adult-art-black-and-white-848447.jpgFirst and foremost, to all who lost a father, a grandfather, or a father-like figure – my heart goes out to you. I hope this past Father’s Day was a day of remembrance and not a day of pain. Holidays are hard for us who grieve. It begs the question…will it ever get better?

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about grief. You can find the original post here (The Story of My Grief) and food for thought about death here (What If The Afterlife Isn’t What We Thought?). I hated being told to ‘give it time’ and ‘it’ll get better’. I felt like my grief was completely invalidated. I understood what they were trying to say – I just didn’t care.

So what if it’ll get better? So what if it won’t hurt so bad 5 years from now? I am in pain now. I literally couldn’t care less about what future me will feel. Heck, for all I know I could die before I even get there.

But I digress, no need for morbid thoughts now.

Some months ago I found myself telling a friend that her pain would get better, to wait it out, to have hope. I hated how hollow my words sounded. But as a person who’s dealt with grief, I can say it will get better. It has to. That is, unless you go through every day re-living the experience. If you find that you have flashbacks to the trauma, or you really can’t let it go, please seek professional help. There’s no shame in it. Really. It’s self-care, and you deserve it.

Although I do think time helps, it’s a little naive to say it heals all wounds. Does it heal the betrayal of a cheating partner? Not really. It doesn’t rebuild broken trust or re-establish a sense of self-worth. That requires a conscious decision to move on, to heal. Time will not make that decision for you. That is up to you, my friend. Get up. Decide you’re better than that. That no one has the power to keep you down. Take that step forward, and keep stepping forward.

With time you’ll find that you are so far from that place of brokenness.

In that sense, I would say time heals. The great thing about time is that it will take you away from the moment of pain. It allows you to gain perspective. It allows new experiences to take the space in your heart that pain was growing in. As for grieving, it takes the sting away. It allows you to look back, to remember the good times…without dissolving into a puddle of tears.

I know that it doesn’t help much. I know that it doesn’t take the pain away from now. I don’t expect it to. And neither should you.

Give yourself time to heal. Give yourself time to feel that pain. You do not need to be okay now, you do not need to pretend to the world that you are not in pain. This is a season of grieving. You’re entitled to it. Whether it be a loved one has passed away, a relationship has fallen apart, a friendship has ended in betrayal – it’s okay. Or for the less recognized pain – depression. You don’t need a traumatic event to be in pain. Sometimes depression just happens. And that’s okay – I’ve been there. I can tell you that one day you’ll look back and realize that you survived it. You won’t remember the exact moment you crawled out of the hole that is depression – but you did it. You survived.

Remind yourself that you will get through this.

If you are considering or planning to end your life, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline is a free service, and a trained professional is available to talk to you 24/7. You can also contact one of your local therapist, psychologists, or psychiatrists for help.

Reach out, you are not alone. And you are loved more than you will ever realize.