Before I actually lost anyone, I would often experience feelings I would equate to grief. I did not know where it came from or why until I started to think back to all of the trauma I have experienced. Because of the trauma, not only did it create fears of losing people and fears of death, it also created a sense of loss of self, life, childhood/innocence, and many, many holes inside of me.

The pain is so deep and intense at times that it takes my breath away. So many times in the past I would find myself either on the floor or in bed sobbing uncontrollably because it felt like someone had died. It was unbearable. People often thought it was just depression or that I was lonely, but it wasn’t that. Not at all. I could not explain it to them…and then I lost someone. It was finally a way to (half) explain to them what it was like because they shared my grief for that particular loss.

When I lost my uncle, I had two years to try to prepare for it. I did not want to say goodbye to him when I had to leave him though. I didn’t want to believe I would never see him again, but in my heart I knew I wouldn’t. When he passed away, I didn’t get that closure because I had left so much unsaid. I also was upset because he didn’t get to see me healthy. I wasn’t able to go to his funeral, and that hurt too. I did have a dream about him though when I got back home, and he told me that he was okay. I woke up because I could feel him, and I expected to see him standing there beside me. I still miss him and always will.

In 2014, I lost the person who had helped me get treatment for the eating disorder. We only knew each other online through e-mail, instant messaging, and phone calls. We had never met in person, but we were close for many years after. I didn’t talk to him for a few months because of a stupid disagreement. I was away for a wedding when I felt the urge to e-mail him. I wanted to see how he was and try to repair that issue, but I didn’t. About a month later, I got a phone call from his son that he had died around the day I was going to e-mail him. I can remember sitting on the floor in shock. It was very difficult and unexpected to hear that.

I ended up dissociating so bad that I don’t recall the next two or so months after that. I couldn’t believe he was gone. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that I would never get to talk to him again and not be able to share with him new things that would happen in my life and how good things were going for me. I would randomly cry when leaving the house and seeing people who looked like him or thinking of him and found it too difficult. I was upset that things were left how they were between us six months prior. I will never have that closure, and it still hurts.

I have not been able to accept death or loss in general. I don’t know how a person ever really can. Or maybe it’s just me. It sends me into a panic when I think about it, losing people, death, etc. No matter how ‘nice’ people try to make it sound or try to comfort me with how it might be in the end, it still is a terrifying and difficult thought to me.

I hope one day to find some peace with all of it because I feel that is necessary in my healing.