(2) A letter to the grieving

Hi, I know you probably don’t know me and I don’t know you. But we have a shared understanding. I don’t know your exact situation or circumstance. I don’t know whether you cried, screamed or just stayed silent. Honestly, I barely cried at my dad’s funeral, but I seem to break down in the most inconvenient of spaces (like in the middle of town, or on the train). 

The pain you feel, is deep, is real. No matter how quickly or slowly people think you should be over it, you may never be over it. And that isn’t meant to scare you. I don’t know that I will ever get used to not having my dad. It was nearly two months ago and I still catch myself wanting to ring him. 

People will tell you how to grieve, they will tell you to be quite, or to be louder, they will say you need to move or you don’t care at all, they will make judgements and predictions and explanations of what you should be doing at any one time. But no one really has the right to do that. 

No one had your relationship with that person, I am the only person who know what it was like to be my dad’s specific daughter. That doesn’t mean that people can’t be there for you, and empathises with you, it just means no one will truly get it on this earth, and that is okay. 

People will say hurtful things that were meant to be comforted, they may be grieving too and if they aren’t well they may just not understand. Your relationship with your loved one may have been complicated and full of twists and turns. Therefore grieving them will be complicated to. But know, that no matter how long it takes, no matter how many tears or how many days you spend staring into space (I get caught doing that a lot) or how many times you scream into the abyss, that’s okay. 

You are okay. It’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to hurt like hell, some days will be nearly normal and some days will be horrific, I think there is a good reason that the day is only 24 hours, and we sleep for 8 hours of that (or 10 or 12 if you’re me, because I am seriously like a child). Even if you have a horrendous few days each evening the night will come and promise new beginnings in the morning. Maybe like me the nights are the worst, and maybe you haven’t slept for months, or years, maybe all you do is sleep. 

Grief isn’t discriminatory. It gets everyone. It doesn’t care about your ethnicity, gender, nationality, political party, demographic or age. It’s universal. Grief was around right at the beginning of the earth, and it will be around until Jesus comes back. And that may be a sad thought but there is some comfort in it. 

1.) Multiple people, around the earth right now and across time have experienced the same earth shattering, heart-breaking pain you are experiencing now. The God of the universe lost his only son. And when he was on the earth he grieved for his friend. Even when he was about to raise him from the dead. Now, I am 99.9999% (occurring) sure that God will not raise my dad from the dead in this life. I guess he might but he most likely won’t. But it does mean that Jesus gets it. And he took the time to properly grieve. If that was me, I would move forward and not grieve at all. I wouldn’t need to. But even though Jesus raised him from the dead, he still (Jesus’ friend) died eventually. It will happen to all of us and that means you aren’t alone in your pain. 

2.) No matter how soul destroying, painful and life alterting your loved one’s death is, God is in it and has a purpose for it. Now I normally hate this reasoning, because if your not careful it will negate a person’s grief. But know it isn’t pointless, your pain isn’t purposeless. I honestly believe God works through everything. And he doesn’t drop the ball on anything. Therefore he will see you through it, and is with you in it. Often it takes years to actually realise what God’s plan is. I may never know why I, and all my family lost two close relatives in 9 weeks. But I know there’s a point in it, just hold on. 

3.) Because grief doesn’t discriminate there is always someone who has lost a loved one. And therefore you can turn around a help other’s through it. 

4.) Grief is grief. It doesn’t matter who you lost, if you are struggling with it, it’s important (even if you aren’t it is still important, but if you aren’t struggling with it, just make sure you don’t negate other people if they aren’t getting over the death as quick as you would like). 

Author: beforeiunderstood

I am 22, born and bread in the UK, I am a Christian trying to live my life for the glory of God. Battling through mental illness and life in general. With the goal of trying to make other's feel less alone.

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