“You’ll survive”, “Time heals all wounds”, “Your scars tell your strength”. These are things you hear after all manner of heartbreaks, from deadbeat boyfriends to the death of a beloved pet, but they all make the same failed assumption.
In each and every one of the situations other individuals will give you one-liners like this in the midst of, it is assumed that you, as a victim or bystander, survived. In many cases, they may be correct, and you might be the kind of person who has endured a trauma from whence you are mostly still whole. This piece isn’t for you friend, congratulations on being whole, this piece is for those of us that have felt who we are die, and struggle with living beyond that death. I died in March of 2015, my heart was crushed to powder and these are the things I learned about finding life beyond that.
It isn’t weird to mourn yourself. You can’t go on being the person that died when whatever happened to you happened, but that person still lived a life that had good parts and bad parts. Go ahead and celebrate the good, and learn what you can from the bad, maybe you can use that.
Secondly, realize rebirth is going to be painful, but unless you kill yourself again (which doesn’t make much sense because you’ve already died) you have to do it. You’re going to be a different person, so you need to decide how your death affects the person you’re becoming. Do you mourn your old self with your new self, or do you use the new self to live in bravery at the things the old you was afraid of? I suggest you do the latter, blaze a new path instead of moonlighting the old. You died once, go for it this time, do the thing, take the job, bake the bread, kiss the girl. Live.
Lastly, and this is the point I need you to stick with. People are not going to realize you’ve become a whole new human being. They’ll use words like “denial” and “depression” to explain away how you’re acting. If you aren’t a person who has died, they might be right, and I urge you to seek help in proper channels. But if you’re a dead person who has been reborn, I urge patience. Don’t do things JUST to make them believe your rebirth, you don’t want to hurt them in the ways your old self was hurt.
Instead, invite them gently to learn about your new self, maybe with their help you can learn yourself more quickly as well, since you do not have the benefit of a second childhood in which to do that. Above all, go FORWARD. Not because you need to heal, but because you’ve got a whole new person to become. Pain doesn’t just hurt, sometimes it kills, but that’s ok. Like a Phoenix from the ashes, you rise.