I am sorry for your loss. I know you have heard those words more times than you can count on your two hands, that they spin around and around like a broken record. I also know that each time that unwanted music reaches your ears, it is met with an unsettled mixture of disbelief, sadness, and gratitude. I know the feeling all too well.
The thing about death is that it doesn't come nicely wrapped up in a cardboard box with a set of instructions on how to grieve. Sooner or later, somewhere between googling "How to cope with the death of a loved one" and texting friends "Why is this so hard?" you will find that grief is as unique to the soul as fingerprints are to the hands. So, in some respects, I can understand, though only to a certain degree, what your heartache may be. However, I do not know how your grief manifests itself, if you cry in the car when "See You Again" comes on the radio, or if you make inappropriate jokes about your loved one's passing, or if one day your body finally finds itself out of tears when you need them the most. I can’t dive into the deepest parts of you and see your daily struggle—only you can do that.
I hope you do—dive into the deepest parts of yourself, that is. I hope that you come face to face with your grief and sit with it for a while, letting it be without trying to hide it or fix it, attempting to understand this new reality. And then one day, unflinching, I hope you can tell it that you will not let radiant memories be tarnished by sadness. I hope you speak of your loved one the way you used to, not with forced solemnity nor an air of preservation. I hope you can look back on the amount of life you got together and smile at the fond memories, laugh at the stupid jokes, and appreciate the lessons you learned along the way.
Hold your grief like a trophy. Wear it with pride. Know each day that coping with the loss of a loved one is an extraordinary feat and you are doing it one step at a time. Be inexcusably proud of your own strength. Let the memories you hold guide you to a place of peace. You deserve nothing less than this.