That time when you’re already experiencing the pain of one death and then you get a phone call with more bad news. Here’s to figuring out how to move past life’s lows.
I had something else entirely planned for this post, but I can’t seem to make it happen. I’m experiencing grief, and it’s exhausting. I have trouble concentrating. Finding words. Making sense. Perhaps because, right now, a lot of things don’t make sense.
It began when a very lovely former boss passed away very suddenly. It hit me rather hard, even though it has been four years since we’d worked together. She was an incredible leader, a woman who built strong teams, who put people before process. I benefited greatly from her leadership for the six years I worked for her–not just professionally but personally too. Some of these former team members are still my close friends. Seeing them in pain, grieving with them, hurts. Seeing her husband and her children in pain more is worse than I could even have imagined. Their grief, etched on their faces, so thick in the room it’s practically tangible.
Her celebration of life was this past Thursday, so I took the day off on Friday to recover. I knew being amongst all the grief would be challenging for me, as the many people grieving would serve to amplify my own. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be productive so I requested the time off in advance. I’d sleep in. I’d take it easy. Let my grief dissipate.
Except that’s not how things went. I was woken up by my ringing cell phone around eight the next morning. It was my dad. I thought he was calling to remind me we still need to do my taxes. Instead, he had to break the news that my aunt had been killed in a highway accident. The details are tragic. In short, the vehicle she was in struck, or was struck, by a motorcycle and while she was helping the injured motorcyclist and passenger, all three were hit and killed by another vehicle.
One of the stand out fundamentals of my aunt is that she’s a good and kind person. She died being kind. Maybe down the road, that will be a comfort for those of us grieving. However, right now my family is in pain. Her children, her parents, her siblings, her friends are in pain.
I’m tired of the people I care about suffering in pain.
I’m tired of having to endure my own sorrow and my own pain.
Some times I feel hollowed out and empty, like my heart has been scooped from my chest. Other times, I feel grief like a vice, an aching press in my chest. I know the urgency of it will pass. Loss is a part of life, and though we never get used to it, we do know how to live through it and move past it. In this moment, I’m just trying to find my way out of it, and sending love out to those who are also walking this awful, painful path with me.