Title: stay afloat

In order to survive I have to forget my mom is dead. And yet I know my mom is dead every second of every damn day.

Title: over and over

You Don't Just Lose Someone Once 

You lose them over and over,
sometimes in the same day.
When the loss, momentarily forgotten, creeps up,
and attacks you from behind.
Fresh waves of grief as the realization
hits home,
they are gone.
You don’t just lose someone once,
you lose them every time you open your
eyes to a new dawn, and as you awaken,
so does your memory,
so does the jolting bolt of lightning that
rips into your heart,
they are gone.
Losing someone is a journey,
not a one-off.
There is no end to the loss,
there is only a learned skill on how to
stay afloat,
when it washes over.
Be kind to those who are sailing this
stormy sea,
they have a journey ahead of them,
and a daily shock to the system each
time they realize,
they are gone,
You don’t just lose someone once,
you lose them every day,
for a lifetime.

Title: endure

I had my own notions of grief. 
I thought it was a sad time
that followed the death
of someone you love
and you had to push through it
to get to the other side.
But I'm learning
there is no other side,
there is no pushing through,
but rather, there is
Grief is not something you
but rather you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
and move on,
but an element of yourself,
an alteration of your being,
a new way of seeing,
a new destination of self.
- Gwen Flowers

Title: longing

I miss her so much.
- Dad

Title: stillness

“So, now I shall talk every night. To myself. To the moon. I shall walk, as I did tonight, jealous of my loneliness, in the blue-silver of the cold moon, shining brilliantly on the drifts of fresh-fallen snow, with the myriad sparkles. I talk to myself and look at the dark trees, blessedly neutral. So much easier than facing people, than having to look happy, invulnerable, clever. With masks down, I walk, talking to the moon, to the neutral impersonal force that does not hear, but merely accepts my being. And does not smite me down.”

Title: ebb and flow

As far as I can see, grief will never truly end. It may become softer over time, more gentle, but some days will feel sharp, but grief will last as long as love does--forever. It's simply the way the absence of your loved one manifests in your heart. A deep longing, accompanied by the deepest love. Some days, the heavy fog may return, and the next day, it may recede, once again. It's all an ebb and flow, a constant dance of sorrow and joy, pain and sweet love.

Title: continual loss

It's not just that your person dies. 
It's all the other things that begin happening to your family as a result.

Title: comes in waves

"Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbours, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.
As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

Title: blue thread

Your absence has gone through me. Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its colour.
Title: a new way of seeing
most importantly love 
like it's the only thing you know how 
at the end of the day all this 
means nothing 
this page 
where you're sitting 
your degree 
your job 
the money
 nothing even matters 
except love and human connection 
who you loved 
and how deeply you loved them 
how you touched the people around you 
and how much you gave them

- Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
More Resources:
"Letting people tell the truth about their pain is the best way to support someone." 
- Megan Devine author of It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
Speaking Grief Documentary: https://vimeo.com/436440057

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