A Coping With Grief Post
I may regret the way we ended, but I will never regret what we had.
A recurring topic in many of the grief chat rooms and groups is the secondary loss that comes when friends and family leave the new you behind. Or is it you that is forced to leave them behind? Toh-may-toe, toh-mah-toe, it hurts just the same. I couldn’t even begin to list the reasons that people give, but that’s okay. It really boils down to just one. Grief transforms us.
I can remember when my best friend’s daughter was killed in an accident. We talked about the grieving process at length. Once, she shared with me how painful it was to have their friends ask when they’d be back to normal. She couldn’t understand why people didn’t understand that there was no going back. This was the new normal. I was empathetic but didn’t fully grasp the reality of what she’d said until I lived it myself.
I often describe myself as BC or AD: Before Cancer and After Dan. Grief transformed me to my core. Everything changed for me, and within me; my theo/philosophical beliefs, how I see the universe and my place in it, my sense of humor, even how I look. I look back at photos from that time and don’t recognize that woman as the same one who stares back at me in the mirror today. We’re two very different Lisa’s. And as painful as the transformation has been for me, it’s been just as difficult for those in my life. It’s true that some people from our old lives have challenges accepting and supporting the new versions of us–the grief-forged survivors.
I’m the first to admit how much I’ve changed. When I returned home after almost a year abroad, it was a rude awakening to realize that life back home had gone on without me. Before I’d left, the people closest to me had made space for me and my grief in their lives. But then I removed myself from their routine. When I returned, I was now a disruption. And I wasn’t the person they remembered. I’d returned a stranger, and you don’t just let strangers easily into your life.
The New Us
As broken as the grieving can feel, we are also survivors, realists, and have a lot less patience for the unnecessary. We tend to call it like we see it (or walk away without wasting the time and energy needed to confront), even if others don’t like it. That trait isn’t limited to calling you out on your bull$hit. We’re also quick to tell you we love you, because we know that it might be our last chance to do so. We don’t wait for someday. We know first hand that someday can easily mean never.
Good-Bye and Thanks for the Memories
But sometimes we just have to say good-bye. Sometimes the YOU that never changed and the US that did change, just don’t fit together anymore. And that’s okay, even if that causes us to grieve yet again. No matter what, we still value what we had together when we had it, and still find the strength to move forward to live fully in our new realities. We, the survivors, have gotten pretty good at that.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
Got a grief related topic request? Message me. Thank for reading! L
Hell down, heaven down
Livin’ in the same town
Tryna find something new
Broken picture frame
I’ve been frozen in
Tryna find a better view
This ain’t real, this ain’t cool
This ain’t what I signed up to
This ain’t right, it’s no good
Everything is changing,
And I’ve been here for too long
Going through the same things
I’ve been hurting too long,
Got to move on
Say I can’t do this anymore
If everything is changing
And I know, yeah, you gotta let go
I don’t understand playing by the same hand
How you find something new
I can’t work it out what it’s all about
I won’t live my life through you