It’s been a while since I have done anything grief related. No writing, no commiserating, not even much crying. I needed a break, but I’m back. I’m picking up where I left off.
Grief never completely goes away. As nice as it is to ignore now and again, it is always there waiting for you. I had reached a plateau in my healing. Feeling stuck and stagnant, I wanted to be done. So, I gave myself permission to put it all down for a little while. I gave myself permission to live.
There wasn’t a day that went by that Josh didn’t cross my mind. But I didn’t sit there, I didn’t dwell in the loss and the pain. I just let the moment drift over me and away.
It’s been a couple of months now and my brain is reminding me that there is still work to do.
I’ve recently been having flashbacks again. To the night of his death and all of the images I have burned into my brain. To the phone calls I had to make, the hearts I could hear shatter through receiver as I uttered the words “It’s Josh. He’s gone. No, not missing. Really gone. He’s dead.” I can hear the hushed conversations in the background where the person I called informs the others around them. It’s all still so clear. And still so unbelievable.
I have had moments of unbelievable anguish as I come across a picture of his hands – and I don’t recognize them. The pain of having to listen to voicemails because his voice and his laugh are no longer immediately accessible in the soundtrack in my brain. And the disheartening realization that, had it not been for Timehop memories, I would have completely forgotten the seven year anniversary of our first date.
Quickly approaching is the two year anniversary of his death. I have no idea how that happened. But this year, my healing is more focused in acceptance and forgiveness of events and behaviors as opposed to initially just having to accept that he was gone.
And there’s so much. But this time, I can do it on my own terms. I’m not drowning in grief and can’t confusion. I’m not struggling just to keep myself afloat. This time, I can pick it up and work on it – and then put it down when I need a break again. And for that, I am grateful.
You do not know me. I know of you because Josh is my nephew. I knew a lot about his life. Not a lot on a personal level, but much about his childhood. His Mom is my sister. Josh had a difficult time navigating throughout his time on this earth. I had one opportunity to speak one-on-one with him after a family function and i truly enjoyed his company. When Josh died I was shocked and my heart still goes out to you and especially to my sister. He is always in my heart and often on my mind. I have often wanted to write to you, but the stories of Josh’s death are different from what I was told and when I read your article, I felt I could not talk about this with family. There is much I would love to say. Most of all, be strong and may God bless you. I know you really loved Josh.
God bless i to was unexpectedly widowed and wow I pray God comfort and keep you as has me it is really a dif season to walk in
Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate knowing there is light ahead.
Your intentionality in your grief process is amazing. I really appreciate the part where you said you took some time and gave yourself permission to live. I am at 5 years and I can relate very much so to taking breaks from the consuming nature of grief only to then pick it back up and thankfully, be able to heal and process whatever I am needing to work through. The break recharges you for that.