A Journey Through Loss
One thing we all know for certain it that life is temporary, and in a blink of an eye it can all come to an end. None of us are strangers to loss and all of us will eventually say goodbye to those we love.
Loss is never an easy thing to face. Recently I had to face losing my grandmother, this journey was a unique situation because it opened up so many old wounds about how my father walked out of my life. I also had to process the guilt of not seeing my gran as often as I had liked and wondering if she even knew how much I loved her.
Two weeks later a colleague at work came to me and brought to my attention that she had lost a baby 3 years prior on that date. The following Monday we got news of my mom's one staff member having lost her baby in the early hours of the morning, on the same day my best friend lost her granny who meant the world to her. In that same week I got more news of people passing on, and I was staring to question why this is happening. The answer is simple, life is uncertain and our time here can end at any time.
On the Monday my mom and I went to see her staff member in hospital, on our drive home I felt such sadness wash over me. I was being forced to see how fragile life truly is. In a blink of an eye a life can be lost. Whether it hasn't even begun yet or whether it was a full life lived to the fullest. We do not have any guarantees that tomorrow will come. Tomorrow is never promised. And before we know what is happening around us we could be facing the journey of loss all over again.
Many times people choose not to face loss. But it is something we all come face to face with at some time in our lives. We just need to remember that it is not goodbye forever. It is only “till we meet again”. So instead of saying goodbye, rather say “see you later” because that person you loved so dearly will definitely be popping by. In dreams, in thoughts, in memories, or even with fragrances you smell in the air. They will be everywhere because we will carry them in our hearts.
Do not fear loss. It is only temporary. And loss truly is a journey. From the moment we hear the news that someone we knew passed on our hearts go from shattered, to shocked, to lonely to content. Sometimes this can take a very long time, sometimes we might surprise ourselves and complete the process a lot faster than we anticipated.
I have never dealt with death too well, I go into a type of denial and it only really sinks in on the first celebration without that person there. I do not cry, I do not mourn, I remain in the shocked phase till I find myself looking for that person. Only then do I mourn and cry. By then all those around me have moved on and do not understand why I am crying about the loss. They forget that we all process death or loss in our own way. And loss does not only pertain to death. Someone dear to you who has moved away, a parent walking out of your life, a breakup, a pet getting lost, giving up your favourite toy as a child. All these things cause the same pain, the pain of loss and we need to love ourselves enough to allow ourselves to take our journey through the loss.
It’s ok to get mad about it, there is nothing wrong with crying about someone you lost 6 or even 20 years ago. You loved them, you lost them and you miss them. This is normal. I still feel panic creep up when I think about my gran and realise I never spoke to her on mother’s day. Then it hits me all over again that we had lost her the day before, so I couldn’t have spoken to her. Then I feel the pain of losing her all over again and I feel the familiar pain of missing her so deeply.
My gran did give me a beautiful gift however, she had written me a few letters that were given to me at her funeral, those letters mean more to me than any words can express, and they help me with processing her absence.
For any of you who have lost a loved one, a friend, a parent, a partner or even a pet. The pain does not get better, but missing them becomes ok. Your heart does learn to live on without them. It’s ok to imagine how life would have been if they were still around. All these moment are ok, as long as you keep living and remind them that you will see them later.
Stay strong everyone.