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.
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!!
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!
Yes, “grief gets easier to carry over time”, but we will never get over the loss.
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
You never will! I lost my son to Cancer in April of this year. I don’t know how to go on.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
I lost my 24 year old son in a car accident 4 days before Thanksgiving last year. I push myself everyday to keep going for my youngest son. I know if I spend one day crying in bed, I won’t be able to keep going. I cry everyday, and I don’ t see it getting any better.
There’s no moving on .
I find it’s all about learning to live without my son Emotionally.
Learning to live with my emotions.
As they can feel like I am Drowning in overwhelming of feeling of panic & anxiety.
I feel like a plant that needed to find a home with someone who could Nurture it with love to grow .
I could not talk say my sons name for many years .
11 years have pastes
I went abroad on holidays to find peace of mind to be able to switch off from my feelings..
May son loved traveling abroad Especially to the Caribbean.
So I went .
My feelings keep following me it did not make me feel better .
At work today I need to ask people for ID.
I noticed a man was born in 1980.
I said your 41 this year !
Just like my son however he died .
He was shot .
He asked me his name I said Anthony .
I felt the pain .
I can not break down cry at work , however could feel the tears .
I am safe .
I have to learn to talk my sons name.
He told me he knows what happened to my son as he knew my son.
I said to him .
I am told I have to keep talking about my son .
He said yes that’s good therapy .
Gosh I felt the pain & felt the crying .
It’s one hell of a slow process for me.
12 years now .
The trauma of that day stays with me & I do get triggers .
Am told its PSTD
I am safe, will Survive my trauma .
Anthony was 28 years old when he was shot dead .
It’s true for me anyway .
Death is final however death can not kill the emotional feelings of love between my son & I
Time May of moved forward .
It’s helped me grow more emotional intelligent.
My son follows me on this road .
His in my memories he never left .
Only his Physical body gone .
His memories, his energy of love within me will never die .
I just got to keep remembering to Nurture myself with talking about my son to people in the public .
Anthony, Anthony , Anthony .