In light of the passing of the legendary and talented Prince, I wanted to speak on my own experiences with death and dealing with loss. May God comfort his family, friends, and fans throughout this time.
The loss of a loved one is one of those things that you can never really prepare for, no matter how certain or expected death may be it can still feel surreal when it happens. It’s been a year since my mother passed away and I still wake up trembling with anxiety some days. For me, death has morphed into this crippling fear that no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape from it and losing someone I love every year for the past six years has done nothing but feed that fear.
Death can’t be reduced to being only a tragic event that is easy to move past, it can disrupt your life and change you entirely. For awhile I felt empty, vulnerable, anxious, and a whole mix of different emotions and since my mother died last year those emotions became heightened and much more recurrent. Believe it or not, burdensome emotions like grief can take a drastic toll on not only your mental health but your physical health as well. In this past year of dealing with my loss I hadn’t been eating much, I was losing my hair, and I was getting sick more often. I placed my life on pause and allowed my grief to consume me.
Dealing with loss is a process and everyone deals with it differently. Talking about the death of my mom made it real and looking at her photos and my memories on Facebook only solidified that truth of knowing I am never going to hear her laugh, or see her smile, or tell her how much she truly meant to me. Coming to terms with the reality of my loss meant coming to terms with the fact that the relationship with my mother was final and all of life’s “firsts” I could no longer share with her. However, accepting my loss for what it is today is still an obstacle I’ve yet to overcome but that doesn’t mean you should deny your feelings or refrain from talking about it.
Grief isn’t the same for everyone and you can’t gauge how you feel by comparing notes with the stages of loss or to someone else to see if you are doing it correctly. It may take months to decades for you to finally come to terms with your loss. Just let yourself grieve. There’s no specific guideline to grieving correctly or a set time frame, let yourself feel these emotions naturally and heal.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you are overreacting to the loss of your loved one. Your feelings are valid. As humans we have the capacity to love and feel empathy for other people. The loss of a life is devastating no matter who an individual may have been to someone. There’s no wrong way to react to loss. However, some reactions can cause harm to the individual such as spiraling into a drug or alcohol addiction or resorting to self-inflicted injury.
It’s alright to not feel ready to talk about your loss but in order to heal talking with someone may help. If you are spiritual or religious, it’s alright to speak with your pastor, priest, or rabbi. Whomever you feel the most comfortable talking to, go for it. But don’t be afraid to make an appointment with a licensed professional, you aren’t crazy if you do.
It’s not the end, although it feels that way. You have to hold on to the memories and don’t stop living your life even when you can’t find a reason to go on. I promise you that there is one.
As always guys,
Peace, love, and light. 🙂
If you or someone you know is dealing with drug/alcohol abuse, depression, or thoughts of suicide please do not hesitate to call any of these numbers for help.
US Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group: 800-826-3632
Suicide Prevention Services Crisis Hotline: 800-784-2433
Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline: 630-482-9696
Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 800-233-4357
For Immediate Help: 911 (U.S.)
I’d like to dedicate this post to my mom, I love you more than words can ever express. You were the light in so many peoples’ lives, especially your children’s. We all miss you here, I can’t wait for the day I can see you, grandma, and aunt Joyce again. I love you. <3
Also sending a very special prayer to anyone dealing with the burden of loss right now, my heart is with you.