Grief Has Changed Me — Forever

I lost someone very close to me over a month ago, and I am not the same person any longer. I am wondering if I ever will be again.

I used to be very social and outgoing, and often over-volunteering. I used to enjoy entertaining, and was usually the last one at the party. I used to love my profession, consistently feeling better at the end of my day than the beginning, feeling fed by my work and my clients.

Now I am quiet. I don’t have the energy to be in the company of others and I do not want to socialize. I don’t care much about others and what they are going through. I reserve my energy for a couple of key people that I want to be close to, quietly. I continue to go to work as I am too young to retire. I am beginning to care more about others, but very slowly.

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As I experience this stranger in my body, I am trying to decipher what parts of this new me I actually enjoy better than my former self. If I don’t learn something, and change something about myself as a result of this tragedy, then quite frankly, it is a tragedy upon a tragedy. His death must mean something, and I must embody that. Loss without change is not going to happen in my books. It can’t. That would be another loss, both to myself and to humanity.

I have also discovered that I believe I am denying myself fun or enjoyment. What right do I have to be happy, even for a moment, when a beautiful young man doesn’t exist anymore? This seems disrespectful, both to his memory, and to his grieving parents. As I say this, it sounds like a ridiculous statement, but one that I have been living nonetheless. This is one change that I am experiencing that I know is not healthy to hang on to.

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I am also not writing, which is why I am writing this. I love writing. It feeds my soul. I also use it as a tool to help others, so to avoid having my fingers on the keyboard is counter-productive to who I am. This is another change that I must reverse. We all should embrace our God-given talents and use them for good. Speaking of God, that’s another shift. I used to consider Him my best friend, my go-to person. Now there are moments and even days where I forget He exists. I don’t want to forget Him. He is central to my belief system and my faith in myself and in humanity. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

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Grief can seem stupid and senseless. It doesn’t change anything; it certainly doesn’t bring that person back. However, one certainty in life is that we will all die. It’s not like some do and some don’t. We all do. We just don’t know when, and how. Perhaps if grief can be used to shape us into a new and better person for the future, it then holds some meaning? I hope so. I hope so for me.

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