Thoughts on the loss of a loved one.
|In the beginning, there is a never-ending ache. The kind of ache that grows roots deep into your soul and stays there day and night. It is a constant reminder of how your world has been flipped upside down in the matter of a few days. Their death is so recent that there are still traces of them wherever we look- whether it be their toothbrush still sitting next to the sink or their shoes waiting patiently at the door. The beauty in this is that for a while, it almost seems as if nothing changed- that they are simply on a vacation and will return home tomorrow.
The strange thing about all of this is that the world keeps on spinning. First it’s one day, next it’s one week. Your devastating loss that seemed to freeze time actually has no impact on the seconds that keep on ticking. You are forced to live day after day after day dealing with the absence of someone you once thought you couldn’t live without.
This is when you realize that there are a million different ways to lose someone. The cruelest part of all, however, is that you lose them piece by piece over time.
You lose a piece of them when their shoes that once sat next to the door are put in the back of the closet, or when the faint scent of their cologne fades from their favorite leather jacket. You lose a piece of them when you sit down for a family dinner and there is no one to fill their place at the head of the table. You lose a piece of them when you can no longer call their phone just to hear their soothing voice on their voicemail.
Slowly the ache dulls, and the numbness that once seemed to encapsulate you disappears. The time that passes between the moments that you miss them grows, and life seems to be reaching a level of normalcy. Then, out of nowhere, the smallest thing reminds you of them. The feelings you had immediately after their death come flooding in, making you feel like you are drowning. They choke you up with such force that you know if you even dare part your lips to utter something, the only thing that will come out are sobs. Tears form in your eyes as you purse your lips together in an effort to hold in that first long wail. This is followed by an immeasurable amount of guilt and a round of fresh tears because you don’t miss them as much as you used to.
Grief knows no time limits. Though sometimes dormant, it is always inside of us, surprising us every time it decides to show itself. It’s as if the person we love dies over and over again every time we lose a piece of them.
The hole that this creates deep inside will never truly heal, and we will always manage to stumble into it at the most random times. I suppose this is a good thing though, because if that hole closes, I don’t think that you ever really loved the person at all.