A message from grievers

We asked people who have lost someone they love what message they would give to another grieving person. This is what they said:

This is really, really hard. This is probably one of the hardest things you will ever feel or go through.

Grief is messy. Grief is confusing and grief is overwhelming.

Be gentle to yourself.

Breathe, just breathe.

The love that you had with your person, will always matter.

Let yourself feel the grief.

Just be ready for anything.

It’s gonna be terrible and it’s gonna be beautiful, and it’s gonna continue to change.

Surround yourself with people that are gonna love you unconditionally.

Believe in yourself.

Grieve the way that you need to grieve. Not everyone is the same.

Be open to all your emotions.

Whatever you are feeling is valid and it’s okay for you to express it.

If you wanna cry, just cry.

Take your time, don’t rush through it.

Don’t feel discouraged.

Even if you feel like it won’t get better, you will have good days.

You’ll be okay, it’ll take time.

Get the support that you need, whatever it is. Whether that’s therapy or walks or exercise or ice cream.

Or a group support which has been one of the things that’s really helpful for me.

It’s hard, but we can make it. If I made it and anyone can make it.

You’re not alone.

You’re not alone.

You’re not in this alone.

You are not alone.

Play Video placeholderDon't fight it

Don’t fight it. If I feel emotional, if, say, I have to drive the other way to work where I drive by where he crashed and it gets me choked up, gets me thinking about him, don’t fight it. Roll with the process. Go through it. Let the emotions go through. They’re going to come out, and I almost find it, afterward, refreshing. When I do that, when I have those times, those moments something happens, I see something, we do something that gets me thinking about Nate, I just try to embrace it.

Play Video placeholderIt's ok to cry

One of the things that I stopped doing was when I was going through a moment of of crying and talking to someone, I would say, “oh, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for getting upset.” And now I’ve realized I don’t need to be sorry.

It’s okay for me to cry. It’s okay to have these tears come out because they’re tears of love. Because whenever I talk about Oscar, I remember the person he was, and the love that I had for him These are the things that reminded me of that person because he mattered. He was somebody in this world, and I can’t forget that.

Play Video placeholderYou are never prepared for what you will feel

I don’t think you're every really prepared. There was, it was almost like I’m prepared in a mental aspect but not an emotional aspect. Like okay, I, I’m prepared, I’ve got a few things lined up. I know that I’m to be feeling, um, you know, I know I'm going to be feeling sad or I’m going to be depressed. Or, um, I’m going to be angry. But then to actually experience the emotions. Like, okay, I know I’m going to have this emotion, but then to have the emotion. That’s what I think I was - you can’t prepare for because you don’t know exactly how that emotion is going to hit you.

Play Video placeholderGive yourself space

What I would say to someone in the fresh awfulness of grief is that it’s gonna be weird for the next year, maybe more. Give yourself a lot of space and time to reimagine how your life is because it will never be the same as it was. But it still might be something special and interesting. And it’s gonna be so strange for a long time. And don’t let anyone tell you to get better. I mean, they will tell you that, but ignore them. Don’t let that intrude on your process. Get the support that you need, go to therapy. Go to a grief support group, go for long walks, eat ice cream, whatever it is for you. Not to try to change the grief from make it go away but to, I guess, get comfortable with it or be okay with that new aspect of yourself, that you are a grieving person and it’s okay.

Play Video placeholderTyana Simmons: Ride the Wave

My therapist called them waves. And she said, “You’re going through a wave? Ride it. But make sure that it brings you back. Don’t let it take you off the deep end. Ride the wave, bring it back, get back on schedule. You have things to do. You have a son that still needs you. He has homework, he has to eat, he wants to play.” So that helped. One of the biggest things, helped.

Play Video placeholderJayne Agena: You have to imagine yourself differently

People want you to be happy again. And they want you to be yourself. Which is another thing, I’m never going to be that person again. You’re a completely different person, when you’ve had that kind of loss.

And so, you have to think of yourself as a different person. You have to imagine yourself differently, in ways that you would not have imagined yourself to be before.

That's r- really hard. You have to imagine a different future. Um, it recontextualizes your past. It’s hard on the people who knew you before, because I think they keep expecting that person to show up. That you’ll just be sad for awhile... It’s like you’re going on a trip and (laughs) you’ll come back and you’ll be a better person.

But that person is not coming back ’cause you’re not the same. Um, the person I was when Mark was alive is not the person I am now.