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How I Got Trough Losing a Loved One

Dec. 22, 2016
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I think a lot of people tend to internalize hurt because it’s easy.  As we all know, it’s easier to not think about things that upset us instead of facing things head on.  Of course, this concept isn’t new but I figure I’d vent a little.

I lost my aunt (She’s the gorgeous lady in the featured image. That’s me with the duck rain coat) in June 2015. The specific date I purposely didn’t remember because who wants to wake up on June whatever and remember that…but maybe that’s my issue…I digress.  She had cancer. I’ve experienced death before with both of my grandmothers, but not quite like this.  There’s something especially troubling about losing someone when you don’t expect it.  My aunt was in her late 50s.

My particular issue with “dealing” with this loss is that it lingers.  Almost like a lingering headache that you can tolerate mostly, but every now and then its stronger than usual. Just like a headache, pain has its triggers.  For me, it’s hearing my mom discuss her sister, or casually bring up how she should’ve let the petty arguments go or been less judgey.  Sometimes my trigger is my cousin and the image of my aunt rubbing her daughter’s pregnant belly with the granddaughter she would never meet inside.

So when I have these triggers, I’m challenged with what to do next.  Do I talk about it? My first thoughts are who wants to hear about that? My mom has enough going on. My friends have also dealt with plenty of loss.  My boyfriend has also lost people close to him recently.  This is where the internalization comes in.  I choose to not upset others by sharing my pain with them and instead, keep it to myself. Hence why I’m here, typing this story up.

The problem with loss is that it never goes away.  Sometimes you deal with it, sometimes you tolerate it, but sometimes when you’re in your room alone it can creep up on you.  My problem right now is acceptance.  I think with a grandparent you almost prepare yourself when you see your grandma moving slower up the stairs, forgetting names, and sleeping more.  I know, I sound very desensitized, but I like to prepare myself before I’m overwhelmed with the emotions that come with death.

Here’s the part where I say something uplifting or try and motivate anyone reading this.  But in all honesty, I don’t know what exactly to say, and maybe that’s okay.  At the end of the day, death is never easy and no one ever said it would get easier.  I think it’s important to have an outlet.  After nearly a year since my aunt passed, I’m starting to evaluate her death and share the fact that it still hurts with others.

Cover Image via ShutterStock