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Why I'm Grieving Family Members Who Aren't in My Life Anymore

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When I first disclosed what happened to me, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I needed to share these things to heal, but I was terrified. I didn’t know what would happen. The truth is, I’m still learning what happens next.

Since disclosing, I have lost many things (though I will say I have gained more than I have lost). I have learned that not everyone is able to accept or believe what you tell them. That doesn’t make what you went through any less valid. I could write more on that, but that’s another story in and of itself. An entire half of my family is this way, and it has been extremely painful and hard to cope with these feelings. One of the hardest things in the world is feeling the loss of someone who is so close we can almost touch them but so unreachable.

We know about grief but the truth is we don’t often talk about grieving people who are still alive. I wish that none of you could ever relate to this, but unfortunately I know many of you can. So, this is for all of you who are grieving someone who is still alive. I see you. You aren’t alone.

I am grieving.
And before you ask, no one died.
But I am grieving.
I am grieving people who are still alive.

I am grieving.
And there’s no end in sight.
Because I am grieving.
And there will be no closure and never any goodbye.

No funerals to go to.
No condolences from friends and family or reminders of, “They’re in a better place.”

No answers to my questions or way to say what’s on the tip of my tongue
No more memories to be made and no future plans to ever come

A piece of my heart will always smile when I think of you,
And even though it kills me, it reminds me I’m lucky too.
So much love for you lives inside me but has nowhere to go
So it shows itself as tears in my eyes, a hole in my chest and a lump in my throat.

And in the quiet of the night when the world is asleep,
The silence and stillness remind me of you.
And if I close my eyes tight, I can almost see you smile and laugh as if you’re here too.

So, I try to smile and seem carefree,
But it feels as though I’m not missing you.
It’s that you are missing from me,
And I hide my tears when someone says your name
But the gaping hole in my heart screams just the same

And they say grief is like an ocean, it comes in waves
But it seems I am stuck in a riptide, unable to get away.

I am grieving.
And I am trying to remember this is not necessarily the end
But I am grieving.
Because I do not know if I will ever be in your life again.

I am grieving.
And I am at a loss for what to do.
Because I am grieving
I am grieving the loss of you.

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Thinkstock photo via Archv

Originally published: October 25, 2017
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