I have come in contact with many people recently who have experienced a loss. We have each handled it differently. Not a surprise!!
What this realization tells me is we all have different coping skills. This does not make any of our processes wrong, just different. If you were all standing in a room, I’d talk your ear off. But, I can only type it out. This may very well be to your benefit. Ask my siblings. I am never at a loss for words. Some people experiencing loss have trouble speaking to anyone, even those closest to them. These are closet mourners. Pray for them. It is very heartbreaking to grieve in a bubble alone.
I know two couples who were best of friends. The two husbands and the two wives were all besties! They did everything together! Their children were all the same ages and were also the best of friends. They were family that was not blood-related. Both husbands lost their wives, a year apart. The first wife died of cancer after a several year battle. Her husband literally lived a dead life after her loss. He crawled in a hole and wanted to die too. He is currently in a nursing home. The other husband lost his wife the following year after she suffered a very brief illness. That husband decided to live life for both of them. He went sky-diving!! He went on a cruise!! He went to Rome!! He is living his life to honor her and knows she would want him to!!
Tonight, I spoke with someone who lost her husband just a few short months ago. It is hitting her that the void in her life is still big and is not shrinking. She is being triggered by everyday things she might have overlooked before. Now, those little incidents or sounds bring a flood with them. This experience is not like a faucet you can turn off. Once that plug is pulled, the process must just run its course from wherever you were when it hit: the grocery store; driving in traffic; watching a show; cooking dinner; the possibilities are endless.
This conversation did not draw tears for me when I spoke to her about my loss. I hope this can show her she can speak to others about her loss and she won’t cry every time. That is ok. It does not mean she no longer cares.
One message I keep wanting to reiterate is none of us are promised a long life. The odds of a married couple dying at the same time outside of a tragic accident are minimal. One of the two will more than likely die first. Giving birth to a child does not mean we will see them grow old (by whatever standard you determine old to be) or that those children will always outlive the parents.
My message is to live each day as if it is your last. Love those around you and tell them you love them. Live a positive life! And have faith!! Know that if you outlive those loved ones, you will live your life and proudly represent their life and their love! The best compliment you can give to those you have lost is to never forget them, the memories you shared, and the imprint they left on your life!
My comments and conversations should not be misconstrued and have people thinking everyone should grieve like me. Far from it! I do encourage those who have difficulty coming to terms with loss to talk to someone. This is not a sign of weakness by any means. This is a method of redirection of grief so you can function and survive loss, not get over your loss. I am not sure we ever truly get over hurting the loss of a loved one. Life will be different, not over. Not sure sky-diving is the path I would take, but I do listen and sing along to songs on the radio louder than I used to because that is what my son would do!