Grief never ends…But it changes. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith, it is the price of love.
They tell you that time will make it easier; that time will mend your broken heart with stitches and the scars will fade to the light pink that is only noticeable under the right light. They say that with time, the grief lessens, that the sadness lifts up out of your life and the gaping hole left in its midst is filled with memories and bliss. While time might make it easier, I firmly believe that the second year is the hardest.
It’s hard to even say it. It’s hard to admit that someone you loved so dearly, someone that was a huge part of your life has been out of your life for two whole years. I still find myself struggling to get the words out when people ask me about my dad. And what’s frightening is that it hasn’t gotten easier to admit by this second year. In fact, I think it’s gotten harder.
What makes the second year so hard? Well, I think it has to do with the year full of memories that you have created, but that the person you love is not a physical part of them. It’s how you notice that a few days go by where you don’t think about it and then it just hits you like a freight train roaring at full speed. It’s the idea that they have been gone for a full two years, making the fact that they won’t return more concrete than ever.
Personally, I think it has to do with seeing all of these families around you, whole and creating new memories. It’s bittersweet to witness your friends growing up and sharing milestones with both of their parents. It’s a happy sight, to witness families creating these memories, basking in the happiness they bring. However, I cannot help but feel a twinge of pain and jealousy mixed with guilt for feeling that way. By the time two years rolls around, you have accumulated a multitude of memories that feel empty without your loved one. And I think that’s what makes the second year so hard, the memories you have of your loved one start to become more distant as the new memories you’re accumulating start to fill those spaces.
There is no timeline to follow when it comes to the loss of someone you love, especially a parent. The years following the loss can feel like you are submerged in an ocean of grief. The pain flows and ebbs, like the tides of the ocean. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes the water can be overwhelming. We can never learn to control the motion of the water, all we can do is learn how to swim. So that’s what the third year will be for me, a trial and error in navigating the sea of life without my dad.