In Grief: Why It's Okay To Not Be Okay

My best friend died a little over six weeks ago.

It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it broke my heart into a million pieces.

Since his death, I've been inundated by family, friends and people I've never even met who want to make sure I’m okay.

I spend most of my days repeating the same phrase, “I’m okay” or “I’m doing alright,” but it's a lie. I’m not okay, and I’m tired of having to say so.

Grief is a strange thing, and I wish the experience upon no one. It knocks you down, hard.

Yet, if you’re lucky, you will have many people by your side who will want to help you get back up. “It’ll get easier over time,” they say. “

It’ll start to hurt less and less, and eventually that discomfort will be gone,” they mutter as they awkwardly try to hug you or rub your shoulder.

But right now, those are the last things I want to hear.

When you ask how I am, I want to tell you it sucks. I want to cry out that it hurts in ways I never imagined possible.

It’s hard for the people who are trying to console you to understand that even though you’re not crying, it doesn't mean you’re not sad.

Even if it doesn't sting at this exact moment, that doesn't mean it won’t break you down in the blink of an eye.

When you lose people so close to you, people so young with so much life left to live, it’s hard to comprehend how and why they are gone.

It’s amazing to have a support system to lean on, but it can also become infuriating. Deep down, you know they have no idea how you feel.

Even if they've lost a loved one, no one will truly know how you feel.

We are taught throughout our lives there are stages of grief and everyone grieves in their own way.

Shakespeare once wrote, “Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.” Shakespeare was right.

The fear of life without someone you expected to be with forever is an immense feeling that really cannot be described. Some can find comfort in their faith, but then there are those who are lost in what they believe in.

I haven’t discovered my spirituality yet, and that may be the hardest part of dealing with death. I don’t know what is next after this life.

Yet, the one thing I do know for sure is that it is okay that I’m not okay. It is okay I've been knocked down, and I’m not ready to get back up.

It is okay I’m struggling to find faith in the midst of this emotional tornado that has become my life. And it’s okay I’m not trying to get my life back to "normal." That normal doesn't exist anymore.

I’m sure they are right when they say time heals all wounds, but I’m not quite ready to accept that.

My wound is opened and fresh, and covering it with a band-aid isn't going to make it heal any faster.

It may take months to fully heal, even years, but there is always going to be that scar.

That scar is not something I will be ashamed of having, though. It will remind me every day of the person who influenced my life in the best ways possible.

That scar will remind me I had the privilege to call this amazing human being my best friend, the privilege to call this person my family.

It will give me comfort knowing though he may be gone, he will never be forgotten.

But right now, I’m not okay. And that’s okay.