Sunday, November 15, 2015

Personal Thoughts on Living With Grief

Living with grief- I have been doing that for almost 22 years now, and I suspect it will never be any different for as long as I live. I give myself permission to grieve when it is appropriate just as I know when to suck it up and pretend to be fine. I will never get over this loss and only those who have been through this can understand the feeling.

Will life ever be good again? It can be. That is up to the one grieving. Because I choose to embrace life and not wallow in my grief, I made something of my life after my daughter’s death. If she had not died, the path I am on now would never have been. It is because of her death that I am now a different person with different goals, different priorities. And it feels good.

I help others through my writings, through speaking to groups and through meeting other bereaved parents. We all have one thing in common…the love of our child who is no longer with us for whatever reason. And what would I give to have my daughter back with me again… anything and everything. To hold her and tell her that driver didn’t know what he was doing when he ran the stop sign and smashed into the new car she and her husband had just driven off the dealer’s lot not 20 minutes prior.

Many times I think of something I had forgotten to tell my daughter and turn to the phone to call her to share a funny story, relate a significant event or talk about an upcoming party, trip or plans for the weekend. I then take a sharp intake of air as I remember I can no longer do that. I can’t see her, talk to her, or enjoy her company ever again.

I share my story with others and try to give some wisdom and support. Not only does it help me to grow but also I am doing a service to many who don’t know where to turn or how to move on. I keep busy with other things I enjoy doing, but always in the back of my mind is the thought it would have been fun to do that with my daughter, or at least fun to tell her about it.

There will always be a hole in my heart that nothing or no one can fill, but I discovered I could still love and be loved. I can still smile and even laugh without feeling guilty. I can have a good time enjoying my busy life with family and friends and slowly things got better and one day life was good in small ways and then bigger ways.

Even though busy, the pop-up of a smiling face that looks like me, seeing a play together, or a younger girl begging to go to a drive-in movie with her boyfriend, will always bring me back to the reality of what  I have lost, the most important person in my life. I keep it far down inside, and only when I am alone, do the tears begin to slide down my face, as they probably will for the rest of my life. That’s okay, and it’s important to realize the fact that one need not be ashamed of crying and letting those emotions out. I know I feel better after a good cry.

Grief requires us to push the envelope and look outside a bit more to find comfort in meaningful ways and be stronger and wiser. Life will feel better again one day, as it has with me, even knowing I will never forget my loss no matter what anyone says.

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