Don’t stifle your grief.
Don’t hide the feelings and emotions and memories that are bubbling up to the surface. Look them straight in the eye and let them know you acknowledge their presence. This is one of the many ways in which you will find yourself putting one foot in front of the other, continuing your steady pace forward.
The dishes will pile up and you’ll go days without washing your hair. You will lose your appetite and you will cry until your eyes are swollen and puffy. You will absentmindedly complete menial tasks throughout the day, existing on autopilot, running on fumes. One moment you will be angry and cursing with no patience for trivial things and the next moment you will be so emotionally exhausted that you have no fight left inside you. This is all so human, so do not hide from your grief. Recognize the role it will play in your healing and honor the tempo at which you mourn this tremendous loss.
Allow the cries to pass through your lips; allow your tears to fall freely from your eyes. Feel everything you need to feel, no apologies necessary. You owe it to yourself to allow your grief to visit, to process the immense loss you’ve endured. And in doing so, you will make them so proud because you are carrying on their legacy and honoring their memory with every breath you take.
So allow the waves to crash and allow the storms to rage. The pain of their absence will be ever present, but so will the joy and love they brought to your life; what a gift that is. I know the loss is so crippling; it is weighing you down. I know this has left such a cavernous hole in your chest, a space that will never be adequately filled again. No one could possibly fill the spot that they occupied in your heart since day one.
So tattoo their smile on your skin and imprint their laugh to your memory bank. Brand the sound of their voice onto the deepest corners of your heart. Memorize the smell of their perfume, the strong coffee brewing in the kitchen, and their famous homemade burgers. Commit every little characteristic and trait to your memory and revisit all of those precious moments when you feel like you are drowning—like you cannot take another breath without them.
The way our loved ones live on is through the ones they cherished most. And even though they are no longer on earth, take great comfort and solace in knowing that they have been reunited with others who passed before them. The reunions taking place at the gates of Heaven are far beyond our wildest dreams, so please, hold steadfast to this truth. Wrap it around yourself like a blanket fresh from the dryer; use it as a balm for your soul on the most difficult, excruciating days. Think of them gaining their angel wings, keep their spirit tucked away in the most sacred and precious place in your heart. They will always live within you, through you, and beside you. They are woven so deeply into the tapestry of your life and nothing can ever take that away from you.