Grief is something that changes everything – all perceptions, feelings, perhaps even opinions. It can never be predicted and hits you with the strangest kind of force. There is no way to describe the actual feeling of this kind of loss, but I’ve concluded that helplessness (with a hint of hopeless misery) is the best way to describe this sticky blob of emotions.

Simply because you cannot do anything about it, there is no way to make yourself feel better because the thing causing that pang of helplessness is the loss of a human being. It’s irreversible. You are forced to turn all the desires, plans, hopes or lost words into fruitless thoughts of what could have been. Everything and anything you wanted to say or do with the given person becomes unattainable and turns into a pile of regret or despair. Possibly both. Some thoughts may go along the lines of: my mother will never witness me getting married, she will never get to know or comment on my career choices and she won’t be there to give any kind of support or advice if and when I end up having children.

And then, what exactly do you do? Naturally, you can try doing all the things people normally do when they are feeling down, in the hope of feeling better afterwards. You can, for instance, surround yourself with hundreds of friends and go out for parties to distract your disturbed mind. Or you can watch a good movie to block the constant overflow of thoughts. You might even do something more productive like studying or reading a book. But, in the end, all the above-mentioned helplessness will return to hover above you because all of these solutions are temporary and cannot possibly solve anything. In fact, you will most likely feel even worse, as all the repressed feelings will surface and explode in, YES, highly concentrated helplessness.

So is there anything you can do at all? Any way you can somehow go through this without putting your own self six feet beneath the ground? When it happened to me, I actually searched for an answer. I looked for support groups, forums, random advice and all that, in hope of finding some magical glimpse of optimism. I wrote to quite a few people personally too. And the one thing that struck me as the absolutely worst was the fact that everybody seemed pretty united on the fact that grief is never-ending. That it’s a process that goes on and on and never fails to really leave you. For me, a few months or a year into that ‘process’, it seemed like the most unbearable news. What do you mean?! Am I doomed to feel this way forever?! Nothing changes? Nothing?!

Now I see what they mean. Sure, you make progress with the way you deal with things (although I can’t say that with absolute certainty) and some wounds don’t feel quite as fresh constantly, but it stays. Not exactly in the sense that you are unable to feel happiness or excitement for little things, but more in the sense that it becomes a part of you. It melts into your veins and yes, becomes a part of who you are. I think that at the core, people stay somewhat the same despite all sorts of life experiences, but I must also admit that this kind of loss changes you, becomes you. There is some small (or actually substantial) part of you that disappears forever and fails to return.

Is this all as terrible as my descriptions make it seem? You hurt and live with this unspeakable pang of guilt/wishful thinking/sorrow floating through your veins, but you also grow as a person. You gain a different level of awareness, a different perspective on life and death. Most of all, I think, you realise your own strength in the face of the worst feeling on earth: that helplessness. You can’t do much to solve the situation and the chain of feelings tugging along, but you got from Day One to Day Two and you managed to do X, Y and Z despite feeling hopeless. This, in turn, shows you some other side of existence and gives you indescribable self-awareness, a source of internal strength.


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