After writing this post, I deleted it at least three times. Something about grief makes me feel very vulnerable. Grief comes from a broken heart over someone that once was part of the glue keeping your heart pieces together. There are many people in my life that I have lost or love from a distance. There is a pinterest saying that says something along the lines of “grief comes in waves”. That could not be more true. Sometimes it is so strong that it hurts to breathe but nobody can see how much pain you’re in just that looking at you. We can grieve those that have passed and those that for whatever reason are not in our lives the way they once were……….. or the way that we want them to be.
Recently my dear friend asked her closest friends to go to the beach and celebrate what would of been her and her beloved husbands 9th wedding anniversary. This spoke volumes to me for a couple of reasons. For starters she knew that it would be a very hard “first” for her to face without support. She knew she didn’t want to face their first wedding anniversary apart by herself. She never dreamed that last years anniversary would’ve been their last together. When she mentioned it to me a month in advance (she is very much so a planner), I knew in her voice she needed us there. Secondly she invited us to grieve with her. She opened herself up to others during a very vulnerable time. That takes some serious strength. I couldn’t even post this before deleting three times and breaking out in a cold sweat when hitting the “publish” icon.
As we made plans to meet, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s been very hard for me to watch my friend miss her husband so much. On bad days I want to jump in and save the day but their isn’t anything I can do. I just let her talk and we cry. On good days I enjoy seeing that beautiful smile again. Her husband loved to make her smile. They were so in tuned that a glance across the room would put these goofy grins on both their faces. I’ve always wanted that kind of love.
So, the day came and we all gathered at the beach. She picked a hotel on the beach where she and her husband had made some precious memories together in years before. The day was beautiful. We shared smiles and laughs. Told stories of our beloved friend. Ate chicken wings in his honor. Even if we all would’ve been there and not said one word we were their in one accord. We miss him. Nothing changes that. For the first few months after he passed the shock felt like it wasn’t real. Like he was going to come back at anytime. Now eight months later we grieve. I cant explain to you exactly why it was so comforting to have us together to celebrate their anniversary, but it was comforting, beautiful, and needed.
Giving ourselves permission to grieve gives us freedom. Freedom from suppressed emotions that make clouds our thoughts. Everything doesn’t stop just because we’ve lost someone regardless of how we lost them. There is still laundry to be done, groceries to get, work to clock in and out of, and for many kids to raise. There is something about losing the ones that love you unconditionally. Some uncertainty about the future. You have to keep going and allow yourself to time to miss them. Overtime you’re still going to miss them and grief is going to come in waves. You take those moments to remember them. Take as many as you want or need to remember them and what they mean to you.
As far as watching someone you love grieve. All you can do is be there for them. Most people don’t because they don’t know what to say. Just listen to them. Let them tell as many stories as they need to. Never tell them to get over it because they’re never coming back. Don’t you think they know that? It’s a process. We are never going to get over it. Our hearts wont let us. We will continue to move on and press through. The waves of grief are sometimes like a hurricane and sometimes they’re like a two foot surf. Nobody controls the weather. Nobody.
I love you my sweet friend and I’m going to weather this storm with you as you have done for me….