Grieving Doesn't Make You Imperfect, It Makes You Human

by Alexandra Bannon

When you lose someone, people think they know you; they think they know how you’re handling everything.

But, the truth is, no one knows how you’re doing. No one knows what happens after you go home, when you’re lying in bed or sitting over your breakfast alone, and all you want to do is cry or scream.

Many people believe grieving is a set time that occurs after the loss of your loved one. I hate to break it to you, but this isn't true.

Some weeks or months will go by and you’ll be happy, smiling about life and how it can actually be good. But, then, something will remind you of it.

And, just when you think you’ve accepted that someone is out of your life, that you’ve grieved and it’s over, it happens. One little thing happens and you feel like you’ve lost that person all over again.

Many of us believe the point of grieving is to pass it and overcome it. The real truth is grieving is never-ending.

Your life will come together for some time, and then it’ll fall back apart. Then, it’ll come together again, and fall apart again. We are only human, which means we feel things and we lose things — it happens to all of us.

When someone you love dies, you don’t lose that person all at once; you lose him or her in pieces, over a long period of time. The mail stops coming and the scents fade from the pillows.

My mother will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you — step by step, breath by breath. I will never stop grieving over her because I will never stop loving her. That’s just the way it is.

Grief and love are conjoined; you don’t get one without the other.

The other thing about grieving is it demands to be felt and the only way to get through it is to get through all of it, feel every ounce of it.

After the death of my mother, I still believed the only way to get through the pain was to be headstrong and to just push through it; this was my life now and I should just move on and deal with it.

I wish someone had told me to stop, take steps back, give myself a chance to breathe and remember it’s okay to break down.

When you lose someone, you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to be anything, especially strong. Someone shouldn’t have to feel the need to be strong when someone he or she loves, like nothing else in this world, dies.

We need to tell people that instead of being strong, they can cry; they can break down; they can stay in bed for as long as they want and do whatever they like.

We need to remember this is the loss of a loved one; this is grief and this is someone else's recovery, not ours.

Throughout our lives, we will lose people we can’t live without; our hearts will break. The bad news is you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But, this is also the good news: This person lives forever in your broken heart.

It’s like having a broken leg that never heals quite perfectly: It still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn how to dance with the limp.

It’s okay to be with a new love and still cry for the person you once had; it doesn’t diminish the love you have. It’s okay to have a new life and still cry for your loved ones who have passed; doing so doesn’t diminish the life you have now.

We need to remember grieving the death of a loved one doesn’t mean we can’t let go, or we can’t move on and live again.

There will be no fine imposed if you move on with your life after loss.

If you feel the need to clean out this person's desk, if you take down his or her artwork from the refrigerator, if you no longer wear the ring he or she gave you or if you turn over a portrait of him or her, it's okay.

The ache will always be there, but one day, the emptiness won’t. To nurture the emptiness and take solace in it is to disrespect the gift of life.

In life, happy endings are a rarity. For the most part, endings can be ordinary and sad; other times, they can be so sudden and unexpected they can hardly be considered endings at all.

We won’t always get answers. Some things happen without a reason and the only thing we can do is trust in life that things will eventually work out.

We won’t always find closure or receive compensation for the hurt we once felt or are still feeling. We won’t always get the apologies we feel we need. No matter how badly your heart breaks, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

Sometimes, we must just take a breath, make peace with ourselves and do our best to move forward.

Suffering comes from wishing things were different and from avoiding grief. Let the hard things in life break you; let them change you for the better; let them inform you.

The experiences of your life are trying to leave you with a lesson -- don’t rob yourself of that.

The greatest loss we have in life is not death, but what dies inside of us while we’re still alive.

Don’t run away from life and hide under your covers. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Lean into it. Grieve.