****Trigger Warning: discussions of suicide, death, grief. Please only read if you feel comfortable doing so. If you are feeling suicidal, please skip to the end of this post and contact the national helpline for immediate assistance. Remember, you are not alone!***
I’m nearing the two-year anniversary of losing a loved one to suicide. You can read my previous posts for more details and reflections of my grief in the early days. As we near the two-year anniversary of their death, I have been doing a lot more reflecting. Two years in, it’s safe to say I’ll never be the same.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that ever since that moment, my life has turned upside down. It’s been a long road to accept that. I think I’ve tried to keep some things in my life the same, but I think truthfully, I’ve outgrown them. Or maybe “outgrown” isn’t the right word… Maybe I just can’t find joy in them any more. Everything is different now that you’re gone.
The early days and that first year felt very challenging. But I did my best to take the time that I felt I needed to grieve. At some point, I felt like I had done all the grieving I needed to do – but now it feels like it’s coming back again. It still has a lasting impact. Now, I think I may not have grieved properly at all – whatever “properly” means. Perhaps this is the reason they say, grief comes in waves. If that is the case, then I’m sure these waves will continue to come and go, likely for the rest of my life. I’m still learning how to ride them out.
There is a distinct mark of before and after. The “after” hasn’t been great. I still can’t fully figure out how to hold this grief as I do life – but it’s clear the life I had in the “before” is gone. That is a hard reality for me to accept, and it means the “after” has to change, perhaps even more than I feel it already has. So for now, it’s still messy. Finding a way forward always will be, for my foreseeable future at least.
I’m always thinking of ways to honour them, and all those who have gone. Part of it is continuing to remember them. Part of it is choosing to live my life to the fullest, because I’m still here and I feel the need to make that mean something. It feels as if existing on its own isn’t enough, but I really need to FULLY live – and I’m still figuring out how to do that. I’m not really sure how, but I feel that part of it is living my truth. I will continue to lean into what I feel is the truth and find my own messy way forward. I am sending love to all of you who may be in the same position as me. ♥️
If you’re also grieving the loss of someone, this is a safe space to do so. Know that you aren’t alone. I’m right there with you, figuring it out as I go. I will share some resources below that may help on your grief journey:
- A few Instagram accounts that discuss grief and I find very helpful: @glitterandgrief @untanglegrief @goodmourningpodcast
- Web resources that discuss normalizing grief: https://www.normalizegrief.com/
- A very helpful PDF guide that discusses Hope and Healing after Suicide: PDF guide
- My book, Blooming: Poetry for Seasons of Change, also deals with various mental health struggles and parts of my grief journey. This loss was a big driving force for me to publish my book. If you are interested in exploring it, you can find more details and ways to order a copy here.
If you are contemplating suicide, please seek support immediately. The Canada Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 for crisis support at 1-833-456-4566 (and in Quebec 1-866-277-3553). You can also contact the Canadian Mental Health Association for ongoing support via their website, https://cmha.ca/