One of my best friend’s sent me a TikTok video of a gentlman who is sharing his grieving journey of losing his wife to cancer. In the video, he said it was a hard day,and asked for support, encouragement, and advise on how to keep going. She wanted him to be safe. I love her heart.
I commented on his post, as did hundreds of others. I took a look at his other videos, and I commended him on sharing his healing journey as well as how he and his two little girls had gotten there.
Loss is hard. Doesn’t matter what kind of loss. Loss is hard. And we learn how to handle it. Or at least a lot of us try to.
Losing somone in your life is a different kind of hard than any other loss. Then, there’s how you lost that person that can contribute to the pain, and how we carry our grief the rest of our lives.
Prior to Ted’s suicide, the only other suicide experience I had was a friend having hung himself while I was at college. I heard from one of the guys from the group I hung out with whenever I came home from college. I wasn’t super close with him, and he was still someone I really did care about. I had guilt, “I wish I hadn’t said that to him. I was joking.”; “What could I have done differently?” This particular event wasn’t traumatic for me. I still carried the guilt for awhile.
“But, he wasn’t Ted,” some might think. And that’s true.Yet, someone still lost a child, someone lost a love, someone lost a brother, someone lost a grandchild, a nephew….And each one of those loses were individually experienced.
I can logically tell you that I understand Ted’s parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends each hurt from his death. I can also tell you that I don’t know their pain because I’m not them. I’ve been blessed to witness or hear how Ted’s suicide has affected those who had him in their lives.
That’s one thing about loss. No one is going to know your pain. There will be those that can relate, sympathize, and empathize. Those who have gone through a similiar situation can identify, and they still won’t know your pain. We all process loss differently.
I had a friend who lost her brother to suicide about a little over a year after Ted’s suicide. I basically told her that I had no words that would give her any comfort in her loss. I told her none of us, even those who experienced a suicide, would know her pain as she moved through her loss. I offered her what I could in the time she needed support – an ear, an eye to read what she typed or texted, a shoulder to cry on, etc. I reminded her she is loved and there will be those who will be there to help support her when she and her family needed it.
And honestly, that’s all one can do. Is just be there to support and love those moving through a loss.
My grieving and healing journey is different from our son’s and from our daughter’s. And each of our chlidren’s journeys is different from their sibling’s. Not once in the nearly four years after Ted died have we been on “the same page” of our grieving. I’m not sure we ever will be. And that’s okay, too. While we each grieve and heal, we will learn from one another hwow to support one another.