Dear newly bereaved parent,
My heart is heavy and it aches for you. I will never know exactly what you are going through. Your new world has started and I know it all seems very slow and surreal. I bet you never thought you would end up here nor wished for time to go more quickly. You know…… so “time can heal” so they say. Very, very slowly, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. I too have walked in similar shoes…..you see my heart is also broken.
Please allow time for yourself to just sit with your pain for as long as you like. It is necessary and healing, although it may not feel like it now.
Don’t let anyone rush you or convince you or influence you to do it “their” way. This is your journey now and you must walk it at your own pace. Sometimes you walk with others and sometimes you will walk alone. People will come and go, some with their tools and sewing kits and best intentions, as they try to fix you…. To make you all better again…… remember you are not broken, just broken hearted.
Your first few days, weeks, months, years will seem foggy. Where am I? Did this happen? Why? Why me? Why us? Life wasn’t supposed to be like this? Questions, scenarios, blame, hate, anger, sadness, guilt, darkness, loneliness these are all NORMAL. You will likely feel some or all of these and that’s ok.
People will say things that will feel as though they have stabbed you through your already shattered heart. They are likely coming from a good, well meaning place……..but they don’t know. They haven’t been where you have. You will learn to look back and recall the exact moment those stupid words came out of that particular persons mouth. You will know where you were standing and what you were doing in that exact moment in time because it was just jaw dropping to hear! You won’t remember much, but you will remember those hurtful comments to just “move on” or “have another one” or “it was for the best” for the rest of your life.
You will never be the person you once were, but you will smile again, perhaps finding a profound sense of happiness you never knew existed. Please just be gentle with yourself, allow yourself to feel, allow yourself time and space to fall apart and be held. Allow yourself time to search for answers, but please realise you may never find them. Allow yourself peace that you may never find that exact same person, who has been through the exact same scenario as you. It is normal on your sleepless nights to research, find groups, people, someone anyone who can relate or has experienced a similar loss and reading other people’s journeys can make you feel as though you are not alone. Healing at times. Search for as long as you need too…
Sleep may happen very naturally or not at all. You may have nightmares or you may not dream at all. I didn’t dream for months, this is normal, this is ok.
Some days you may not feel like eating or talking or seeing anyone. You may not feel as though you can face the world. Be gentle to yourself these days and just do things to allow yourself to see out the day.
You will become really good at faking it, to the point where you feel like your living someone else’s life. You fake the smiles and the “Hello how are you” just to survive the ability to go out in public and put on a brave face. I know you probably just want “Grief in training, please be gentle” tattooed on your forehead….Don’t worry this does get easier.
You may find yourself and your partner drifting apart because grieving is unique and we all have our own distinctive way. It’s an individual journey, it may not be the right way but it’s your way and nobody can change this not even the love of your life.
Right now you cant imagine ever “feeling better” and you certainly don’t want to be told “time heals”. Sometimes time can heal, and you can start to feel the heaviness of grief slowly peel away. It just takes a lot of time, a lot of tears, a lot of healing, a lot of courage and a lot of love. The light will shine in again. It’s actually called penumbra, meaning partially shaded, and not umbra, or fully shaded. With a penumbra, some light is still coming through, No matter where you go or what you do, your shadow (grief) is with you.
Piece by piece my dear one, piece by piece x