The way we have been conditioned to function or, rather, the expectation of how we function in grief is unrealistic.
If I hear one more person say, “Give it a year,” I am going to punch a wall.
A year? Is that a serious comment?
My daughter was my daughter for 13 years on this Earth, and I am supposed to give it a year?!
What do people mean when they say this? That I will wake up on the first anniversary of her leaving this Earth, and it will all be better? That it will hurt less? That everything will just be okay?
Every morning I wake up, my eyes open, and I literally have to reorient myself to the reality of my life.
And then it hits me like a bag of bricks on my chest:
Another day without my daughter. I have to do another day without my daughter. I cannot believe this.
But on most days, somehow, I get out of bed and do the best I can.
Sometimes that looks like working out. Sometimes I am able to eat something by 5 p.m. Sometimes I shower, and sometimes I even put on pants. Sometimes I get up to get some water and get right back in bed.
Some days are better than others.
People who have not experienced the loss of a child do not realize how isolating and lonely it is. And when the wave of grief heads your way, there is nothing you can do to stop it. You have to ride each wave, and they are without rhyme or reason.
Sometimes, the wave hits me, and I get in my car and leave. Other times, the wave hits me, and I can’t get off the kitchen floor.
Despite the support I have been given during this horrific part of my life, everyone has moved on with their lives. With their jobs, their relationships—their everything.
I have not. Sometimes, even cars driving down the road set me off because that means someone is going somewhere—they have somewhere to be, and it’s probably something important to them.
Life goes on for everyone but the grieving person. The grieving person is left trying to put the pieces together—or trying to create new pieces and rebuild from the ashes.
It is like being born again when you never asked to be born in the first place.
Grieving people need time to grieve.
Grieving looks like so many things. For me, it is about trusting my decisions, being vulnerable, learning to ask for help, and rebuilding my home, which will never again look like it once did.
Give grieving people a break.