My Experience with Grief

As powerful as words can be, even they cannot instantly resuscitate broken hearts. When you lose someone you love, the world seems to fall apart. When I lost my dad last year, every piece of my life stopped fitting quite right, like the vacuum cleaner had mauled half of the jigsaw puzzle. Everyone struggles to find the right thing to say, but they can’t. As powerful as words can be, even they cannot instantly resuscitate broken hearts.

When my father died, everyone who knew him lost someone different; they lost their father, brother, son, cousin, coworker, friend, or simply someone who helped the world seem a little bit less daunting. He left a gap. Some days, this gap is the universe’s most powerful black hole, consuming every smile, every joke, every happy memory of the past and future, and others it feels like a years-old scar that has long since faded into normalcy.

The loss, the pain, the inconsistency of the emotion of grief can all feel quite isolating and unstable at times, but it gets better. Incrementally. The consequences of tragedy will never evaporate, but can be assimilated into a “new normal.” The world is full of good days and good people to hold on to, even in the most trying times of life. It’s all right to become wary of the unexpected and the undesired, but don’t let precaution turn to paralysis.

As a junior in high school, I am frequently being asked what I want to do with my life. I don’t know. I have never been completely certain of what I was going to do with my life, but until six months ago “the plan” always included my father’s presence and counsel. Now it doesn’t. Life happens and keeps happening even when I desperately want it to stop. I walk through what has always been a confusing time in my life with a broken heart. But I know I have to keep going. I have to get up every morning, go to school, go to lacrosse practice every afternoon, and do homework every night. I get through.

It is okay to feel lost and angry, but it is also okay to be happy.

I have learned that it is fruitless to refuse acknowledging loss, and that it is even worse to refuse acknowledging it within myself. It is okay to weep and mourn. It is okay to be exhausted and to decline to do things I know I can’t. It is okay to feel lost and angry, but it is also okay to be happy. It’s okay to smile and laugh, even when I’m missing someone with all my heart.

Horrible days may be inevitable, but great days are inevitable, too. Even some of the worst days have great moments. Moments in which I realize that I’m are not alone. They can consist of things as simple as a hug or a piece of chocolate but they are there and they help to bring light into my darkness.

Grief hurts. Death leaves a hole that cannot be filled. Life keeps on going anyways. My world will never be the same. I will never be the same. I guess my advice is to take what ever you have learned from that person and use it to make you better. Take the memory of them and stand taller. Take a deep breath and know that you, and I, are still wonderful and capable and strong. Accept the past and seize the future.