A couple weeks ago, I talked about how having a community is key after a loss. There are people that after the first couple weeks after the death that continue to check in on us weeks, months, and even years while we continue to grieve. These people become our family because they have the ability to see us when no one else can. They understand that there are days that are going to be awful and we won’t be able to control them. And instead of judging us, these unexpected family members send us cookies and hug us even when we cannot understand why we’re upset. They don’t constantly tell us that everything will be ok. They look at us and say, “This sucks. And I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do?” The people in my circle know that chocolate is a good start to helping followed by a Disney movie. So when these people unexpectedly leave us too, it can shatter our sense of security in more than one way.
As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, I’ve talked about how grief is a journey that never ends, it ebbs and flows just like the waves of the ocean. There are many events on this journey that make it twist and turn, and when we lose someone in our safety grief circle everything starts to get harder for awhile. When we lose someone after a loss, we feel that initial pain all over again. We’re not going to be able to pick up the phone and call them when our grief monster has taken over. They aren’t going to send us cookies on our loved ones anniversary. We haven’t just lost our grief partner, it’s almost like we’ve lost our loved one all over again. Now we feel like we have to start over.
So when the next anniversary comes up, we are struck with more raw emotions. We no longer have the person who was a part of helping us get through our first loss. We have this secondary loss of our first death that is now having us grieving the second death more. Our emotions are confused and we aren’t sure how to deal with them. It makes that anniversary day harder than it would have been if our friend was still with us. For those of you who have lost that grief circle friend, I am sorry. I hope that there are words somewhere that bring you comfort. I hope that you can find what you need in these hard days to get through it. If you got up out of bed this morning and brushed your teeth, I am proud of you. If you decided to still go to work, I am proud of you. If you were brave and reached out to someone new, I am proud of you. Days are hard, but life can still be good. I believe in you.