Does it ever get easier? Will this weight ever leave me? Will there ever be a time when I don’t feel like crying? When I don’t want to avoid everyone and everything?
It just gets different.
You learn to carry grief differently over time. Grief becomes your companion instead of a weight dragging you down. You become braver, more aware of your resilience, more connected to your ability (and courage) to take meaningful steps to live life forward.
If this is the path you choose.
How do we make the best of the worst?
By making a choice.
Feel your feelings. The pain, sorrow, longing, heartache. The intense missing. Give yourself permission to cry, scream, stay in bed, to say no, to not go.
And then, in the moments you feel you might be ready, breathe deeply. Call upon your courage and their light. Connect with the knowing that those you love are always with you. Close your eyes and picture their eyes, their smile, the way they carried themselves. Recall times of laughter, of contentment in the ordinary moments, of milestones, conversations, car rides, and meals shared.
Consider the values they possessed, the hobbies they enjoyed, their unique perspective and approach to life and how you can meaningfully honor them in ways that establish an enduring bond that comforts, strengthens, reminds and inspires.
No, it is not the same and it never will be.
Yet remembering well, sharing stories, honoring your loved one through action and ritual does bring you closer to them and reminds you that their love lives on in you and in your choices.
You can choose to live in deep grief, focusing on their death, living life through the lense of darkness and despair.
Or you can choose to live in their light and honor who they were, how they lived, what they loved, what brought them joy and enriched their lives. To live in a way that reflects the impact they had, and continue to have, on you.
The choice is yours.