Moving On… If There Is Such A Thing

moving forward

I just don’t know how to move on now. It’s a phrase I often hear when I meet others who have lost a loved one. Sometimes it’s only been a short time. Other times, it’s been more years than they care to admit. Still looking for their way.

To be honest, it scares me a little.

There is this idea that eventually this walk gets easier. In the same breath, that’s where my greatest fears now lie.

Most of us have only ever seen grief through a mask, not our own. There is raw vulnerability in sharing the truth about just how much loss can wreck you. It makes people around us uncomfortable. Hell, it makes us uncomfortable… so we just don’t show it.

This behavior promotes the stigma. It makes you feel like you are doing something wrong if you haven’t stopped grieving after the first year. A false sense of pressure that life is just supposed to go back to the way it was before. You and everyone around you wonder why you can’t just move on.

“Move on”…Those are two words I refuse to use now!

There is no such thing as moving on after loss. Moving on would require you to let go of part of your life, part of your heart. It requires you to accept that life is cruel and unfair, while proceeding as if the greatest trauma of your life never happened…with a smile. Not possible!

So, when this statement comes up, my response is always the same. I say, “I don’t think there is a such thing as moving on. To me, it’s simply continuing to move forward.”

Surviving loss is all about finding a way to continue putting one foot in front of the other. You cannot move forward until you find a way to do so with the person you lost still a part of your life…just in a new way. It’s different for everyone. Yet, I don’t believe you ever stop grieving their loss. How could you? Instead, the grief gets easier to carry over time. You learn coping mechanisms and how to avoid triggers making life feel easier.

The grief is always still there. The love is always still there. You haven’t really moved on. Just forward.

moving forward

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13 Comments on “Moving On… If There Is Such A Thing”

  1. It is surprising and at the same time a bit depressing how many people have asked if I have moved on yet, I feel like shouting at them HOW!!

    1. It was a big shock to me how those closest to me, that I thought would be my rocks during any life challenges, were those that left first or made comments exactly like this. We will NEVER get over the loss of our child! Hugs!

  2. My son died 2 1/2 years ago and my pain is ever so present. I found this blog and I thought that I was just being selfish and mean, when I became angry at those who I thought would be there for me in my darkest hour and yet they were not. No visits, no calls, no texting, nothing. Hurt on top of hurt, I honestly did not know if I would survive it all. But God was with me and I truly believe that He alone wanted to be my source. God knew I would tell everyone that He was my support and though support from others is needed, God can do it when there is no one else. We will make it! HUGS

  3. I lost my 15-year-old son last December. He got into a dirt bike accident. Sometimes I feel numb like it’s not real and he’s going to be coming home and sometimes the pain is unbearable. I feel like sometimes I live vicariously through his pictures and videos it gives me comfort but I’m afraid it masks the reality that he’s gone.

  4. My 15 yearold daughter Tianna died in December 2018. It is April now. I cry every day and likely will for the rest of my life, There is no getting over, it devours you. Unless you have lost a child you will never understand. This is 100 times worse than losing a parent or grandparent or spouse or even a sibling. I used to think how long I could live for. Now I think how much longer before I can die. So sad.

  5. I lost my son 29 days ago, he was 24. My youngest child. My baby. My heart. He died suddenly, and was found dead in bed. Nothing can ever prepare you for this kind of grief. I simply don’t know how to survive the pain.

  6. I lost my little man, Clayton, in February 2001, he was 2 1/2.
    Next week, on the 4th of July
    He would of been, 22.
    I hurt as much today as the day I lost him, to a drowning incident in the family pool. I know that I will never be the same again, I have learnt to live with the grief, and I remind myself ….
    It’s better to have had loved; then lost
    Then to never had at all..
    He was my blessing, a gift from God
    Unfortunately, his my angel now, I feel him around occasionally, when I take in the signs..

  7. I lost my husband April 5, 2015 and 5 years later on July 6, 2020 I lose my son. Its a double whammy and that is what it feels like. I feel like I was punched and all the air came out. I feel drained and exhausted but don’t sleep. Its been 15 days since he’s been gone. We had his funeral and now I’m not sure what to do. I am trying to get back into a routine like I had before but it hurts like hell knowing he’s not on this Earth. He’s not a call or text away. I don’t get his Snapchats or see his posts on Facebook. His boys ask me if Daddy is in Heaven and it breaks my heart.
    Then I remember….Gods not done with me yet. I still have something to learn or someone to help. I have three beautiful little boys to help raise and tell them stories about their dad. I’m the only one who can do that. I’m the only one who knew my son better than he did. Gods not done with me yet…I cannot accept he is gone but I have to keep going, for the boys. Always for the boys.

  8. My sister says it’s all done and dusted now. Makes me so angry and hurt. She can never understand what I am still going through. I go through the motions of living, I smile I work yet there is this huge hole in my life and this will never be done and dusted.

  9. I truly feel your last sentence sums it up: ‘The grief is always still there. The love is always still there. You haven’t really moved on. Just forward.’
    It’s not yet been a year since our son passed away. I still wonder if I’ll ever find any joy again. I just hope the passage of time will allow me to move forward. Thank you for a well written article.

  10. I lost my son in December 2020 at 27 years old. He was supposed to be on a plane to Baltimore for Christmas, but never got on the plane. He was found in his apartment on the couch. I am still waiting for the autopsy to come back to know what happened. I lost people I thought would be there during this time. I’m guess they were making room for people who didn’t know my son but have been a huge support. I don’t want to move on, I want to learn to live with it for my daughter’s sake.

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