Grief is uncomfortable.
When you grieve it is a constant struggle to capture the wide range of emotions that occur not just within a week or a day, but each dang minute. It’s struggling to figure out what kind of support I need when people ask. It’s figuring out what to say when people reach out. Grief is uncomfortable. It’s an awkward silence that is always there laying under the surface.
People never know what they should say to you. Heck, most days I don’t know what to say. I used to get angry at people for being awkward and weird around me, but honestly, grief is uncomfortable. And, I don’t have an answer to make it easier for you or me.
Here are just a few things I continue to tell myself every day…
Everyone has a different grief journey. There is no right or wrong.
I will never get over it; however, I will move through it.
Nikolai’s suicide was not my fault.
It is okay to smile and experience joy.
Do not allow people to shame you for not being the parent they think you should have been. They did not walk in your shoes and cannot possibly fathom your life or that of your son’s.
How I decide to grieve is up to me. Don’t let anyone tell me how to do it.
Be patient with myself.
There is no timeline for grief.
Therapy is hard but you need it.
Grieving is lonely, yet you cannot do it alone.
Moving forward doesn’t mean letting go.
You will survive.
For those of you looking to comfort someone going through grief, please remember that the absolute most important thing you can do is just listen. So many of us are “fixers” and all we want to do is help the person grieving so we offer advice on how to get through situations. I don’t want you to fix me. You can’t fix me. Stop trying to fix me. Just hear me out. Let me cry, let me vent, let me talk, let me scream.
When someone you care about is grieving, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. We struggle with so many intense and painful emotions, including depression, anger, guilt, and profound sadness. And for many of us, we feel isolated and alone in our grief. Remember that it is simply your support and caring presence that will help those of us grieving cope with the pain and gradually begin to heal.