Pain & Loss

Loss. It’s the only thing that we really can’t convince ourselves doesn’t exist, that it isn’t real.

Pain can be subjective. We can downplay it, ignore it, tell ourselves that “its not that bad”, or even “well, maybe it just didn’t even happen”.

We can doubt our feelings, our experiences, or listen to the words of others in relation to our pain…. made to feel like our feelings are invalid or diminished. Made to feel wrong for feeling badly about something.

Loss is something different. Loss is tangible, it’s observable. It’s something that is universally agreed upon as an extremely painful and difficult thing. When it comes to loss, the world holds a space for us. If only for a moment…it gives us the space to catch our breath, to feel like the world is spinning again when it suddenly felt like we were stuck on a moment frozen in time. The same images replaying in your head like a nightmare you can’t wake up from… or maybe even no memories at all. Your body is there…but the rest of you hasn’t quite caught up yet.

There is an undeniable community among those who have lost someone under similar circumstances. For parents who have lost a child, children who have lost a parent or sibling, a friend, losing a spouse, miscarrying or giving birth to a baby forever asleep…the grief is the same. But it is also very different. Life moves on, but nothing is the same. It never will be, it never can be. Finding your community, those members of that same heartbreaking club…it might be all you can do to survive.

Now, people expect this pain to diminish. This loss was real and valid, but for those not in these clubs, the people on the outside looking in, they expect this pain to just stop. I mean, it’s been months…years…. surely we’re over it…..right?

How long does it, should it, take to recover from the most heartbreaking permanence that there is? There is no going back, and there is no going forward.

We convince ourselves to be strong. We stay strong because we HAVE to. If we didn’t put up this facade from ourselves and everyone else, we would completely fall apart. And we just might not ever be able to recover. We might never be able to stand up or take another step ever again if we allowed ourselves to feel the full emotion behind a significant loss. So we fake it. Or, at least I do.

I don’t have the answers. No one does. I don’t know the right way through this, through any of it. There is no “right” when you’re dealing with loss. You just need to…you just need to keep showing up. Try something. And if that doesn’t work, try something else.

I have not yet found what works for me. I’ve hidden from it, I’ve ran, I’ve ignored it, I’ve metaphorically shoved it in a closet and only peeked in there a few times a year to see how things are going, only to immedietly slam the doors shut again. But just because I want it gone, just because I pretend it doesn’t exist, the pain from losing him is enough to take a significant toll on me every single day.

2,780 days. We said hello 2,780 days ago. And we said our final goodbye 5 days later.

It’s been 2,775 days since I’ve seen you. It doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem possible.

Every single one of those days has been colored by his lack of existence. It’s made me better, it’s made me worse, stronger….weaker.

Grief comes in waves, we can all agree to that. For the rest of our lives, we grieve. Some periods of time worse than others, but never fully ceasing.

Yeah, pain is subjective, and loss is relatively tangible.

But when the loss is years past and the pain is still here, I think we sometimes forget that it’s still very valid. We go back to all the ways we convince ourselves it isn’t real. That we should get over it, move on…

I think that whole “time heals all wounds” thing is absolute bullshit. It doesn’t. It’s just another thing people like to tell us, the outsiders looking in, when they don’t know what else to say.

If you know, you know. And I’m sorry if you do.

It has been 7 years, 7 months, and 4 days. This wound has been bleeding for a long time. I keep packing it with gauze because I don’t know what else to do.

But maybe it’s time to let it bleed.

I’m just so afraid to fall apart. I don’t know who will be there to pick up the pieces, to hold me together if it all becomes too much.

He’s here, but he’s not
I’m fine, but I’m not.
Life goes on, but it really doesn’t.


(I miss you always, but lately I miss you so much extra)

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