(Content Warning: bereavement)
How do you even begin to talk about losing someone? It’s a ridiculously hard subject and I’m sure it’s different for everyone. The truth is, hardly anyone expects it to happen to them, you look around at the people you know and think they’ll be here forever. Until one day they’re not.
I lost my nan two years ago and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. It was unexpected and happened on the day of an AS exam, so I was unprepared for all of the emotions coming my way. I’m not going to lie, here I am two years later and I still miss her like crazy, but I’m so much stronger now than I was when it initially happened.
Loss is weird, it breaks you for a bit but then you begin to build yourself back into an even better version of yourself. You learn to appreciate every little thing and you learn to take everything as it comes, and not to let anything stand in your way. Sure, it’s hard as hell to get over, two years down the line and I’m still struggling. But if you have the strength inside and the outside support you’ll get there.
My advice to anyone going through it is this:
Do not ever bottle it up. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to write about it, write about it. If you need someone to talk to, then talk to someone I’m sure they’re more than happy to help. Just don’t bottle it up, it only makes things worse for you and you need to let out the grief however you can, it will help in the long run I promise.
Never feel guilty for how you feel. If you’re sad then please allow yourself to be sad. It’s okay to be strong when your family need you, but if you’re having a rough time too that doesn’t make you a bad person. You’re entitled to feel like that. Be there for people but make sure to always be there for yourself too. Your family and friends will understand and they’ll more than likely want you to let it out too, no one can be strong all the time and that’s okay.
Don’t avoid your feelings. Avoiding the matter will probably only make it worse. Denial is a normal part of grieving, you can’t help but go through it. However as normal as this is, avoiding the matter entirely will only cause it to build up, and it will have the same effect as bottling it up, it will make you feel worse and prolong the grief. Come to terms as much as you can with what’s happened, and then the healing process will be much easier.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t feel how you do. Whether it’s been two days or two years since you lost someone, you’re fully entitled to be sad. The feeling of grief doesn’t last forever but it’s perfectly normal to feel the effects of it well after the loss happens. It’s a major change in your life and will take time to get used to, so if you’re feeling sad even years after, that’s normal and you’re perfectly entitled to that. It will get easier.
Remember all of the good times you had with the person. They may be gone in person but they will forever live on in the hearts of the lives they’ve touched. It’s your memory of them that will keep them alive so that they are never truly gone, and that’s worth more than anything. The phrase ‘don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it’s happened’ comes into my mind and it’s true. Just because they’re physically gone doesn’t mean you should be sad forever, they’ll be looking down on you as proud as ever and seeing the wonderful person you are. Smile because of all the wonderful memories you have and all in all;
Please don’t stop your life because of loss; the feeling of grief won’t last forever although it might feel it at the time. Yes, it may creep up on you every now and again but it gets easier, soon you’ll begin to focus on the good things in life and the bad things will just float away. Your friends and family are the support you need in times like this and they’re there to help you.
No matter who you lose, one day you’ll remember them with a great big smile on your face, and you’ll be proud of the moments you had together. Do not live your life with regrets and always make sure you love the ones who love you, make beautiful memories and overall be happy. It may hurt now but the pain will ease and the sadness will subside and you will be okay. They’re always in our hearts and are never truly gone.