Something happens when you lose someone. It’s something internal that nobody else can see. The psychological toll it takes on you is unquestionable.
Your views on life shift. Your friends? You see them differently. Things you used to do every day? Different.
The small and big ways things change are impossible to explain to someone who has no idea what it is like to be in these shoes.
You don’t know the feeling until you know the feeling.
“It all comes down to how you handle that feeling,” is an easy phrase to write but it’s a harder one to live through because nobody wrote a book on how to correctly cope with loss. There is no instruction manual because everybody is different therefore everyone will grieve differently. It took me a while to grasp that.
After losing my mom, I thought my sister and I would grieve the same way. We didn’t. For me it made more sense to process things internally, for her the exact opposite was true.
My sister and I have always been pretty different, but I never really thought that our differences would show in how we grieved because we were essentially experiencing the same thing. In my mind, we should have been sharing this experience and it bothered me that she was dealing with things differently. It made me think that I was doing it wrong.
It took me a while to go from, “I’m grieving wrong,” to “there is no right or wrong way to grieve.”
I heard something once that shifted the perspective I was seeing things in — when you lose someone, you lose something different than everyone else that knew that person. So that means, when my mom died, I lost my mother; my grandmother lost her daughter; my father lost the woman he was once married to; Lisa lost her best friend in the whole world. That list is never ending.
Just because I was losing the same person as my sister didn’t mean that loss was going to affect us the same way. My sister and I had different relationships with our mom, we are different ages and we relied on her for different things. That loss is going to look different.
The only person’s grief process you should be focusing on is your own — this does not make you selfish. You can’t think about what other people are going to do or say or think of you. Most importantly, you can’t compare your grief to another’s, even if that person is in your family.
In order to heal, you have to take care of yourself first and do what is best for you. Your healing won’t look like someone else’s healing and that is okay. Nothing is wrong with you and you can’t grieve wrong. Trust me.