Updated: May 25, 2019
"Your grief path is yours alone, and no one else can walk it, and no one else can understand it." - Terri Irwin
Three years ago on March 1st, 2016, I lost my best friend Sabrina to suicide. Since then, I've done lots of healing. I started a nonprofit that helps moms in need, I have shared my story on many platforms and most recently, I published my first book called, She Saved Me: Choosing Joy After a Tragedy .
After all of this, you may think that my heart has been healed, right? I mean, how can I talk about healing when I'm not "completely" healed?
The truth is, I'm still hurting. I still cry for my friend almost weekly. But, I've been hiding my pain from everyone I knew. It's been three years since we lost Sabrina and yet I'm still crying? Shouldn't I be over this by now? Shouldn't I be at the point of acceptance at this point?
Have you heard about The Five Stages of Grief? When you're experiencing grief, you will likely feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Oh! and let's add in guilt for those that have lost someone to suicide. I have felt each and every one of these stages but not in the same order and sometimes, I would even make my way back to a stage I thought I've already been through. Many would ask me advice on how to grieve your person and I would always say that there is no such thing as a grief ladder, it's more like a roller coaster!
I knew all of these things but I still struggled in my grief journey. Do you remember all of the shoulds I put on myself? I felt guilty because I was supposed to be a role model for all of the others moms that were struggling their own maternal mental health.
What kind of role model was I if I couldn't get my sh*t together?
The kind that walks alongside you on your healing journey. I am the friend that knows your pain and although I may be a few steps ahead of you, we are both healing. I'll never admit to having it all figured out but what I do know is that healing takes community.
I have an online facebook support group for moms and I recently shared to them that although it may seem like I "have it all together" through social media, I am still hurting. The support I received confirmed that not only was I shoulding on myself but the expectations to be a "perfect" role model was all on me!
So my message to you, if you are someone that is missing your person, it doesn't matter how long they've been gone and you are allowed to miss them! I'm not saying we stay where we are at in our pain. I believe in growing but allow yourself to grow and heal on your own terms!
Some of the ways I've healed was from therapy, books, podcasts, and even writing myself! I am in such a better place since I've lost Sabrina but I am still trying to figure out how to build a new relationship with her. That is a relationship with her spirit. I know it will take time but my grief is my own and the same goes for you!