One thing I’ve heard over and over the last 3 weeks is that “everyone grieves differently”. I’ve heard this from family, friends, staff from Sick Kids, and most importantly, other parents who have lost children. There’s no book on how to grieve a child, or anyone for that matter. There’s no right way or wrong way. There’s no way to expect what’s coming next or how long it will be before it gets a bit better. It’s personal. And it’s strange. It feels differently then I would have guessed it would feel.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I think grief is maybe just love in a new form. It’s the love that we aren’t able to give to who it belongs to. It’s welled up inside of us and it doesn’t have the right places to go anymore. So it becomes grief. Sadness for the years we don’t get. Sadness for the kisses we won’t give. For the songs we won’t sing. For the belly laughs and “mamas” we won’t hear
Trying to grieve the loss of a child is impossible. We aren’t supposed to grieve for our children. We’re supposed to wipe their tears. Bandage their knee. Scare away the monsters in the closet.
So maybe we all grieve differently because we love differently. But maybe, just like love, the skeleton of grief is the same for us all. It’s just dressed differently. And just like love it doesn’t go away. It changes and evolves. We find ways to live with it.
Right now my loss is really fresh and really raw. I have an overflowing feeling of being too full of the love for him and being too empty because he’s gone. There’s a strange hollow feeling that just sits there in pit of my stomach and in my heart. Everyone ask how they can help me. And I’m afraid there’s nothing anyone can do. I have wonderful family some who we spend a lot of time with and some who will come the second I need them. I have amazing friends who I know I can call at the drop of a hat. I have the best husband that anyone ever could. I have the two most amazing little humans I’ve ever met. They’re all helping me start to patch up that hole. I think just knowing that I have so much support, even though I don’t always need it does that.
I think that when the time comes that you have to grieve, you’ve got to be honest with the people around you. Because we all grieve differently, we all heal differently. If you are the person supporting the griever, you have to listen to what they need, even if you don’t understand it. Be honest with your grief process. It’s so unique to you. And the best thing anyone can do is support it.