But that doesn't begin to cover it. I have witnessed enough grief in the past twelve months to last a lifetime. February 11, 2019 marks one year without Justin, 365 whole days. Three hundred and sixty five days that I have watched one of the people closest to my heart trudge through her grief.
|Justin, doing what he loved.|
Justin was a smart ass. He loved to argue. And I mean, LOVED to argue. He would argue just for the sake of it. Even if he had the same view as you, he would take the opposing side, just to make sure your reasoning was sound for your beliefs. He would use big words just to see if he could confuse people. He was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. And he loved to pick on A's friends, but would do it in a way where you couldn't tell if he was making fun of you, or actually complimenting you. And his compliments... oh they couldn't be matched. One of my favorite memories of him was the time he told me I was actually much more intelligent than I looked.... Thanks Justin. But he said it with that boyish grin that I imagined charmed his way out of many sticky situations in his life. As I type this, I am laughing, with tears rolling down my face, and sorrow in my heart.
Here is what I have learned over watching, and feeling the grief of Justin's passing: It's not a "process" as they say. There are no steps to grief. You simply have to get through each day. You simply have to breathe. You may have a day, or even two, where it is easier to function. Then, it comes in waves. Like a tsunami, out of nowhere, the waves wash over you, and you can't breath, can't catch your breath. Then the flood after, where you are drained, trying to get your life back on track from the last emotional setback. But, the next day comes. And you may feel like a total trainwreck from being up all night crying, and you may think you don't have it in you to "people" that day, but the world around you doesn't know that. And bills need paid, and jobs need done, and somehow we have to make it through the day. Grief is also not limited to immediate family, or a close circle of friends. No one is safe from grief. Grief has struck me so deeply because of my friendship with Justin, but also because of the immense pain I see A in. My empathtic side has pulled me in, like the undercurrent of a wave.
Being an empath, I find it impossible to separate A's grief over her loss of Justin from my own grief. I feel every tear she sheds with me on the phone. I feel the gut wrenching blows that she has been dealt since his passing. She was displaced from her home, and there have been battles over possessions, and suddenly, the separation from his family, which she viewed as her own. And deep down in the depths of my soul, I have felt all of this with her. I have cried with her, screamed with her, and struggled with her. This loss has changed her. And it has changed me. For so long now, I have wondered why I have struggled with the loss of Justin so deeply. I loved him, yes, but he wasn't my the love of my life. He wasn't a part of my every day life. He was my best friend's boyfriend, so he was important to me. He was my bud, we joked, we argued for the sake of arguing, and we joined forces and made fun of A together any time we had the chance. But he wasn't my boyfriend, he wasn't my family, so why am I still hurting so badly? And I realized, I'm still grieving. I miss him.
|My favorite picture of A and Justin. |
His smile couldn't be matched.
Don't ever let anyone put a timeline on your grief. Don't listen to the "you should be moving on by now" or "you should be doing certain things by now" advice. I have grieved many losses in my life, but all differently. No loss is ever the same for any person. Every loss hits every person differently, and at different times, in different ways. You just have to dig deep in yourself, and find whatever motivation you need, and you simply fight. Fight for that day. Then fight for the next day.
You can do this. Just fight... Just breathe....