To me grief can become a bit of a slippery slope. I don’t mean the normal process of grieving the kind that is healthy an necessary and different for everyone. I mean the darkness. The unstoppable sobs, the inability to function, the deepest darkest places that my heart goes if I let it.
One of the hardest parts of grieving for me has been finding a balance. Working through the pain without letting it consume me. When grief is like that, like the big monster, I need help to see my way out of it. Like a sponsor of sorts. Someone who knows exactly where I’ve been and exactly how I’m feeling and can remind me of the light and the goodness that is still here, right in front of me. And even though they may be struggling too, they always know exactly what to say to bring me back to the land of the living. I am blessed enough to have a few of these wonderful people in my life, and I’m grateful to no end.
My journey with grief began exactly 5 years ago. Almost to the moment as I’m writing this post, although I think when someone has a terminal illness in some ways you begin to grieve long before they actually go.
My memories of Jan 14th, 2009 and the days and weeks immediately after are the worst kind of nightmare. The kind you can’t shake off when you wake up, the kind you keep dreaming over and over and over again. Except unfortunately this isn’t just a horrible dream, it’s just life. It’s what they tell me is my “new normal”.
I should have made a list of all the things people say when there is a loss. Some of it was incredibly compassionate and wonderful and some of it just sucked. I recently read and reposted an incredible article on what to say and what not to say and I wish I had it 5 years ago. 🙂
But really, the whole point is there is nothing that helps, there are no words, there is no action to be taken that can replace what has been stolen from you. So even though sometimes it wasn’t the best, I appreciated people for any time that they tried.
I would like to acknowledge every single person who cared for my broken heart over the past five years. I tried to write it all out, but I couldn’t stop crying and it was a hot mess so I gave up. You all carried me in different ways, and tonight I am so so so very grateful.
The harsh reality of life is that some times it is horrible and sometimes you will suffer immeasurable loss. Not everyone is blessed with amazing people around them to support them and help them transition to a functioning happy life. I am one of the lucky ones. My heart is aching especially hard for my loss at this time, but beyond that pain and brokenness I see the light of the people around me, and I am full of thankfulness.
Beau, until we meet again I will miss fiercely every day and try my best to be a person who would have made you proud.