I remember when my best friend died at the age of 29, three weeks before his 30th birthday. My step-father told me to get over it, and everyone dies, and it’s a part of life. Well, duh, I thought. I was so mad at him for being so insensitive and as far as I was concerned not very helpful. He wasn’t a nice man to me throughout my childhood; so why would I think he would have compassion for me now. Anyways I digress that is another story in itself. He was about 70, and I guess at that age a person has seen a lot of death.
My grandparents died but they lived a good life. They were old, it’s the natural progression of life. Losing Brian, my best friend that I met when I was 7 was devastating. My chest felt like my heart had been ripped out.
I can not say that any death after his death has gotten easier. I have experienced many deaths, in my 53 years on this earth. What I can say is that they are all different but none the less heartbreaking.
The heart-wrenching punch to the stomach; can’t breathe, still feels the same as it did all those years ago. The questions of why did this happen still are on my mind, but the length of time is much shorter.
Do we become cold and indifferent to pain and suffering through the passage of death, the older we become?
This year alone, I have lost three friends and a fiance. The biggest hit was my soon to be husband. Devastated is what we all were.
I still wake up some mornings with a lump in my throat and bile rising from my stomach, feeling as if it happened yesterday. It has been a year now. As I stand and look in the mirror barely even awake, brushing my teeth, I start to cry. I think to myself, “a great way to start the day.”
Does time, one knows someone, determine the extent of the grief? I would have to say no. We can not measure anyone else’s pain to our own. Is it a process, yes. With all the deaths, I have experienced in my life I know is that it doesn’t get easier but changes. Maybe wisdom and experience have something to do with it. Was my step-father, right?
I have days that I get by and even moments when I don’t think of him, but then a song or a smell or a sight will bring him to the forefront of my memory.
Some of the ways I have been dealing with it differently than in the past is that I express my feelings, and I don’t try to numb out with alcohol or drugs. However, lately, I have found a new way to numb out with an endless series of tv. Sharing my grief, with someone I love and trust with my feelings, and I try to get out and enjoy the things I once enjoyed.
I know one thing for sure that we can’t avoid death but hopefully, time is gentle for you and you don’t have to see it too often.
Resource: Elizabeth Kubler Ross – 5 Stages of Grief Model – https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/