Whether you’re grieving the loss of a companion, relationship, friend, relative, parent or child it’s never an easy thing. I’d never wish the type of loss our family suffered on my worst enemy.
I remember the night it happened so vividly that I remember what I was wearing, who I was with, where I was. The weather was cool and breezy that night. I remember how empty and numb I felt. I remember I couldn’t understand my sister because she was on the other end of the phone crying so hard.
Fourteen years later and it’s not any easier.
See, the thing about grief is that enough time goes by that you think you’re ok and healed up then a holiday or an anniversary or an event happens and the grief hits you. You aren’t healed. You don’t heal from the loss of someone close to you; you just learn to live with the pain when it comes. You don’t even realize it’s happening until the wave hits you and you get this reminder that they aren’t here.
He was here on earth for 15 years and, although, we will get him for a lifetime in heaven, it pains me that he isn’t here to teach Simon the things only an uncle can teach.
Justin was one of those boys who was just cool. He pushed my buttons, but was there to teammup against the adults. He had this smile that was contagious. This goofy personality that taught me early on to appreciate the fact that boys will never grow up. He was great at sports, loved his momma and had manners you don’t see in youth today. So many memories of us playing Jurassic Park in the front yard on the Bobcat and sand piles across our property. Our family Christmas ski trips staying up late playing until I was “too cool” for you guys. Holidays & weekends spent at the deer lease riding 4-wheelers and watching scary movies. Gawhd, how I wish I would’ve stopped to say goodbye the last time I saw you.
It’s only Tuesday and I feel emotionally exhausted. Fourteen years ago today we lost my brother. Yesterday was National Sibling Day and I just couldn’t get myself to celebrate on social media. I love my sister and our baby brother, Brandon, but every year this “holiday” is just a reminder that we are always going to be missing one. To top it off.. I had to close the door on someone I cherished very much and was reminded that it’s not the loss of what was, but the loss of what could’ve been that hurts the most. And that forgiving someone who isn’t sorry isn’t as easy you think. But, hey, if I can forgive Simon’s dad, I can survive anything.
But the truth is this… life goes on. With or with out you.
Whether you’re suffering the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, a friendship, whatever… it’s going to take time. Always remember that we each grieve differently. Some in silence, some in obvious ways and others just don’t.
Example: my dad got angry and resentful, my sister stayed busy until she learned to just deal in silence and Brandon pretended to be strong and grieved on his own while I completely lost it.
How I’m still walking around with this gentle heart of mine is a miracle.
I know in some instances our instinct is usually “hurt those who’ve hurt us”. But how do you hurt “God” when He’s the one who allowed it to happen, right?! We have to have someone to blame, but how do blame someone you can’t even see?! Well, you do what I did and head out on this downward spiral of self destructive behavior. You get angry at God and run. You deny Him, you stop praying and you get more lost than you were. But I literally LOST IT. And I lost it on my ex fiancé. Poor guy. Our engagement ended only months after we lost Justin and even though I had caught him cheating many times it was him who was the closest thing to me at the time and I took most of it out on him physically and verbally.
Trust me when I say it does NOT make you feel any better any sooner to attack another person. These days when I’m grieving a breakup (for example) I take 24 hours and cry when I can, say what I want (reasonably) then begin the healing and grieving and never look back.
I think the hardest part in most grieving situations is forgiveness. Not only forgiving them for leaving this world or for God causing the loss, but forgiving yourself. Whether it’s things unsaid or undone or for knowing a relationship/friendship wasn’t for you. Forgive yourself and hop on the Grief Wave headed to the shore where you find peace again.
Ya know, I got angry at my own family and pushed everyone close to me away and searched to fill the void in dark clubs and strangers who would never care about me the way I needed at the time. I became numb at some point. I just stopped feeling any attachment or connection to things or people. Sometimes I still feel that way. It’s difficult for me to grow an attachment, but when I do… we’ll save that for another time.
I felt nothing and I didn’t care who I was hurting because I was hurting and didn’t even realize it.
Grief is a process. It’s a delicate time and you have to be strong enough to recognize it yet vulnerable enough to not be afraid of it. You gotta cry when you feel like crying. But you also have to force yourself to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other until you wake up one day and realize it’s not so bad anymore.
Church, exercise, family, friends and writing…those are my therapies now. As a single mom, I don’t get the luxury of sitting in bed crying like I want sometimes because my kid needs me.
You know how hard it is to fight back tears when you are as sensitive as I am and your heart is in pieces? Not easy so don’t be hard on yourself if you do. We are human and we need to release it somehow, just don’t take it out on your kid!
If you know me and/or my family, you know that we are extremely close. Let me tell ya, we may have always been close, but we had to suffer a major tragedy and almost lose my dad a couple of times to become this tight.
I always tell people “if you need a family come join mine” because it’s a good one. We love and welcome anyone.
I mean it!
If you ever find yourself in need of someone to sit with you while you cry it out or someone to talk you through it, we are here. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a relationship/marriage, job or pet please don’t hesitate.
We all need love and compassion at some point in our lives.
And always remember that the pain won’t go away over night. It takes time. A LOT OF TIME. Recognize which step you’re on and don’t be in a rush. Just let it happen naturally. It will happen. You will wake up one day and smile again. I promise 🤗
Until then, don’t take a single second for granted. Love those God gave you and never give up on your dreams or what/who make you happy.