Grief isn’t a word you use in your day-to-day life. Grief is used when you lose someone important to you. I don’t want to be grieving. I don’t want to use the word grief because that means something or someone I love is gone.
But I am.
I am learning some things in life you can’t fully prepare for. You can’t experience a dark feeling until you’re in it, and you can’t fully imagine your best days until they’ve passed.
Likewise, you’ll never be able to prepare for losing someone important to you.
Now, it wouldn’t shock you if I told you we are all going to die one day. Because we will, and we know it is a fact of life. But this fact doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t make it easier when someone close to you is gone too soon.
It’s difficult to put grief into words.
It’s like trying to describe the taste of water or the smell of air. Grief feels confusing, frustrating, and unfair. In a way, it feels like a joke—losing someone, that is. As if the person you have lost will come back. You can imagine their voice, how they’ll greet you, what they will say, what they will look like, because they are not really gone.
This is what it feels like at first.
But as much as you want to deny their passing, at some point it does become real. At some point, you realize they are really gone and you can’t fully prepare for that. The emotions, the feelings, and the overwhelming waves of sadness that come along with grief that is.
It’s probably true when they say that we all grieve differently. But I can guarantee a deep feeling of pain is a part of that palette.
Because that’s what grief is: grief is painful. Grief is the word you don’t ever wish to use but exists in the back of your mind, waiting to describe a time like this: when you lose someone important.
It’s true when they say we often appreciate someone the most when they are no longer here. I hate that there’s truth in this. Because regardless of the amount of time you spent with them, you will always be longing for more. Just one more hug. Just one more day of laughter. Just one more time you could tell them how important they are to you. But we know they are gone, and we know we must continue on without them.
The weird part about grief is despite every bit of you that feels heartbroken for their passing, it also provides you with a flood of memories. The laughs together. Their kindness. How they treated others. The crazy things they said. How they made you feel. The lessons they taught you. The gifts they gave you in wisdom and growth.
Maybe grief isn’t 100% just tears and sorrow.
It feels odd trying to see the positive in something so devastating, but I think it’s how we cope. It’s how we grieve. In a way, their disappearance provides a sense of reflection: What did this person teach me? How will I honor them and continue to make them proud?
I know it will take time to heal, and frankly, I don’t think we will ever fully stop being sad, nor are we supposed too. But I will smile at the time we spent and the memories that will live with us forever. I will tell stories of the times you made me cry of laughter, smile with the utmost happiness, and even rage with anger.
I guess that’s the beauty and uncertainty of being alive. It comes with the wonders that life has to offer, alongside the cruel and unfair experiences that are unavoidable.
Life is precious. Be kind and love intensely and abundantly.