My Friend, Don’t Forget To Grieve

“When Will This Pain End?”

Grieving never really ends. It’s too personal to have a deadline. It’s too painful to be ignored.

Last year, on this same day, we got the news that a friend, brother, father, husband, and mentor, had died almost instantaneously in a motor accident.

It’s hard for me to imagine that it’s been a year.

Each time I think of him, and the others who have gone before us, there’s a pain that has no name. It claws at me. The kind that reminds me of the necessity to grieve and how it never really ends.

No matter how many years pass, looking at his picture will send me back to the memories of the birthday cake the team he led made for me on my 27th. I’ll still be reminded of his beautiful little girl, and how she’ll only hear of her father in videos, pictures, and memories. I am reminded of his mother’s tears, his wife’s distraught, the unbelief in everyone’s eyes as they wailed frantically at the mortuary.

We all stood there, waiting for the dream to be over. Waiting, for Flo to wake-up. For him to explode in his bright laugh, taking short breath breaks to say it was all a joke like he always did.

But not that day. Not ever.

Each person grieves in their own way. Some choose to build foundations. Others immortalize moments in time. Some cry with each mention of the name. The list is myriad.

I’m yet to find my way. It seems my logical predisposition allows me breaks to accept what has happened, but my heart overflows with the pain and only tears in full throttle pacify the rush of anguish sweeping with each joyful memory of lost ones.

There is no way to rush someone’s grief. There are a few ways to ease it. But mostly, all we can do is make space for it: for ourselves if we’re grieving and for others, if they are.

Platitudes and proverbs may do more harm than silence and warm presence.

It’s incomprehensible for the human mind to accept that someone who was part of our lives is no longer reachable.

Even as I write this, and every time I think of someone who died, I’m jarred by my use of the past tense and the constant search for instances to remind myself that they were once here.

I want this to be a dream so badly that I find evidence to make it so. Unfortunately, as it’s always there case, I find proof of their existence. Proof of my loss. Proof of their lives, lost.

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Photo by Hamish Weir on Unsplash

There is such a finality in death that almost certainly makes enemies into friends. Even if it were the worst person you’d ever met, there are chances a part of you will feel something — anything — other than hate.

It’s tenfold when it’s someone you love.

A world without them is unimaginable. Yet, that’s the world now.

You can’t rush grief. You may even postpone it, but it may hit you like a highway truck from the blindside of your denial.

Make space to grieve. Make room for others.

Don’t rush yours or others.

Don’t forget to grieve, my friend. It is as much as part of living as death itself.

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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