The Loss of Our Person is Really Just the Beginning

Apr 16, 2023

I feel out of place since Brian died. ⁣

Like I’m on the periphery of life, like I hold a secret no one around me seems to know.

In so many ways, I see others growing closer in the wake of my loss, as I grow further away. ⁣

How did this happen?⁣

How did it all change so much? ⁣

Why does grief do this? ⁣

It feels unfair. I lost Bri. I lost my life. My second baby. My home. My career. My naive sense of safety and trust. And now I just keep losing more and more of the pieces from my old life. ⁣

(And then I feel bad writing that, because aren’t I “supposed” to be melting into gratitude and joy by this point in my grief journey?)⁣

This is what I never could have understood before. ⁣

This is what nobody tells you. ⁣

That a loss is never just the loss of a person. ⁣

In fact, the loss of the person is really just the beginning. ⁣

My brain yearns to understand. How can everyone not see this? The isolation is the hardest part.

Plus there’s the pressure to be okay, to be an inspiration. ⁣

The way we do it to ourselves, measuring our capacity and reactions up against the people around us who have all the abundance and the support and the love that we have lost. ⁣

I realize we are all uniquely wired, but I remember what it’s like to live pre-illness and loss. ⁣I can easily imagine what that is like.⁣

As humans we tend to have empathy for and understand what we can imagine. But when you live someone’s worst nightmare, you learn that most people don’t want to even imagine what that is like. ⁣

They draw judgements and believe that they would be different if it happened to them, because that is easier. ⁣

This is what I know…⁣

None of this would be as it is if he were here. None of it. ⁣

Not the good parts.⁣

And definitely not the really hard parts. ⁣

These infinite secondary losses all connect to threads leading back to the moment we got an email on a Thursday night, our two-year-old sleeping in the room beside us. ⁣

It was a death sentence and it led to this. ⁣

I’ve lost so much more than the person who I loved most. ⁣

And then also, on top of that, I lost the person who I loved most.

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