Last night I received a phone call from a friend from back home. She is going through a difficult time right now, she lost her dad suddenly just over a month ago. Her and I are friends on facebook of course and her status updates crush my heart at times because I know exactly what she is going through from her head to her heart. She contacted me through facebook saying she knew I would know what she is going through and if I had any advice for her. I was touched. I told her to call me or the message would be a novel. She did. We talked for over an hour about her struggles, her emotions, her anger, her heart. I told her it would get better. When you lose someone like a parent that is the last thing you want to hear. I know this from experience. Someone would tell me that I wanted to punch them in the face. I told her I know how it makes you feel when you hear this but to know it is the truth. It won’t be better tomorrow, it won’t be better next month, it might not even be better in a year but eventually it does. It took me 2 years after my mom passed for it “to be better”. I reassured her that I did not want to scare her with this information because her time will be different than mine, but it will happen. You must be strong but you must let yourself grieve…deeply. That is why it took me so long because although I did grieve I didn’t let myself grieve deeply for almost 2 years. I was too busy being strong for everyone else, being a mother and wife to look into myself and deal with the pain. I look back and the 2 years that I was a walking robot, numb and just going through the motions and it is a blur. A complete blur. That is not healthy. You must dig deep within yourself and let it out, let it go. Not let go of the person, the memories, and the love but let go of the anger, the hurt, the pain of your loss. That is what gets in you and eats you up inside, it’s what makes you numb. Everyone has their own timeline when dealing with a loss, for some it’s easy to get through and for some it crushes them down to where they can’t function. You have to find a balance. You have to take care of yourself, you have to deal with what is inside of you to move on.
She has been struggling with the fact that no one knows what she is going through. They say they can assume but really, unless you have been through it yourself, you don’t know. What makes her and I’s stories unique is that we lost our parents when they were still young and very suddenly. It’s not that our grandmas passed away after a full life of 80 years. No, our parents were in their 50′s with grandbabies, with their own kids that still needed them. People don’t understand the hole that is created in your heart when this happens.
Through the entire phone call I could relate to every single word she said. I had been there, I had felt the pain, I had felt the anger. I have been through wanting to shut the world out because you don’t want to hear what they have to say from it’s going to get better to everyday comments in a conversation about other people’s parents who are still with them. You can become very bitter towards people. It’s a hard thing to do at the time but you have to learn how to turn a cheek and smile and nod. It’s easier said than done when you are grieving but you have to learn how to do it.
As we were getting off the phone I told her to call me anytime, whether it was to just talk about everyday life, to vent, to cry or to scream, my phone was always on. I told her to take care of herself, to make sure to let herself grieve. I reassured her that it is ok to cry, it’s ok to scream and hate the world but just not to let the hate consume her. I told her that still after 6 years I still cry on random days, I still cry on her birthday, on certain holidays. It’s ok to do that and not to ever let herself think differently.
She said to me “I’m putting your number in my phone as ‘My Angel’ because you truly are my angel”.
I got goose bumps and cried.