By Leonard Pigg
When grief hits, there is a feeling of standing outside yourself in slow motion. Someone close that is no longer around for you to speak with or hug, has been snatched away from your life. I remember the strange silence of the rain as I sat on the porch after hearing those final words, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Lights from the ambulance flashed in red and yellow, illuminating the darkest of nights. The attempt at comfort from a stranger’s words are muted by the haze of a sudden death.
The urge to sleep will come, but it won’t actually happen as you think this all might be a horrific dream that you can’t awaken from. When it finally does, you’re still in a state of shock. Appetite withers away, as you are in a sort of psychic detox from someone that’s always been around. This isn’t anything you can get used to, reality is on hold. Time passes and you attempt to do the same things you normally do throughout the week, but you’re simply going through the motions. The autopilot has been engaged as you endure a strange and darker world than you’re accustomed to. The stars might seem dimmer, but they’re still there. Food and drink have lost some of its luster, but are still needed.
You find yourself going through old photo albums not seen since childhood. Mental images of a life that once was replays in your mind over and over. Somehow you figure out your process and move forward as others around you seek closure. Everyone strives to keep sane and not continue to cry endlessly. We gather together to be strong, while sometimes needing time away. I found myself having to rewire my thought processes to get through the day. Peering at the rest of the world with some distance and some reluctance, you realize that life has to continue onward.
Sadly, some days you won’t want to get out of bed. The sweetest offers from friends and family will hold no sway over you. There will be times that staring off into space is preferable to human interaction. Find a support system and embrace it. Never believe that you are utterly alone. Know that people share your grief and want to feel better as well. People find commonality in tragedy and later on, sharing the triumph of getting out of bed. You will find yourself changed, yet knowing that you wouldn’t be who you are without that person. if they are your family, you still have them with you in your DNA. Cherish those memories, every single one. In order to honor their memory, keep moving forward. They are gone from your life, but never forgotten.