The things I have learned

It has been over 800 days that Travis has been gone. If I am honest some days are still unbearable. My entire body aches missing him. There are days like today that I would do anything, absolutely anything to bring him back.

I’ve been in counseling since his death. At one time I was seeing two counselors, trying to process and comprehend what happened to my family. Seeking out advice, anywhere I can find it, to assure my children would be OK.

I still feel as if I live or pretend to be two different people. I feel like sometimes I have a mask, not being able to share or express who or how I truly feel.

Things that I know:

  • Travis didn’t die for reason, God didn’t need him more
  • Our grief will never go away, we will continue to walk alongside it
  • There may be a spiritual solution to problems, but grief isn’t a problem, it isn’t an illness that can be fixed or cured
  • We assume that if something is uncomfortable, it means that that something is wrong. Maybe people believe grief is bad because it hurts.
  • We grieve because we loved
  • Family, friends, others are there for you immediately and shortly after the death. Then…. they disappear
  • What we need most is love and support, empathy, yet what is available falls short of what we need
  • We are not OK, we may never be OK
  • The way we deal with grief in our culture is broken
  • Grief and loss happen to everyone
  • Society and people have never been taught how to deal with grief or the skills which may be helpful
  • Maybe if we change our conversations about grief, we could make things better for everyone
  • It is difficult to love ourselves in the midst of a great pain or to love one another when the pain in this life grows too large for a person to experience
  • What happened to Travis can never be made right, my children, my families And I are in pain, it can’t be made better
  • We don’t need to move on from our grief, it needs to be aknowledged.
  • After his death, time had stopped, nothing felt real
  • This loss has rearranged my children’s and my entire world
  • The reality of grief is different from what others see on the outside
  • We have to start talking the truth about this kind of pain, about loss, about love, about grief
  • In order to live a life that feels authentic, we have to start telling the truth, this really is as bad as we think.
  • We live alongside the grief, we live alongside the love that remains
  • Grief is raw and real
  • We can’t fix our grief, But we can accept it
  • Little by little, pain and love find a way to coexist
  • We didn’t ask for this, but it’s here
  • Sometimes the grieving person feels shamed, abandoned, dismissed
  • Grief is an actual response to loss and love
  • As an adult, grief is messy and intertwined. No wonder a child has difficulty experiencing the loss of a loved one
  • Every loss is valid, but not every loss is the same
  • We need to honor all grief
  • Friends and family want you to feel better, they want to take away your pain, they may actually dismiss or minimize the extent of your grief for they don’t always “see you or acknowledge your pain”
  • To feel the comfort by someone, you need to feel heard in your pain
  • True comforting of grief is acknowledging your pain, not trying to make it go away
  • Grief does not make us a better person or a stronger person. No one needs this intense, life-changing loss in order to become the person were meant to be
  • We didn’t need this, we don’t need to grow from it, we sure as hell don’t have to put it behind us
  • Grief is not a problem to be solved, it’s an experience to be carried
  • With loss of this magnitude, feeling like it just happened can mean two days, it can mean 80 years
  • Even being two years after his death, it still feels like it just happened
  • Grief is as individual as the person, there are no stages of grief, there is no right or wrong way to grieve
  • Our stories of grief are very hard to hear
  • At times I feel like we’re not allowed to talk about our grief
  • We don’t need tools to get out of our grief, we need to withstand it, in ourselves and in others
  • People look for flaws in what someone did to get to their death.
  • I am simply, openly, very very sad- I am not looking for sympathy or pity
  • Grief cannot be cleaned up, it does not go away, we need to find a way to live with it, to allow it to be part of our life, we need to stand beside each other, we need to offer companionship.
  • We cannot change the reality of pain, but maybe a we can help reduce how much suffering there is when we allow each other to speak what is true.
  • We can stop hiding from ourselves, we can stop hiding from others, we can stop hiding what it is like to be human.
  • We need to be supported in ways that honor the person that we are, the person that we were, and the person that we will become because of our loss.
  • Acknowledgment is one of the few things that may help, what we’re experiencing cannot be fixed, or grief cannot be made better, there is no solution.
  • Something random, but for me, the trip to the grocery store is anything but simple
  • Grief is extremely exhausting
  • When people ask me if my kids are still having a difficult time, I want to respond “their dad is still dead, how can it not continue to affect them for the rest of their lives?”
  • My children may not be willing or able to communicate what they feel
  • It may take my children’s entire lifetime to be able to say what they lost
  • I hope that love stays with my children, that the love of their father stays with them, that they learn to tolerate their pain, that they can open their heart, and they can listen to their own voice, even if they can never tell us or me the word
  • Death throws a wrench into family dynamics, honestly, it shakes everyone up.
  • I will continue to advocate for my children and advocate for myself, no matter what the outcome, our love and our relationship with Travis can never be taken away
  • One of the saddest aspects of intense loss is of the time when you need them the most for love and support, a family member or friend can behave horribly or they may disappear altogether
  • Grief changes relationships
  • We need to tend to our pain, maybe then the unbearable can become bearable
  • The thought of days, months, years without Travis is gut wrenching and overwhelming
  • For about the first six months after his death I didn’t want to go to sleep, It meant I would wake up another day without him.
  • There are times that the pain is so overwhelming that I sometimes don’t want to be alive. At first I was living for my children, now I’m living for myself
  • There are times that the pain is so overwhelming for my children that they don’t want to be alive
  • We need to feel our pain and express our emotions- whether that’s verbally or non verbal.
  • We need to tell the truth about our pain
  • There is no place that our loss does not touch
  • It’s ok that my children and I are not ok

LYTHAB Travis wade

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