My sister died suddenly in a car accident on October 6, 2006 at the age of 18. It was a freak accident and she died instantly.
It has been almost 6 years, (that's impossible!).
Just the other day someone told my baby sister, (age 14 at the time of the accident, and age 19 now), that its time she got over it. Umm, yeah, not something you should say to someone. Ever.
You see, you can move on with your life, but a part of you is always missing. You can move on, but getting over it is something that never really happens. And that is ok. Yes, for mental health, mourning should only last for a season and grief will go on a little longer. But after all that, you will still never be the same. So have some compassion people! This is not something you get over. You will never forget it and it has changed you forever.
Just like yesterday's post I am talking about what NOT to say to people who are going through grief.
Something that has been said of me, (to my face and I am sure behind my back), is that I didn't love Tracie as much as others since I am taking it better than they did.
This couldn't be more FALSE.
I handled my grief very well. She died while I was in counseling, (literally, my mom called while I was in with my counselor!). I was also in college where I was one credit away from minoring in psychology, (if I did minor it would have counted against my degree plan and I would have had to take many more classes to graduate so I chose not to minor!).
I had a strong grasp and understanding of my mental health. I knew I had to deal with everything as it came. And I did.
More importantly, way more importantly, I was a Believer.
I mourned deeply for three days. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. It was awful. I was not sure if she was a Believer, (and therefore not sure if she was in Heaven or Hell). God revealed to me that she was a Believer, (so she was in Heaven), and after that my mourning lessened and turned into grief. I also learned so much about God's sovereignty then. I did not question why this happened and I still don't to this day. He is in control and that is all I need to know. Romans 8:28
Between my psychology and sovereignty understanding, it made getting through this tragedy easier. I did not say easy. Easier.
Everyone says the first year is the hardest- that is so true! After that year, the pain lessens everyday, but a part of you is always missing.
I am almost 26 and Tracie would be 24. There is a good chance she'd be married and could have kids, (if not now then soon). Do you see what a loss I have experienced? We'd be in the same stage of life, picking on our hubs together, ;) raising kids together, etc. The loss is huge, and there are reminders everywhere.
But, I do not let it run my life. I know she is in Heaven, and I know God has perfect plans for my life, and well, everyone's. He is good and that is all I need to know.
Just because I have handled her death well does not mean I love her less than others, nor does it mean that I had less of a relationship with her than others. We were less than 2 years apart! We shared a room as kids growing up. We'd beat each other senseless, then 5 minutes later be best friends again. We were sisters. Before October 6, I can't remember life without her.
So whether you think someone is taking too long to get over it, or didn't take long enough- you should keep your mouth shut.
Err on the side of compassion.