I don’t know how to begin this—nobody does. Grief is messy, destructive, and consuming. Grief will creep into every part of your life. It will cancel your plans and create a permanent place in bed for you. You will try to run from it; you will try to block them out. The truth exists in the way grief comes in and wraps itself around you—you can’t outrun it. No matter how much you drink or distract yourself when the lights turn off, it will come flooding back. Grief is here.
Losing someone stays with you, no matter how hard you fight it and push it down. This pain, heartache, brings a new meaning to loneliness. The first few days are just overwhelming but hazy. Most of the time you believe you are handling the death of your loved one admirably. You see something that reminds you of them; a tinge of joy overwhelms you, but it doesn’t last. Just as quickly as that joy came, it fades, as you collapse on the floor in tears.
You will feel grief far beyond the initial moments after someone you love dies.
Three months passed, and I thought by now I would have a handle on it. I wasn’t prepared; I didn’t understand the cycle grief pushes through. The beginning, the moments you are surrounded by loved ones and family, when nobody wants to leave you alone, those are the easy ones. It’s in the moments where their presence is missing that are difficult. It’s the moments some of the memories of your loved one begin to fade. In the way, their eyes fade from your memory. Or the way their voice sounds so far away. It’s driving down roads when a song comes on that they showed you, and you’re there cursing the moment that they left this earth and left you with nothing but questions and a lost sense of hope. It’s in big moments when all you want to do is call them and ask if they are proud of you, if they miss you like you miss them.
Grief makes itself known in every inch of your body.
It will make you anxious, like you can’t possibly attach yourself to anyone else for fear of losing them too. It’ll make you afraid to answer your phone. Afraid that this is another call, another loss, and you aren’t sure you can survive another loss.
Truth is, every loss sticks with you. You carry it with you every day, weighing yourself down. Your bones will ache in every movement you make. In the moments between the agonizing realization that life has to move on without the people that you love so deeply, you will realize all of these feelings are okay. Be angry, be sad, but let it move through you. It may feel like something is being stolen from you but those moments and memories with them will always be yours.
You will move through it.
But grief does change you.