As a parent whose child died, I learned that I had to find a way to put on a mask in order to make other people comfortable around me. I felt like I had to appear to be “okay,”
I have a couple of close friends who have struggled for years with undiagnosed chronic illnesses, and they’ve both shared with me on several occasions how isolating their conditions became because their pain wasn’t visible to others.
In the absence of outward, identifiable symptoms, people either questioned the reality or severity of their injuries, or they were simply unaware of them. If in another’s presence my friends smiled and refused to mention it, then their suffering (though real and debilitating) remained hidden. They appeared quite healthy and normal and even happy—all the while their insides were being ripped to shreds.
This is how it is to be a survivor of a loved one.
This is life in the Grief Valley.
Your pain is chronic and deep and most often, internal.
To show the suffering when it comes just simply won’t work most of the time.
So you hurt and you hide.
My father died two years ago…
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