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Grief Connection

I had an incredible conversation at a Christmas party last week. There were tears and laughs and I walked away trying to remember all the things we spoke about because it felt like many of them directly touched my heart.

The woman I spoke with, like me, has an intimate relationship with grief. Although K. is 25 years ahead of me on her journey and the loss she suffered quite different, I feel like she knows exactly how I feel.

I have known of K's loss for a number of years. She reached out to me after Tripp died and has sent me many kind and considerate words over the last 2 years. Even though I knew about her loss, I had never heard her entire story. She shared with me the events leading up to and following the death of her beloved. I found myself repeating, "I would not have been able to do that" over and over in my head. Even as I thought it, I smiled at my own mistake. MANY people have told me that they wouldn't have been able to function, or go on if they lost one of their children.  Last night, I found myself thinking the exact same thing that has been said to me. When I shared this with K she smiled and shared exactly what I felt, "I don't think people realize the reserve of strength they have unless they lose someone they really care about. Everyone has it, you just don't know about it until you need it." She is exactly right. I would survive what she went through, just as others would survive what I went through. That fact may be hard to understand until you are a survivor.

K was telling me about a group of women she was going to meet with who were on a similar journey as her, but more like me in that they are in the early stages of their grief. I asked her if this would open up old wounds or feelings. K said, "I think you will realize as you move on that those wounds never really close up." This almost felt like a relief to hear. It is normal to feel how I feel and it is going to be okay to still feel hurt years from now. There is so much comfort in speaking with someone who knows.

K also told me she still thinks of her loved one everyday. She doesn't dwell on it or make a point to do it. It just happens. This makes me happy. That may or may not be my experience on my journey, but the thought of Tripp popping into my head every day from now in 20 years makes me very happy. So happy I am welling with tears just imagining it.

It felt incredible to speak about death and about loss and about Tripp. I don't often get to tell his story any more and it was nice to be able to share that with K. As she said, "It is almost like a sisterhood. You automatically feel safe speaking with someone who knows how you feel."

Comments

  1. <3 So glad you had this conversation!

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  2. I'm glad you have someone whom you can relate to and share experiences with.
    I definitely feel like it is some kind of "strange sisterhood" that allows people who share their own experiences with complete strangers - they may only share one thing in common, their grief, but because of the innate ability to empathize a "sisterhood" is formed.
    Wishing You, Calder, Tripp and Boone a Merry Christmas.
    Brandi

    ReplyDelete

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