My grief PIC (partner in crime) as I will refer to one of the closest people in my life (she would hunt me down if I used her name or gave her any credit) and I have always been really open and talked about literally everything. She was always in it with me in every way. Being as close as we are, she told me that she could feel all the different pains I felt, like it took her instantly back to the loss of her own husband 20 years ago…like it was yesterday. I don’t like to use the term “stages” but she felt all of the different levels with me and still is almost 4 years later. I hated that I took her back there and through it again, but soon realized that no matter how much time passed, she was still in it. My situation just illuminated it all again…and if I’m telling the truth (which I promised to do), it was so comforting for me to feel seen and known through that time. I get it too. I think that no matter who is going through it, if you’ve been there you feel along with them. I remember hearing about a girl I went to school with who had lost her boyfriend in a vehicle accident and even though I haven’t known her for many years, I felt a deep pain for her and wanted to reach out. It’s just something you really never want others to have to go through I guess, especially not alone.
For me there was a crazy blend of incredibly supportive people and each of them did something different for me as far as keeping me sane(ish)…I will never take that for granted.
My PIC and I laughed a lot too as we are fairly ridiculous and uncensored together…messed up shit that I will never repeat! That was important to me. It helped me remain true to myself and not get so low that I couldn’t find my way back.
Even though most days when grieving we just wish for our old life back, we of course realize that it’s not going to happen and we can’t change what’s transpired. Therefore we have no choice but to carry on and without having love around us that’s not only a very tough concept but also a long, scary road filled with fear and hopelessness. Depending on where you are in your process you may not want to hear this right now, but you can trust me when I say the road does get shorter with time. Not to say you won’t have other bullshit arrive unannounced (hello pandemic, joblessness, homelessness) but somehow knowing that you’ve lived through the most horrific pain takes some of the fear out of it…eventually.
My hope for all of you is that you find that support, friendship, love, your very own PIC. That maybe someone wonderful shows up in your life, or steps up when you need them the most…or maybe you’re lucky like me and are surrounded by amazing people. But…if that doesn’t happen and you’re feeling like you’re in this alone, you are not. I’m here. I hope you can come here to read, write, laugh, cry and feel a bit less solitude and remember that even if you can’t put into words how you are feeling at this moment, others have felt the same way. Not your exact pain of course, as that is very individual, but something very similar. You are not alone.
It feels a lot like something in you has exploded into tiny fragments of your former self. You are shattered. Pieces of who you used to be, what your life was before and how you felt as a whole person, scattered all around you. Close enough to catch glimpses and relive memories…sometimes even fleeting moments of those old feelings of being in that life. The smells, the season changes, the songs, the favourite tastes, the laughs, the touches. Within seconds you’re shaken back to reality and those uplifted emotions plummet into a deep, dark place and all the strength you have in you is used to climb back to the surface where you can breathe again…where it’s safe. I see you, in whatever loss you are grieving…there are many. We are all different in our pain, experiences, process and our lives…but be sure that we feel parts of each other’s journey along the way and are not in it alone.
When you start to feel the pieces pulling back together, when the fog starts to lift and you find yourself using less energy to climb out of the dark place, and there’s more and more time between falls. This is when you will discover your strength. This is when you will see the beauty in your new mosaic self…that even though the cracks in between the pieces are bigger than ever before, they also have opened up to allow some of your magnificent light to shine through.