Friends,  Grief,  Support,  Surviving Widowhood,  This Life,  Uncategorized

Grief and Friends – Oh, That Second Year of Grief

This is a post I don’t particularly want to write but I feel like I have to.

I am working through coming to terms with the stark reality of the second year of grief and how it affects everything. Simply everything. I want to share this because I think it’s important. I know it’s important.

It has been very hard to find positivity in the second year. Oh, I’ve been able to do it and I’ve had some great people in my life help me with it but it’s been hard and it gets harder as the two year anniversary approaches in almost exactly a week.

I’ve dealt with more losses this year; financial loss, my home, most of my stuff and more friends. I don’t know if those friends are completely lost or if it’s just that they drifted or maybe it’s that I’m making assumptions. What I do know is that more friendships changed and people seem to just be over it. Grief is exhausting. I know. But it’s not just exhausting to the griever, it’s also exhausting to those in the griever’s circle.

It’s understandable in a logical sense. People have their own lives, they can’t possibly understand how much things still suck and there is definitely such a thing as compassion burnout. I get that…logically. Emotionally, it sucks. Emotionally, it feels horrible and it makes me feel a sense of isolation that burrows a hole into my heart.

I know I’ve changed. It’s hard not to change with something like the loss of a spouse and then the secondary loss of everything in the life you built with that spouse. I am still trying to figure out who I am. I’m still trying to figure out how the world still exists. I feel like I’m living somebody else’s life right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have good things in my life. I still have incredible people in my life. I still feel a deep gratitude for the beauty I see in the world that I didn’t see before such a huge loss. I know what’s important and material things aren’t it. It’s the people and the love and the experiences. I have a new love in my life and he is fantastic. I couldn’t be more happy about that.

And because I know even more how important people are, it hurts more when a connection I cherish is lost or damaged. It hurts, even though I know it’s not necessarily personal. Or, even if it is, there isn’t much I can do about it because I’m grieving the best way I can. I’m doing everything I can to get through this in one piece. Sometimes people don’t have the patience for that and I can’t really expect them to. It’s not their burden and really, it shouldn’t be.

So I write this to say that I get it. I was where they once were. I remember what life was like before loss and the last thing I want is for them to understand because that would mean they would have experienced what nobody should have to experience and I don’t want that for anybody for as long as is possible for them.

Just as I am grieving the best way I can, the best way I know how to, they are also living and getting through their lives the best way they can. My fellow grievers, it hurts and it isn’t fair but it’s not anybody’s fault. Including our own. So I have understanding for them but at the same time, I also have understanding for myself. Even though I still don’t know who I am yet in this post loss world I find myself in, I do know that we all have value, including me and including you even if it feels like we’ve been damaged beyond repair.

We can’t take it personally and we just have to keep digging in our heels. We have to keep going and working through it. It’s the only thing any of us can do.

One Comment

  • Sheila Goegebeur

    Hi Rachel, I have a small understanding of your grief & think of you often. My grief is more of “ I know what is on the horizon grief “ p as I see my son loose ground every day ,as his MS slowly but surely destroys him.

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