
There are always going to be days where the sadness will fill your soul and you’ll find yourself taking what feels like a million steps backwards. The pain will sting you so sharp and suddenly that no matter how much time has passed, it will still feel like it was just yesterday for you.
The most painful day of your life will always be a part of who you are, but you’ll learn these six things during your grieving that will help you through each day of the rest of your life. You’ve already lost a loved one — don’t lose yourself too.
1. The grief and sadness will always stay with you, but you’ll learn how strong you are.
It’s both a blessing and a curse. You’ll learn how to get better at hiding it from people to avoid having a massive meltdown at the worst possible time or place. You’ll learn that you will still cry, but you’ll learn how to be okay with crying alone.
You’ll always think of your loved one and tears will fill your eyes in an instant whenever you are with your loved one’s family. You’ll learn that this too shall pass. You’ll learn that you’re never given more than you can handle and although your loss may never truly make sense, you’ll learn how strong you are with each passing day.
2. While others are daydreaming about vacations, you’ll be daydreaming about how you’re going to be able to pick up the pieces after your world has been completely flipped upside down.
You’ll feel an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety when you think about how you’ll be able to move forward from this traumatic and painful experience in your life. You won’t know how you’ll be able to make it through birthdays, holidays or family gatherings without your loved one. You’ll look at the empty chair your loved one should be occupying and tears will uncontrollably flow down your cheeks.
You’ll feel a pain that you will never be able to verbalize to anyone who hasn’t been through a similar loss. For possibly the first time, you’ll truly and fully understand that it’s impossible for your life to ever be the same.
You’ll learn that life around you doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. You’ll learn to stop daydreaming about picking up the pieces and one day you’ll begin to pick up the pieces without thinking about it.
3. Some of your favorite things in life will become some of the things you’ll do absolutely anything to avoid forever more.
There will always be certain things that remind you of your loved one. You’ll do anything you can to avoid those things now.
You’ll learn the value of a memory and you’ll learn it can never be erased. You’ll learn the things that were once your favorite things in life have a lifespan, too.
4. You’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone in life.
People will come in and out of your life all the time, and some will stay for longer than others. You’ll realize that some will test you and some will teach you, but everyone will help you grow. You’ll recognize the way in which your loved one brought out the best in you.
You’ll treat personal connections with the people that come in and out of your life now with a little more sincerity. You’ll learn that everyone has something great to offer the world and you’ll start to seek that greatness.
Most importantly, you’ll learn to make time for the people who truly mean the most to you and you’ll make sure they know how much they mean to you every time you’re together.
5. You’ll feel like your life will never be “normal” again, and you’ll be right.
You’ll stop using the word “normal,” because you’ll come to realize it is a made up word that holds no weight or true meaning. Nothing about losing a loved one is “normal.”
The grieving process is different for everyone and it will drastically change who you are. You’ll slowly learn to embrace these changes and you’ll understand that you’re becoming who you’re supposed be. You’ll learn that pain is not always a physical feeling. You’ll learn to be grateful for the struggles you’re facing because they are pushing you to grow.
6. The little things in life will begin to mean the most to you.
You’ll realize that the moments you have with loved ones are just that, moments. They are as beautiful as glistening snowflakes free-falling from the sky – no two are the same, and they disappear within the blink of an eye.
You’ll start to value the little things in life and they will suddenly mean the world to you. You’ll cherish every moment, because you’ll now fully understand that nothing in this life is a sure thing or a guarantee. You’ll embrace each day and live it to the fullest, because you’ll understand that tomorrow may not always come.