Today marks 10 months since Shawn passed away. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways it feels like a lifetime. In general, time is weird following death.
I’ve had so many people tell me recently that I’ve come so far since those early days. They comment on my strength, even though I certainly do not always feel it myself. Strength, while grieving the loss of someone to suicide, is relative. Some days, strength means literally climbing mountains. On other days, like holidays and birthdays, strength means just surviving. Just getting through the day. Most ordinary days, strength means waking up, putting on a smile, and being the person I used to be. Some days this comes more naturally than others.
I still think constantly. I wonder if I am grieving in the right way; if I am doing enough to heal mentally and emotionally. Is there even a correct way to grieve? When will the feeling of this loss truly sink in? Or has it already?
I feel as if I am living the life of someone else. And in many ways I am. I am not the same person I was 10 months ago. Shawn’s death changed me—both positively and negatively. I am slightly less optimistic, more realistic, and a little jaded in regards to certain aspects of my life. Yet, I have also gained a greater appreciation for life and the amazing people and gifts I have in it. I am more loving, honest, and open. I truly feel so, so lucky at times. A word I’m sure not many people would use to describe me or the situation I’m in.
I am really not sure if any of this makes sense today. My emotions, actions, and attitudes conflict constantly in grief. So my current conflicting mood: Death sucks. Death by suicide sucks even more. But there is always, always something to be grateful for.