After talking about grief in two of my previous articles: "Everything I Would Say to You if You Were Still Alive" and "6 Little Things About Grief That Nobody Ever Talks About" I decided to dive a little deeper into the world of bereavement.
1. Everything just changes.
Maybe it's the color draining out of the world or maybe it's just the fact that something is now missing. That person is on your mind for so long that it feels like you're trying to just wait it out. Sometimes, you forget. Even if it's just for a moment, you forget. Then, you remember and the world reverts back to its new default of emptiness. Everything you look at, you see with different eyes. Every thought you have courses differently through your brain. Just like that, you're right back to 'waiting it out' until the pain isn't so constant.
2. Death is everywhere.
I look down at the bracelet on my wrist that says 'be brave' which was given to me when my grandfather was dying. The flowers from my great grandma's funeral are sitting on my counter, and I still sleep with the Spongebob pillow she gave me when I was a kid. The letter my grandfather wrote in the Titanic book he gave me is pinned on the fridge and YouTube suggests clips from the shows that I used to watch with my Gram. I can't bring myself to close out her obituary tab on my computer either. I still count how many days it's been since my Pops died. 400 as of today.
3. You feel for other people's losses.
Something you never really feel to its full extent until you go through grief; understanding someone else's grief. When you see them shedding tears, it physically breaks your heart because you know you wouldn't wish that grief on your worst enemy. It's even worse that you can't comfort them because you know more than anybody that there is no way to bring comfort.
4. They're out there.
Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe it's the grief talking. Sometimes, on especially bad days, I find myself thinking that maybe they aren't really gone. Stages of grief never really go away, one of those stages is denial. Every once in a while, when the pain is too much, I start wondering if maybe it never happened. Maybe, by some miracle, the person I love is still out there. It's unhealthy, I know. But I just can't seem to shake the chronic feeling of 'they aren't actually gone, they're out there somewhere. They're out there in the big, wide world. Soon, they'll walk back in the door.' but they never do.
5. Being stuck on repeat.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a broken record. Maybe I talk too much about this stuff, maybe I talk people's ears off by constantly mentioning the parts of death that nobody mentioned to me. Here I am, doing it all over again. I'll write about it over and over as if nobody heard me the first time. I can't help but question if maybe this is my way of keeping them alive. If the grief is alive, so is their memory; even though their memory will always be alive. I just keep talking about it until people understand what I'm feeling.
6. Seeing how naive people are.
Until you experience a close loss, you will always be naive in my eyes... and I won't apologize for that. Looking back, I can't believe how naive I was, I can't believe how much I took for granted. In a way, it's almost infuriating to see people so naive. It's an ugly emotion; any sort of envy is ugly, but it's true. It becomes frustrating to see people walking around and not understanding that the person they love isn't always gonna be there.