When I first lost my little brother the first feeling I felt was complete denial. Aaron was just one and a half, his death was sudden and nothing could have prepared me for it. I refused to believe what was happening, when my dad told me I repeated “this isn’t real, this isn’t real”. Sadly, it was real and as I went to say goodbye and all I could feel was devastation and loss.
As the days passed after Aaron’s death I must have felt every emotion under the sun, I could feel frustration, anger, emptiness, exhaustion, but also I reflected on the thousands of memories I had with Aaron and I felt grateful, joyful, appreciative and on a few occasions I even laughed remembering silly moments we shared, simple memories like when he began to recognise his reflection in the mirror, he would smile and laugh at himself and at me.
Just over a year later, when I think about Aaron’s death, sometimes I feel alone, sometimes it makes me feel defeated, sometimes it makes me grumpy and impatient, sometimes I’m angry and frustrated, sometimes confused. Every day I’m heartbroken and everyday I’m grateful I had the pleasure of having such a brave, bubbly little brother who made such an impact on so many lives in his short life.
I guess the message I am trying to convey is that there is no right or wrong emotions to feel with grief. It is acceptable to feel whatever you feel when experiencing grief for a loved one. I think when people think of grief they automatically think of sadness and loss, but as I and so many others have realised that grief is much more than this. Do not feel that you are not grieving the “right” way because there is no right way! Please remember you are not alone with your grief, do not be afraid to speak up because so many of us understand and know exactly how you are feeling.
What did you do to help deal with your emotions after loss?