What they don’t tell you when someone dies is that in the months that follow, you’ll still cry as if it just occurred.

That three years may make no difference.

That maybe it takes decades or a lifetime to heal.

That for some time, you will be listless and despondent.

You’ll need to rest, it is okay to rest.

What they don’t tell you is that you will be happy and sad.

And when you’re sad, their memory makes things worse.

And when you’re happy, you can’t help but think they should be here too.

Or when you’re scared, they feel like your only savior.

When Someone Dies they Don’t Tell You About Grief

What they don’t tell you when someone dies is that your grief is your own, to be shared or withheld.

They don’t tell you that you can make it without on them, that you are never truly without them.

There isn’t anywhere that you can go where they are not with you.

No one explains how to cope with the magnitude of such a loss and being heartbroken at the same time.

That your heart will never be the same again.

No one tells you how to leave him at the hospital the night they take him off life support.

No one tells you how to comfort someone and yourself at the same time.

That it’s okay to choose them. That it’s okay to choose yourself.

No one tells you how to let others comfort you.

They Don’t Tell You It’s Okay to Say You Weren’t Ready

How to stop yourself from trembling when your Uncle hugs and sings to you in a voice that sounds achingly like his.

No one tells you that it’s okay to say you weren’t ready for goodbye.

That it’s okay to feel like you need them to live, and for some time, you might live a little less.

No one tells you what to do when you don’t want the new normal.

No one reminds you to keep breathing when they roll the casket in and you find yourself in the first pew right next to it.

No one prepares you for the burial, how the finality of it all makes you numb.

What they don’t tell you when someone dies is how not to reach for large, warm hands that have turned to dust.

How not to long for certain stories that will no longer come.

How not to search for eyes that no longer twinkle.

What They Don’t Admit Is What You Will Have to Deal With the Most

They don’t tell you to stop straining your ears for the sound of their laughter.

They tell you not to give up.

They tell you to hold on.

No one admits how hard it’s going to be.

That it’s okay to give up, to let go.

Fall onto your knees, curl into a ball, lay in bed for days on end, and do nothing but sleep, cry, and heal.

Give yourself time.

Remember the last time you saw them.

Allow their memory to etch into your soul completely.

They Don’t Tell You What You Can Allow When Someone Dies

The spark in their eyes mingling with the beam of their smile.

Their hand on your chin, their chosen form of goodbye.

What they don’t tell you when someone dies, is how to navigate this new phase without them.

How to heal and deal with this major life change.

How not to introduce yourself to the man on the train who looks like him.

How to stop staring at him.

How to prevent yourself from approaching him, and asking if he knows you too, or at the very least, if you, remind him of someone.

They don’t tell you how to keep your tears from falling on the train, how to take deep breaths and blink them back.

What they don’t tell you when someone dies is that it is okay to not be okay, to take it slow.

It Will Hurt

That there will be progress and regress because healing takes time.

It will hurt.

Your mind will hurt.

Your body will hurt.

Your heart will hurt.

Your soul will hurt.

No one tells you how limitless your heart is, that it can break over and over again, without end but with each break, it expands even more.