I hope this letter finds you well. I know things haven’t been easy for you. That’s probably an understatement. I have thought about you often. I have worried and wondered how you are doing. I never wanted you to think you were alone. I had to wait for you to find me. The important thing is you are here now. And, you definitely are not alone.
I know you are a strong, capable person. I am confident you can handle anything that comes your way. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know you don’t have to do it alone. It feels good to know you have someone to walk along side you. I wish had answers. I wish I could tell you how to make it hurt less or how to make it all go away. Unfortunately, that’s something no one can do.
People will try to solve your problems, or at least make you feel better. There are many reasons they do this. Most of them care about you deeply. The rest, well, they are probably carrying their own pain. Your pain and their pain may be too much for them to bear. They will tell you all those clichés people say to each other during hard times. You know the ones I am talking about. Try to be patient with them. Try to remember they do care about you, even if it isn’t in the way you need them to.
Firsts. Oh, there are going to be many of these. Usually we view firsts as exhilarating. They make us nervous, anxious, and excited all at once. The firsts you have now will probably bring you little more than apprehension, sorrow, and pain. Even the simplest task might make you weep. At least, that’s how it felt to me. Firsts are hard for another reason. They don’t all happen in a certain time frame. It might be 10 years down the line and you might experience a first. And, just so you know, it doesn’t feel any better than the first time you slept in your bed without him. Those are things that always bring you back to the pain.
The first dance our daughter went to, I cried. He was supposed to be there. The first baseball game our son ever played, I wept like a baby. The first time our youngest won a swim meet sent me to a room where I sat in tears. Those moments were all firsts for me, even though they were years later. And they hurt just as bad as if they had happened right after his death.
Now you know; time does not heal all wounds. It does make it easier. It’s easier for a lot of reasons. Those moments that bring you to your knees come less often. And when you find yourself on the ground, getting up isn’t as difficult. And most importantly, time allows you to be happy more often than you are sad. It allows you to find yourself again. It allows you to sleep at night. It allows you to love and be loved once again. Time is a beautiful thing, and it does help. Just don’t expect too much. It will not separate you from your past. It cannot build a wall between you and pain.
Time is only as good as its accomplice—you. It won’t happen overnight, or even over a month. It will happen. It will happen when you are ready for it to happen. There is no rule book. No one can tell you to do it this way or that. There are tricks and tips that can help you walk through the process, but nothing that can replace.
I can tell you what I went through and I can tell you how I got through. You might find comfort in knowing though, our experiences are different, many of our feelings are the same. Perhaps you will want to try some of my tips and hopefully they will work for you. I should tell you, I didn’t do this alone either.
I found a grief counselor. I never thought I would be a person to share my pain with someone so openly. I have to say, not only did I share with a stranger, but I’m not sure what I would have done without her. I used my husband’s Employer Assistance Plan to help me find the one I used. It’s something to consider.
Please don’t let fear inhibit your healing. I remember being terrified. I was afraid of forgetting him. What he sounded like. Afraid of not remembering his voice, or the way held me at night. I never dreamed that healing actually allowed me to remember him better. Randy is never a closed subject here. Sometimes it still brings tears, but those tears are sweet tears. I can think of him, talk about him, and still be okay. That is what time and healing can do for you. It isn’t the way I had imagined our lives together, but it is all I have. I feel thankful to have that. It’s a good feeling.
I am so proud of the path you are on. You have already made great strides towards recovery. There is a lot of road left to travel, but please don’t be discouraged. Like I said before, you are strong and capable. And, when you feel like you are not strong enough to take one more step, ask for a hand. If we walk this path together, we can learn from each other. We can lean on each other. We are not alone.
I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, please, take care of yourself.
Your new friend,