Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult, and lonely, experiences in a person’s life.
Grief is different than any other problem you might have faced. It’s a devastating blow from an enormous loss…and it’s something that can’t be solved or ignored.
You might have just lost someone you love, still reeling from the shock.
Your friends and family surround you, offering condolences and support, but you feel numb. They’re surprised that you’re taking it so well. You’re surprised, too, but you suspect it’s because *nothing* feels quite real.
You expect to see your loved one every time you walk in a room, every time you turn around, you see their face in strangers’ faces in the street. And every time the reality hits you again – they are gone.
You remember this again and again, every time you come across their favourite things, their favourite places, the activities and memories you shared. You are becoming exhausted by wave after wave of reminders that they are gone forever, each wave bringing a fresh flood of pain.
The reality starts to sink in. At first, your friends and family were there, holding your hand, bringing you food and baked goods, checking in to see if you were okay. Now they are going back to life as usual…but you are just starting to feel the full force of the pain.
You feel alone, lost. You feel the hole your loved one left behind, and you’re don’t know how to fill it. And you don’t want it filled, because that feels like a betrayal. You feel angry, betrayed, furious - at the universe, at God, at yourself, at loved ones for not understanding, for not being there when you need them.
The months drag on, and you’re trying to put your life back together, but it feels like pieces are missing. You feel sad, exhausted, and depressed. You struggle to find pleasure in the things you used to enjoy. You retreat from your family and friends because they don’t understand, and it’s frustrating to try and explain. Friends and co-workers make insensitive comments or seem puzzled that you aren’t “over it” yet.
You wonder if something is wrong with you – has it been too long? Should I be back to normal now? Will anything ever be normal again?
Grief is all these things and more – so much more. Grief can be complicated by a lot of things:
How close you were to the person you lost, or how close you wish you’d been;
How unexpected or sudden their death was;
If the death was an infant, or a child;
If you were a caregiver for your loved one;
If it was a violent death, or a suicide;
If you feel it was a preventable death, or if you feel you (or someone else!) was somehow responsible for what happened;
If you had unfinished business with your loved one – things left unsaid, quarrels left unresolved;
If you had a chance to say goodbye
No matter what you’re feeling, there is nothing wrong with you. Grief is a healthy and logical response to losses so big that they shake our entire lives. The pain can’t be fought, or buried, or left behind – the only way out is through.
Let us walk beside you through it.