"Thinking back on the sudden death of my dad when I was only 26-years-old, the game became simply 'trying to keep it together.' I now realize I felt more isolated than ever before. I had always been a spiritual person my whole life and grew up in church, but during the entire thing, I just remembered trying to pray and getting nothing. Feeling nothing. Don’t get me wrong- I know prayer isn’t all about me. But I just felt so alone. It was like nobody could understand and nobody could get to me. I just felt like I was surviving for a period of months on a day-to-day basis, just trying to get through it. I think you just have to forgive yourself for whatever you may have done to be okay. Obviously there are some exceptions. But if you need time and space, you don’t have to feel sorry for that. Regardless of how introverted or extroverted that you are, you just have to let yourself heal how you need, not what everyone else tells you. I felt this sense of responsibility being the oldest child. I felt like it was my job to personally thank everybody for coming (to the funeral), and to make sure that I helped out in any way that I could, when I was barely keeping it together myself. I just remembered not being able to sleep because I was thinking about all the things that I needed to do to get through the funeral and visitation, when what I needed the most was just to be away from people, even my mom and fiancé.
Understand that people mean well, even though sometimes they say things that are really dumb. People don’t know what to say in a situation like that, I didn’t know what to say in a situation like that. Just realize that nobody can tell you how to grieve. We all go through it in different stages and in different orders. That was almost three plus years ago, but I don’t even know that I am done. It takes time, and it is going to feel like it takes forever, but you will get better. It never gets totally easy, but it gets easier. "It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."