Sometimes you know the loss is coming, sometimes you don't. Either way, you are never prepared. You can never be prepared. Not prepared for the shock. Not prepared for the deep void. Not prepared for the pain unlike any other you have ever known. Not prepared for the duration. Not prepared, when you think you are finally better, for it to slam into you again.
Early on, I remember someone saying something to me about the next year and my response was, "oh, I hope this doesn't take a year." Almost 2 years later, some days the pain is still so fresh and debilitating, it feels like it was only yesterday. A memory crops up, seemingly out of nowhere and it feels like a scab being ripped off- still so raw and fresh.
What I've learned along the way:
There is no time limit on grief. There is no right way to grieve. There are no words that make it better. There is nothing you can do for me. There is nothing I can do for myself. The grief comes in waves, with no warning. Sometimes it comes after a long calm, it hits quickly and is gone; sometimes it pounds into you like a tsunami- relentlessly, over and over with no break in sight. And you just have to ride out. There will be good days and bad days. Embrace the good days and ride out the bad ones.
And it's ok. It's all ok. It doesn't mean you are weak. It doesn't mean your faith is lacking. It doesn't mean you are stuck. It means you are human. It means you have loved. It means you have suffered loss. And it means you are healing. In exactly the way that is right for you. Give yourself grace and time.
Everyone's journey of grief is unique. Listen to your heart, listen to your spirit, and listen to your body. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to rest, rest. If you need to be alone, be alone. If you need to be with people, be with people. And listen for what God's Spirit is telling you. Because He is with you - in the middle of your pain and your grief, He is there. He sees you. He knows your pain. And He holds you in the palm of His hand through every second of your journey.