I recently suffered a loss that, no matter how hard I tried, I could have never prepared myself to accept. Even as I write this, I am struggling to figure out how to ease the heartache that this loss has left me feeling.
The toll this has taken on my family has been one of the brutal sort—it’s not always easy to be kind when the persons involved are going through the same heartbache as you. Suddenly the person you all loved becomes the person only you loved the best. And, in your desire to do what you feel he/she would have wanted, you forget to be mindful of whose feelings you’re stepping on in the process.
I’ve been through enough to know that everyone deals with their grief differently. Some withdraw into work or a daily routine, others resort to drugs/alcohol, and some simply learn to live with said pain and use it as the motivation to be better in that person’s honor.
The point is we all arrive at our places of peace differently and however one comes to that place is their business. You can’t rush anyone through the process or force them to adhere to your idea of what’s most effective, they have to do it on their own terms and in their own time—if they are ever to do it at all.
One thing I’ve learned from my most recent experience is just how fragile the family unit can become if there is no foundation there from the start. Grief and sadness are capable of bringing out the best and worst in people, and the scars that words and actions, born from pain, can leave behind can be irreparable if one is not careful.
We must try to never forget to be cognizant of those going through the storm with us–even if the path they’re taking is more or less rain-soaked than ours. Because, in the end, it’s about love and respect. Respect for yourself, your departed loved one, and all those he or she has left behind to mourn them.