7 Truths To Help You Cope
“I finally understand why people get tattoos of those they have lost. The need to proclaim not merely the loss but the love, the continuity…. It is an act of resistance and refusal: grief telling you it is over and your heart saying it is not; grief trying to shrink your love to the past and your heart saying it is present.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Notes on Grief
The death of a loved one is a wound we all fear. It is the event we never want to plan for and the call we never want to receive. We yearn to all stay together, to make memories and to live happily forever.
For as long as our lungs have breath, we cannot avoid loss. It will mark and change our lives forever, in ways we never imagined before.
Here are 7 truths about grief to help you cope:
1.There is no limit to the amount of time you need to grieve a loss. Take as much time as you need. Your pain is valid. The depth of the wound and gap left by the loss is mostly felt by the one carrying it. Allow yourself to exist in this moment. While anyone who has experienced a similar kind of loss may be able to empathize, the truth is they can only really imagine what you are going through. Allow them to be present for you, but draw boundaries. This is something you need to go through at your own pace. After all is said and done, my hope is you will be able to live fully in the ruins of the loss. That you will remember the best of your loved one and that each memory will light up your eyes.
I hope that the memories of the compliments and encouragement received in the past will be a driving force for change and growth. I hope that you can feel a heavenly smile and know they are proud when you do great.
3. Grief hits hardest when you have regrets. There may be last words you never got to say because a flight was cancelled, or work got in the way and you never made up the time. It hurts more when the heart is heavy because of an apology you meant to give but did not get to.
I hope that as you lament, you remind yourself that while you can never go back and create a perfect scenario, you can still give that apology in your heart. Allow yourself to gain peace from the fact that given a second chance you would have done things differently.
4 . The loss of a loved one is tangible- that deep belly laugh you will never hear again. There is an intimacy to the loss that a lot of people will never understand or appreciate. It is a personal journey; one you can not delegate to another. As you go through that loss, and you realize that all you have left are these memories, I hope that you embrace each moment and celebrate it. I hope that you are encouraged to make more beautiful memories, not to replace the ones you cannot experience again, but to live a rich and full life.
5. Grief comes uninvited and stays for longer than expected. It stays with you for life. It can’t be tied up and put away, no matter how much one desires that. Understand that you will be impacted by grief forever. On some days the burden will be worse than others. Birthday celebrations may never be the same, game nights and date nights too. Extend grace to yourself and know they would want you to enjoy your life, even in their absence.
6. Life after loss can be a heavy burden to carry. It can be a lonely journey, one which you feel no one else understands. As you navigate the terrain marked with so many changes, I hope you will be gentle as the loss permeates every part of your life. Find solace in close friends who provide a safe space for you to grieve or pour your heart into a journal reserved for your eyes only.
7. There is no experience when it comes to grief- having lost someone before does not guarantee that you will handle it better this time. Each loss is different, and each experience is unique- the void left behind is different. No one should have to mark their current experience against how they fared before.
I hope you will experience peace, love, and warmth as you go through this difficult time.
Sending love and light