Grief Is A Funny Thing

grief, dealing with grief, bereavement, death

Grief is a funny thing. Over time it twists and turns inside you contorting into unimaginable shapes and sizes. Eventually, it evolves into a whole different kind of animal, but it never truly goes away. Once you’ve been touched by loss, grief is a part of you forever. Yes, it may recede into the recesses of your mind and heart allowing you the courtesy to continue living and to even be happy. But it lies in wait for the random trigger – a song playing on the radio, a scent wafting through the air or a photograph sitting on your nightstand – that will reawaken those feelings of love and loss. However, if you’re lucky, eventually feelings of gratitude and joy will accompany those of grief.

About three years ago, I lost one of my best friends. For over four years, our lives and hearts had intertwined in a messy combination of friendship, love and harsh reality. We walked hand in hand through the fires of hell, which in our case meant constant visits to the hospital and failed attempts at managing the pain he endured daily. At just twenty years old, I was faced with making life and death decisions in the ICU, and tasked with the responsibility of caring for an injured soldier to whom I had given my heart. So after four years of playing nurse to my injured soldier and nursing my own depression, it was no surprise when our relationship ended. Even so, he continued to be one of my most loyal friends.

We had our differences from time to time, but he was the one I always wanted to talk to when I needed advice on life, love and pretty much everything. He pointed out which of my new love interests were worthy. He encouraged me when I was struggling through my final semester of college. And he taught me what it meant to be loved unconditionally and without expectation.

My friend was taken from this world so quickly and unexpectedly that I never had a chance to say goodbye. There were so many things I never got to share with him. And so many words left unspoken. His was not the first death to mark my life, nor would it be the last. But his was one of the most painful losses that I have endured.

For months, the grief came and went as unexpectedly as his death. It would wash over me in an instant flooding my eyes with tears and my heart with longing. Every time I looked at my fur babies, whom we had once shared, I saw his face. My heart was broken.

Poor Troy did all he could to make things easier on me. He held me when I cried, comforted me when I needed it and listened. But, ultimately, grief is a road you walk alone. Others may try to walk beside you and support you, but you have to make your own journey through grief. You wake each morning to the fresh realization of your loss and just try to get through the day. Until one day, you actually smile and laugh. One day your mind isn’t muddled with constant thoughts of them. And one day you’re even able to look back with a sense of gratitude for having had them in your life. You will always miss them. You will always remember them. But, you learn to cherish life and try to create one that they would be proud of.

Have you lost someone close to you? How did you deal with your grief? 

  • I am so sorry that you have lost someone that meant so much to you. I have thankfully, never lost anyone that I truly loved. A friend of mine died when I was like 16 but we weren’t very close. My dad died, but I couldn’t care less. My nana is currently not doing so well and I imagine I will not be able to get home in time to see her one last time, but hers will probably be the first death to really touch me. I know I’m lucky to have gone this long without losing anyone!

    • Thank you so much. And I’m so sorry to hear about your nana. I hope that you do get to see her again. That’s one of the hardest parts about living so far away.

  • I am so sorry for you loss. Those words seem so hollow but I am sorry. At my papa’s funeral I was laying in bed with my mom reading this book of essays and coincidentally we read the one on grief, the author talked about how grief is one of those funny things that cannot be ignored or avoided. You must always walk through it. It’s hard. I’m sorry.

    • Thank you so much. I’m sorry for your loss, as well. It’s so true that grief cannot be ignored. I think we all try to avoid it, but it always sneaks up on us.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your friend! My grandparents were killed together in a car accident almost 4 years ago now and I had absolute shock before I even approached grief. I can barely remember the funeral service because it was such a “surreal” shock. Even though I miss them every day, I’m just grateful that I got to have two such fabulous people in my life.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, also. It’s amazing how unreal it all feels at first. It’s hard to wrap your head around the situation. But, I’m so glad that we both have wonderful memories with the people we love. 🙂

  • I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I lost my nan when I was 24, and that was my first BIG loss. I’d known it was coming for 18 months and thought I was prepared, but was I ever wrong.

    2 and a half years ago my best friend died. We’d been estranged for a couple of years over someone I said in haste. I was too proud to back down and that’s my biggest regret.

    Then this year my uncle died of cancer, as did my nan. It tinges so many lives.

    Hugs to everyone out there hurting. <3

    • Thank you, lovely. I’m sorry for your losses, as well. I don’t think we’re ever truly prepared for them. Lots of hugs to you!

  • I am so sorry you are going through this. I have lost a few people and for me, I need to feel it alone. This was a really brave post for you to write. Big hugs!x

    • Thank you so much! Grief is definitely one of those things that we must go through alone. I hope you’ve found your peace. 🙂

  • I am so sorry for your lose. It is never easy to lose a loved one or friend, and there are never any words That are comforting or that make it better. I will just say that I send hugs and best wishes for peace.

  • Truly sorry for your loss. It is true. It is something we walk alone, even when others are offering support, The healing journey is layered and even when you think it’s complete, it’s not. I lost my mother when I was in my 20s and now I am 37. I thought I was over the pain and the hurt but it sure has reared its ugly head lately.

    • It always comes back at the worst or most unexpected moments. I’m not sure we ever truly get over it. I think we just learn to continue living. I’m so sorry for your loss, too.