This is a tough one, and truth be told (not that you will see it) I will most likely cry at some point during the writing of this post, but it's an important one. It's a part of who I am, so for all 23.3 of you that read this, you're gonna learn today!!
My dad died in 2001, 3 days after he turned 38, I was 17. That is the toughest loss I've had in my life, bar none... It still hurts when memories come flooding in, in fact I broke down a few months ago one afternoon, out of nowhere.... Got it all out and moved on.... It's what we gotta do... But when the news broke... I dunno... I froze... While my siblings and mom were obviously devastated, bawling their eyes out, I was frozen, in disbelief, and denial, not a tear shed for many minutes, that seemed like hours... Not sharing in the loving embrace of my family... I was frozen...
I did grieve, but it was short. I think... I don't really know if you can set a timeline on an individual's grieving. It's a personal thing, you can't take that away from someone. They need to go through every step, at their own pace, and hopefully they dont get stuck.. That's where friends and family step in however. I had a great team of friends watching my back, and of course my loving family had each other's backs. Because of them I'm alright, they allowed me to do my thing, but also were there when I needed them to just be my friends, not to talk about my dad's death, but to simply be there.
I came to the realization, that I was hurting, and Dad wouldn't have wanted me like that. None of our loved ones would want us to dwell on the pain of their death, they'd want nothing but happiness, for our future. Once that clicked in my head (which was a few months later) I got back to being me. I had gone through my grieving process, and though it wasn't any less painful he was gone, I was, and am ok.
The breakdown a few months ago, was from a new pain realized. I was 17 when he passed, and at the time, (since he'd been sick for a couple years prior) I missed out on him teaching me to drive, and he didn't get to see me graduate.... But 14 years go by, and there's a snowball effect of stuff that I realized I missed my dad at... He wasn't at my college graduation, which would have made him so proud. My wedding, man would I have loved to look out and see his big smile there, but he was gone. And Makaela, my daughter, he never got to meet her, or her soon to be brother. So I grieved once again, and again, I had a few awesome friends, that were there to listen to me, to be the shoulder I needed. I can't thank them enough.
I want to let my friends know, I WILL be that shoulder when/if you need me. It doesn't matter how far away I am, I am a phone call or text away. I know each situation is different, everyone's process of handling loss is different, but one thing I'll say is I'll be there for you. It's what friends do, it's what family does.