I think for me the biggest “myth” or misunderstanding with grief is that need to “move on.” Not only do I think that I won’t ever really be able to move on, but I also don’t really want to. The idea of moving on reminds me of a break up in a relationship – where you almost train yourself not to think about them so that you can continue on to the next thing/person in your life. It’s a concept that reinforces my 2 biggest fears in losing Rosie: Forgetting her and replacing her. I know neither of these things are possible realities, but that’s why I hate this idea of “moving on.”
What I am experiencing with time is a dullness of the initial trauma and a better ability to control my emotions (at times…). I find that I’m able to experience joy or happiness at times while never really eliminating the pain or the grief. I’m more learning how to live with it and learning how to handle these feelings and live my life at the same time.
The other misunderstanding I feel is when people think that time will heal or make things easier. I know it’s only been 3 months since our loss, but nothing is really easier about it. It’s just the skill set that we’re starting to develop to better cope with it. It’s the support systems we’ve put into place and some of the new routines we’ve started that have enabled us to handle the pain and the challenges the best that we can – not the situation getting any “easier.”
Another misunderstanding – is when people think it upsets us to talk about Rose. All I want is for people to remember her and talk about her. I LOVE nothing more than when people bring her up and even if it triggers emotions – it’s still better than ignoring her existence.
I think the last big misunderstanding is that if I’m happy or laughing – I’m “getting better” but if I’m crying or sad – I’m “stuck” or not doing well. My grief and my pain is always going to be there and Rosie is constantly in my heart and on my mind. But I can experience things, enjoy things, do things and it not always be a direct indication of where I am on my grief journey. It’s just me choosing to live. I refuse to crumble completely. I use Rosie’s love to fuel me each day and give me the strength to live. I live to make her proud. There are days and moments where I’m able to do that a little better than others and I’m sure that’s a challenge I will have for the rest of my life. But it’s not a good or bad thing / a healed or still broken thing – it’s just how well I’m able to cope in a particular moment.