Really, you are going to be okay.
I did not hear these words after my wife died, and I wanted to hear to them. I wanted to be assured that I was going to be okay because it did not feel like I was ever going to be okay again.
Grieving is a messy business. It is complicated and emotionally agonizing, as it comes with feelings of hurt, anger, self-doubt, and—most of all—uncertainty. This is because it is usually the first time that we face such strong, hurtful emotions brought on by the death of someone we love.
But it is going to be okay.
How do I know this?
Because I have lived through it.
I was 39, when my 38-year-old wife died of cancer. We had two biological sons, and a foster daughter we were going to adopt. I did not adopt our foster daughter, and so I suffered that loss as well. Years later, I had a girlfriend that was killed in a motorcycle accident, and I had a broken engagement. All my buttons have been pushed, and all sorts of wounds and feelings opened.
But I am okay.
I, and many others, have worked through grief, and we are okay. Grief did not feel the same for each loss, and I did not react the same way, because I was a different person at the time of each event. I had grown and grieved before, and I am okay. I even wound up at the point where I remarried. I had healed and learned to love myself again as the person I was before. With this new woman I could see the future, and I heard it in the things that I said and the way I acted around her. They were not the normal things I said around other people. And it is not just okay—it is great.
Great because I waited, and I could see and accept another person in my life, and I wanted a life with that person. More importantly, I could accept who I was and where I was.
Each relationship, each person, opens a door in our life to learn, love, grieve, and then move on with more experience than before. Experience teaches you that being open to what happens and seeing the right moment in time when you know you have moved past grief and are ready for whatever comes next.
It is not easy. It is scary. It can take a long time, too. To me, it was being open to the possibilities of life.
You will be okay.