Grief is hard, we all know that. What I think no one talks about is how much grief changes you. The change is drastically different for each person. Not only does it change people but your life changes so drastically.
When I lost my best friend there was the grieving of her presence. There was a period of time where I was trying to navigate a life without her in it. That was and still is difficult. Overtime, life slowly returned to a relatively normal pace, with the heavy fog of grief lifting.
Then as I was coming out of the dark cave I’d been surviving in, I emerged to the light and felt like I didn’t recognize where I was. Everything felt different. For the first time I was able to see and feel how my circle of people were processing their own loss of her.
Just as I found my footing it felt like the earth was beginning to shift and crack below my feet. Everything was changing and different. The cocoon of people I had surrounded myself with my whole life was beginning to shift. Each person was moving in a different direction. Seemingly creating a distance that had never existed before. I felt like I was running around franticly trying to scoop them all up and return them to their rightful place in my life. It felt like an injustice for anything else to change. It felt personal. It was as if the air was being taken from my lungs, the thought of a single thing else changing was too much to bear. I could feel more people I loved slipping from my hands. Hands that were desperately trying to grip what was left of the before.
I couldn’t see it then, but I see it now. I thought if we all stayed the same then we could never forget. If we stayed the same I could maybe jump back into life and it wouldn’t hurt so bad. If we all stayed in our lives the same way we would keep ourselves going and do the same things as if she was here. But she wasn’t here. It wasn’t the same. It was never going to be the same again.
When someone leaves this earth, nothing will ever or can ever be the same. There is before and there is after. I still love all of the people from that cocoon of before. I love them like family. My heart sometimes aches and grieves them too. There are times I see them living in their after and my heart grieves. That’s the thing about grief right? We don’t know when it’s coming. It just shows up unannounced, when we least expect it.
I know each of us needed to crumble after that late June day so we could put ourselves back together in a way that we could continue to live without her. I’d like to believe she’s had a hand in mending us back up and sending us off to keep growing into better people. She was after all a delegator, and I hope we are all living up to her high expectations .
We should talk about the grieving after the grieving more often. The grieving of what was and the grieving of what can never be. We should give ourselves permission to love people from a distance and know that sometimes it’s what’s in the highest good for both you and them. Most of all we should let the grief flood back in, no matter how long we’ve had to process it.
To what was…and to all that there still can be.