I just faced the two year anniversary of my friends death and I realized that I am not the only person who has known loss. Almost everyone has been through the grieving process. I thought I would go through my tips of how I handle such a hard concept. A concept we all face that feels so impossible.
1. Don't judge yourself for grieving in your own way. I can't cry at funerals or really anywhere I am supposed to cry. But I'm great at crying while singing to a pop song in the car, ordering a movie off of ITunes, or during Oscar parties. I excel at sending my friend midnight rants about how much I miss my lost loved one. I am amazing at not crying until 6 months after a person's death before shouting in tears "it's not fair" in my apartment. And that's okay.
2. Give yourself time. Everyone says "it gets better with time" and I can't promise you that. You start to function differently. Part of your life conform to a life without this person and that's really painful at first but you do get used to it. There will always be a painful bit in your heart but eventually you become thankful for that pain because it means they existed. This will happen on your terms and on no one else's.
3. Cherish those memories. Was it a kiss? Was it a trip? Was it that they tripped? Was it a phrase or a laugh? Was it a lesson? These memories are the things that make us into who we are after they have passed. Cherish these moments and take comfort in them. Put your hands to your heart and radiate gratitude because for a moment in time you had this person.
4. Know it won't make sense. You can get angry with God or your higher power but it won't matter. You'll just end up feeling more lost trying to find answers. It doesn't make sense. It will never make sense. You just need to find comfort. I take comfort in the idea that the people I lost had completed their purpose on earth or that they lived a full life or that they were so good that they had to go on to bless other people's lives. It doesn't really matter what it is for me because it's different for everyone.
5. Try grieving together. Don't forget their birthdays or their "big" days (i.e. father's day, etc). Celebrate them. Get together with others who loved the one who passed and talk. Share your memories. Find the things that make you say "Oh, that's SO so-and-so." It makes you feel like they are still alive. It will make you feel like they are still with you. There is something really beautiful and refreshing in knowing that (even if your grieving process is to be alone) you are not alone. There is something wonderful in knowing all those things you love in the person who's passed is loved by so many others.