“Grief changes shape, but it never ends.”Keanu Reeves
You know that moment in movies where the person who had experienced loss stands outside and the wind slowly ruffles their hair? Slow music plays in the background. They close their eyes and inhale deeply. You might even see one single tear fall onto their cheek. They open their eyes and look at the sky. Slightly smile, and walk away, their grief now released and they move on with their life.
Somehow, I thought that would be how my grief would be. I’d come to this picturesque moment and realize the grief was no longer there and I’d be whole again. Oh, how naive I was. The reality is much different.
Grief ebbs and flows. It becomes crushing and more bearable. It threatens to overwhelm and becomes more manageable. Never in a linear process. One day could be fine and the next could be challenging. The reality of grief is that it never truly leaves us. It will always be a part of our story but it doesn’t have to define us.
The reality of grief is that, for some, even 5 years later your loss can still feel very present. The pain can still be noticeable. The grief journey is not a linear journey that everyone handles the same way. Some can handle a loss with more ease, while others can be plagued by the trauma of the loss. The reality of grief is that your journey won’t look like anyone else’s.
I’m trying to come to terms with the grief I have experienced in the past 5 years. I am trying to deal with the trauma that is in its wake. My grief and loss cannot define me but it is still a part of me. The sudden loss of my dad will never not be part of my story…but I’m working toward it not breaking me when I think about it.
Tomorrow will be 5 years without him. And if I’m honest, the reality of that grief is that it still hurts like it just happened. Just like the quote from Keanu Reeves that I shared at the start of this post…grief never truly ends like that picturesque moment in movies. It changes. It becomes more bearable. It becomes less noticeable. Grief and reality begin to coexist in a less painful way.
If you are grieving, I pray that you feel supported. Grief is a hard journey and the new reality that you must adjust to after a loss can feel daunting. Even after 5 years, I have a hard time accepting my reality without my dad. But each year I hope that the journey becomes a little easier to bear.
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