Updated: Aug 15, 2020
I'm finally at that age where my friends are getting married, having kids - and dying. Before a couple years ago, the only real deaths I dealt with were my grandfathers. And though those deaths hurt, and I miss them dearly - they were older, it was something that hurt but at one day was to be expected.
There is so much pain in losing someone close in age to you.
I started this blog after my friend Tavon passed away in January, and that pain was a pain I would not wish on anyone. And it still hurts the same way it did the day I found out. And two nights ago, my close friend Devon died - he was murdered.
This is maybe the 5th or 6th death that I've dealt with, in terms of people close in age to me - and it is the 3rd death I've dealt with of a friend actually close to me. And people tell you the same things: they're in a better place, you'll be okay, they'll always be with you. Thanks but no thanks, I don't need to hear the things I already know. And I don't want to hear things that might now hold truth because you want to convince yourself you comforted someone.
So let's talk about grief, in detail - what grief is really like.
Grief is inconsolable. There is no way to truly comfort someone after they lose somebody. There is no one that will come along and replace them, and there is no way to bring them back. Stop trying to talk to people through their tears. Stop telling them to stop looking at old pictures and videos because it's making them sadder - DUH the person is gone, forever. Hold them, reassure them that it is okay to cry.
Grief is feeling the pain twice as hard the second day. That first night, you might cry yourself to sleep. And that some night, you might have peaceful dreams. And you wake up to a nightmare - a piece of your life is gone. And you have to relive that moment, and come back to that realization - that this is not a dream, that this is somehow going to be your new normal, and that it's the hardest thing in the moment for you to deal with - but somehow you'll just have to deal with it.
Grief is feeling guilty a few weeks later when you can think of them without crying. And grief is feeling like a horrible person when you are finally able to go one day without thinking of them - and we don't understand that part as a much milestone in healing. Grief is apologizing out loud over and over again because you forgot to to think about them, or think of a memory with them - or that you enjoyed something that you used to enjoy with them. Grief is feeling guilty for having to skip a song because you're on your way somewhere & it'll make you think about them, out will make you sad, and it will make you cry - and you might not just be able to handle it in that moment.
And as much as people say the last step of grief is acceptance, that is the biggest lie I have ever been told. We don't accept pain, we are not meant to, especially a pain that cannot be healed or reversed. There is no final step of grief. That guilt is ongoing, it eases up sometimes, and hits like a truck other times.
And again, like I said in my very first blog about Tavon, with the same pain, the same hopefulness, and the same extreme amount of love - "I hope you find your way. Sorry we didn't make it. I miss you anyway."
I will love you forever Devon.