To the person that just lost a loved one

I know there’s nothing I can say that will help you right now. I know your experience isn’t comparable to mine. I know that loss is never easy even if you have moments where you just feel okay, loss is hard. I want you to know that it’s okay to grieve however you feel. You don’t have to meet the norm (not that there is anything wrong with that). You don’t have to cry and be absent and fit people’s expectations of a grieving person or maybe you just need to cry and be angry for a while. Whatever you’re feeling is valid. However, you need to grieve is okay. Maybe you want to just return to normal or maybe you’re not ready yet. Grieve however feels okay to you, your loss is your loss.

When I lost my dad and other loved ones, I remember hating hearing I’m sorry for your loss and hated people telling me how to feel or that they understood because how could they possibly understand? I also never understood the sorry; it just led me to feel frustrated but I understood that people just have no idea what to say.

I know people tell you it gets better and maybe that’s comforting to some but equally does it? Losing a loved one will always be difficult in some type of way. I don’t even think it’s that it gets better because your world just changed and you now live in a world without someone you cared for and how does that get better? I think you learn to live with the loss and your new world without them and yes with time you won’t feel the same pain you may be experiencing now.

Know that you’re not alone even if it feels that way. I appreciate completely that maybe no one understands and suddenly your world feels different but it’s okay to lean on people and it’s important to remember that people care for you. It’s important to know that even though people may never understand and all you want is the one you lost – you’re not alone and it’s okay for you to be with others. Yes, it may not feel great but it’s important. You can also reach out for help – as weird as it feels helpline and counselling can be really helpful in creating a safe space to work through things.

You’ve probably heard of the 7 stages of grief and all the different philosophies out there but the biggest thing I’ve learned is grief is not linear and everyone experiences loss in their own way. Give yourself space to exist and adjust. It’s a lot to process and everyone thinks they know how you should work through it but ultimately you know yourself best. For me, I pray and carry on and then with time it’s the little things that get me – maybe a drink or a place or a smell or a song and somehow it always comes as a shock but their memory lives through all the little things and as hard as it is I find that kind of beautiful too?

It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling.

Contacts you can use for support:

Samaritans – freephone 116 123

Sudden0800 2600 400

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