Dear Newly Bereaved,
I remember standing where you are. The world feels different. A vast emptiness closes in around your heart as you wrangle with the idea that your child is no longer a part of this world. Your world, broken. The last image of them burning in your mind because there will be no more. Don’t focus too long on the idea that it’s over. It will crush your soul and pull the breath from your lungs. Forever has new meaning. Torture.
How do I keep going? I can’t imagine my life without them.
Life is so unfair. You will realize that statement never held meaning until now. I don’t want to do this! I hate this! There is so much anger! The situation feels impossible. There is not enough hate for the life you have been thrust into without a single say. Everything around you seems to be spiraling. As it turns out, control is only an illusion. We don’t have any.
The mere mention of a death will always have the ability to transport you back to this moment. It will always be raw. These images haunt you right now. They replay over and over as your brain tries to make sense of it all. There is no sense to be made.
A heart cannot begin to process this level of pain. Very few people will be able to support you through this kind of pain. Believe me when I say it is not you! It’s them. You will learn that unless someone has experienced deep loss like this, they cannot begin to understand what you now know. You may be surprised to find the best support comes from total strangers. The people you expected would always be there in your lowest moments seem to disappear or be unaware of what to do.
Know that you are not alone, though it will feel that way. Grief is a very solo journey. Every one will experience it differently. What you feel is normal! It’s important for you to know that. So please do not compare your grief to anyone else. You will question whether or not you are crazy. You are not. Just do whatever feels right to you in the moment.
The struggle to find yourself again is real. It’s been 18 months and I am no closer. Be patient and kind with yourself. So much of your experience will define you. This grief journey is all about you. Find people that can support you in the ways you need. There will be casualties. Accept it.
It sucks being a member of this club. None of us ever expected to join. While every parent thinks about what it may feel like to lose a child, no one ever believes it can really happen. Unfortunately, it does. The reality of it never sinks in. What you do need to remember is your child is still with you. They are standing on the sidelines supporting you, cheering you on. They know how difficult this journey is for you. Keep going!
Much love! XO