I want to begin with no matter what, no one should tell you that they “know how you feel”
In all fairness, It’s meant to be a term of endearment, it’s like a pre manufactured sentiment of empathy that sometimes is thrown around too loosely. Yeah, in reality we all lose someone ultimately, it’s inevitable and there’s no escaping that. But no one can climb inside you at your darkest hour and try to tell you “they know”. No they don’t. Your pain is unique to you and your feelings about your precious loved one that you had a unique relationship with. They don’t “know”. But we muster up the common “thanks” to be polite. There’s so many tough emotions involved & yours will be unique to you.
You are strong.
I have to say how sorry ( even though you are indeed tired of hearing the “sorry” but it’s an awkward thing for everyone. The bereaved & the friends & family of the grief stricken, they have love for you but words are tough to come up with at these times) but truly, I am saddened for your loss & pain that you feel. The loss of your parent, you were never ready & felt there are future aspects of your life they will never see now. Your world feels shaken & violated, life & time stolen, and that will never be replaced. You will slowly come to a spiritual acceptance though. It does happen but you will always have a longing for your loved ones presence.
Here are my take on some points that I have learned on my own journey after losing my mother & then my father suddenly just 17 months apart. I was just 29 years of age & come to learn that these things are not the easiest to handle.
Every gathering with relatives is like ripping a Bandage off over and over: They will share their own memories from the past & reminiscing what your parent was like, what they said & did, how so & so misses them when all you can feel is your own grief & loss. With a smile plastered across your face, you’ll nod as family & friends tell you stories and you’ll think about what you would give to have them right there with you instead.
Graduating, dating, marriage & future kids, any event will cause a stabbing heart unsettling bout of pain: In these future moments, you are happy and excited as these new chapters happen( there will be moments you smile again & they are so needed & precious I tell you). But once alone, you think about how awesome it would be to have them there for acknowledgment & advice, approval & opinions, perhaps at graduations, and seeing them with a camera recording, or to walk you down the aisle or look into your future children’s eyes. You’ll get sad as you think about how different life would be if they were here.
You ask over and over why?: Whether it was a natural cause of death or some accident, or if depression pushed them over the edge you question everything you know and what you believe in (if you believe in anything). You will replay moments in your head questioning your actions asking “what if I would have said or done something to change this?” Or got on them about their health & this or that? But if anything, the re-occuring question is why? An answer that is always to be continued.
Youll be envious of others who have both their parents (not in a mean sense of course): You will see those who have both parents and something inside you will ache a little . Because at one time in your life that was you and the world wasn’t perfect but it was your personal wonderful life and life was awesome because it was all you had known & now it’s changed.
If you experience watching your other parents grieve over your other parents untimely death well it is one of the hardest things to watch. Extremely tough emotions arising at times, watching them go through their memories & hearing your parent cry to the point of exhaustion is really hard, but the grieving process does get easier. There are steps & they take time. It doesn’t seem like it at the beginning of this horrible lost road but it does. So hold on to that thought.
Family get togethers will never be the same. Vacations, amusement parks, movies, hanging outside, Saturday morning cartoons, getting ice cream or ball games just become memories that you scramble to remember every little tidbit that you now will hold in a little book within your mind forever.
You may become extremely protective of your family & treasured things that belonged to your parent but especially when someone brings up how you lost your parent; you go into some protective mode. Just remember to breathe and hold your head up, proceed lovingly & smile with kindness because it will pass, most people just don’t get it & you learn to deal with that even though it kinda sucks.
future tough times ahead & heartbreaks will hurt if not more now: You will want that one parent to hug you in their arms while you have tears running down your face to make and reassure everything will be ok. You will just want to hear them say, “You’ll be ok. I love you and I’m here…” But that realization that is impossible now is truly hard to bear.
The word “sorry” becomes totally meaningless to you: People don’t know your story and openly they don’t know what to do besides say “sorry”. After awhile, you tire and numb out & will softly reply, “Thanks.” The word sorry no longer has any meaning after you have heard it over a trilion times.
Pictures and old videos are possibly of the greatest miracles & gifts: You will come across a box filled with pictures & tapes & disks, and as you sit on the floor looking through them slowly, you’ll start to cry. Your mind will take you back to moments and right there while alone sitting on the floor, you experience a special moment of what life was like before once upon a time & when you never could imagine an end to the story & it’s feels so unreal that you’ve now experienced it already. Memories are just precious.
Death will change you and your outlook on people & life. You realize how short of time we have & the fragile world we live in. It makes you more of an adult. You now have lost your guidance & your go to person. As if you were a little bird casted from the nest to fly alone to never return. Now the small trivial stuff isn’t important anymore you have to fly alone now. You’ll stop complaining, and you really start to take priority on what is really most important in your life.
You wonder if they’re proud of you: When you did something nice & selfless or graduated, met someone they’d love, fixed something or completed something awesome that they taught you how to do. You’ll stop to think “I wonder…”
Hearing old stories from people is a great thing: Trying not to laugh while holding back tears, you can’t believe what they just told you about some goofy things your parent did & you never knew about it. You’ll wish they were here so you can hear their take and side on you knowing this new thing, it will make you sad but it’s a good story. These stories are priceless, take the time to listen to them.
it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing or talking about. If something reminds you of something they loved or something they’d say, you will instantly either announce your thought or keep it to yourself & think about it.
As you continue your healing just try to remember, wherever you are in life, that parent is right there with you, guiding you & silently helping you through somehow, some way until you meet again & then you can be together forever in a place with no more sadness or good byes❤️
With love and thoughts,