There are so many different people, and with is so many varied reactions to just about anything. The article by Marianne Leone that I posted earlier was a true reminder of how we all respond differently to grief. It is also a poignant reminder that with every death that effects us, there is a very personal reaction depending on the relationship we had with the individual. If you have a chance read through the comments posted after the article, it will give you some insight as to the reactions of people to their own loss, and the loss of another person.
When we lose a child, we honestly feel as if a part of us has died. I know my life will always serve as a constant reminder of this missing link, as if I have suffered an amputation of sorts. As I approach Rachel's 4 year anniversary, I feel a heaviness, a deep sadness that is hard to explain. I notice that I prefer to be alone, and do not really want to get into any heavy discussions. It is as if I want to forget and remember all at the same time.
Today I spoke to someone who is dealing with the death of a close friend, and she told me she was really having a hard time coping, she had lost her childhood friend. For some people this type of grief can be hard to understand, they reason that this was after all only a friend, not a family member. She is not the first person who has shared this sentiment with me, both individuals felt as if a big part of who they were was gone. Their friend knew them, knew their dreams, their favorite color, favorite food and accepted them when no one else would. They shared laughter and tears, good and bad times, they completed each other, were there for each other, it just isn't fair.
If each of us looks at the people in our lives who have died, we too can find the differences. If you have lost a parent you worry about the other one, if you have lost both parents, you feel orphaned as if you are suddenly all alone in the world. If your spouse has died, you may feel so lost, they took care of this, they did that, I didn't have to worry about all this, it's not fair, they should be here to help raise the kids. When you lose a sibling, you may find yourself wondering why you are still alive, why you are still here? Every person invokes a different response, a very different type of grief, it all depends on what this person meant to us, who they were in our lives, and what role they portrayed.
Now let us look at it from the angle of the types of deaths. Did they died after a long illness or was it totally unexpected? Where they old, having lived a full life, or were they too young? Did they die of natural causes or was their life violently taken away from them? Does it really matter? No!, but it does have an affect on us, we do react based on the circumstances. Our emotions reflect not only what this person meant to us, but how we react to how they died. I will not try to presume anything by attempting to explain reactions to any of these types of deaths, I just know that we respond very differently to each scenario.
All manner of death is hard on all of us, even though we know it is part of being human. But what if someone you loved committed suicide? How do you reconcile yourself with this death? How do you not blame yourself? I have know someone who took his life when he could no longer cope with everything that was happening in his life. It was unfair, but often to the individual, this is the only way they can see their way out of the pain, hurt, or whatever they perceive as irreconcilable. I watched as his family took years to realize there was nothing they could have done to truly prevent it, and that they were really not to blame.
So if you or someone you now is trying to understand why, looking for ways to cope, looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, take heart, it will come. You will learn to live, you will learn to cope, you will learn to pick up the pieces, and the puzzle may look a lot different when you put the pieces together; but it will still have meaning and will still make sense. It may be days, weeks, months or years after the death of your loved one, but it is after all your loss, your grief and only you know the pain you are in and what helps make it feel better.
Let yourself grieve, let yourself feel, allow yourself time to accept and know that for every bad day that lies ahead, there will be so many more good ones. Hold onto the memories, hold onto the joys, and always remember the love.
Blessings! and until we meet again.