It is okay to not be okay.

You are going through one of the worst experiences in your life, and you have to recover at your own pace. Below, I attached my testimony in hopes that any shred of my experience can help you through your loss.

Everything is going phenomenal. You have good grades, spectacular friends, and are living life to the fullest. Then it happens, the worst day of your life. For me this day was getting the call at midnight that my sister had passed away in a horrific car wreck. In the hours to come you see and experience so many things that you have never imagined you would.

Both your parents crying, at the same time: This is one of the worst parts about the whole experience, knowing your family is hurting and knowing that there is nothing you can do about it. As someone who comes from a decently reserved family when it comes to emotions, it was incredibly difficult to watch the life that my entire family knew to fall apart. While the emotion is uncomfortable and may cause tension, I can not stress to you how important it is to work through your emotions as they arise. If you bottle up your feelings towards the issue it only gets worse, trust me, I know.

Guilt, a pang of undeniable guilt, about something that you have absolutely no control over: For me, this was the worst part of the whole experience. I had an unmistakable feeling that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, nothing would bring my loved sister back. While grief counseling can help some, the only way that I found to get through it was simply praying and looking to my friends and loved ones for help.

People coming together despite their differences: While death is something that is difficult to deal with, and it can be hard to find any clarity in the situation, I try to find positives in every situation. For me, the one positive outcome of my loss is the fact that everyone in my family, extended family, and community were willing to set aside differences in order to maintain the grieving process.

So what now? A week or two has passed by and the tears keep coming. Everything seems lost and your life is at a standstill because you do not know how to move on. For everyone, the outcome of a situation such as death looks different. As for me, I found solitude in my passions. I did a tremendous amount of exercising, spending time with friends, and going to school events. For months people will apologize for your loss and every time they do it will bring back memories.

It is okay to ask for help. In my situation, I had tried and tried to fight my battle with grief silently for months, but nothing was improving. I was lucky enough to have a close friend and educator of mine who had gone through a similar situation a few years prior. I can not even count the number of times I ended up in that teacher's room at 6:30 in the morning before practice, crying. Find your people. Reach out to someone, because you do not have to face this alone.

Just remember that as meek and grim as the situation looks, tomorrow will always be a better day. You will find a new sense of normal at your own pace, and that is okay.

Sincerely,

A friend that has gone through a similar situation