With the exception of Monday, I went to work each day this week. I woke up each morning, drank coffee, ate breakfast, packed my lunch, and went through my day like normal. I smiled and chatted with people at work. Work responsibilities came up and I would take care of them. I paid bills, made dinner, worked out.
In other words, life has continued to go on.
And yet, I continue to cry. I continue to feel sad. I continue to feel an empty hole in my heart. My heart hurts, my stomach hurts, everything hurts.
But I don’t want to burden people with talking about it, so I keep it bottled inside and try to cry only when I’m alone. However, yesterday I realized that I’m making myself physically ill by keeping everything bottled up and trying to put on a pretense that everything is fine and normal.
I lost a very dear friend, someone who was a constant companion and who I loved very much. I know that she is in a better place, that her spirit is free from pain. Like my husband told me last night, she would not want me to feel sad. And yet I do. I miss her.
So rather than keep my feelings bottled up, making myself ill and letting things fester, I’m sharing about my grief. Grief is not something that you can just tell to go away. It’s not something that you should try to get through on your own. It’s something that we all experience. We love and we feel loss. It’s part of life, but we shouldn’t try to get through loss and pain alone.
I know with time my pain will lessen. It will hurt just a little bit less each day. I will heal and there will be moments when the scab will open and I’ll hurt some more. But in order to heal, I have to feel. I have to ride out the pain and come out the other side instead of trying to run from it.