One of the hardest things to deal with in life is to lose someone we love. It’s hard to imagine life without someone we have spent so much time with. It’s hard to imagine someone being at our wedding, seeing our children grow and to realize that it is not meant to be. Based on my own experience, I tried to find the best way to understand what it means and the emotions we experience.
To get started, you need time. Don't be too hard on yourself, no matter what you're going through, give yourself patience and kindness. There is no "perfect mourning", we all experience it differently. It is important to know that grief is a mix of intense emotions that can sometimes be confusing.
Even though you know they are gone, there is still a part of you that has not realized that yet. This is a way for your body and brain to avoid the pain, denial exists at different levels. As Psychcentral (2020) explains, “denial is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of the loss, numbing us to our emotions.” It can be so hard to endure that sometimes your brain believes “this can’t be happening.” During this period, it is normal to feel sad, confused and lost.
Every step is different and pain might last longer. Yes, you have to be strong and fight against it but sometimes you might want to give up, stay in your bed and do nothing. The pain is sometimes unbearable and you might experience guilt. You start to think “What if?” “What if the doctors had done things differently?” or “What if I told him that I loved him?” You might feel guilty about the things you didn’t say or do.
At some point, you definitely get mad. Why you ? Why does this happen to you ? It feels like it is not fair, like an injustice. Anger is one of the toughest part to go through because it can impact your relationships. Because of anger, you can isolate yourself, thinking that no one can understand you and you may find others futile or « too happy for you ». Again, as Psychcentral explains, denial disappear to let reality emerged which bring profound emotions.
You finally realize the true magnitude of your loss and it brings you deep sadness to the point that you find it hard to smile (recover-from-grief.com). I would say the worst part is you begin to think about all the memories you shared with your loved one...all the things they taught you. This is a time of reflection, sadness and frustration.
Some people would call it “moving on.” However, you never truly move on, you never forget. Time is a great healer and your wounds will start healing. I would be lying by saying that sad moments won’t reappear, but they will be less intense than during the beginning.
A lot of people have difficulties reconstructing themselves. It’s brave to reconstruct something that has been broken but do not be too hard on yourself, it takes time and patience. I left my comfort zone and went for a year abroad. When I came back, I was a different person. Sometimes you should do something crazy to realise your dreams.
This description of grief is personal and subjective. Maybe others will experience it differently. The most important thing is to understand that a lot of people go through this everyday. Give it time. Know that it is only you who can take the next step and try to heal. Perhaps one day, you will look back on it peacefully. You will be happy that you survived and stayed strong.