Sometimes I do still feel utterly alone. And sometimes I need to talk to those few people whose experience most closely resembles mine. But I know how many levels of connection wait for me to discover whenever I need them.
It's the last concrete remnant of my nuclear family.
The family of four has been cut in half in two months.
The more I communicate with people about grief, the more I see how each experience is as individual as a snowflake
Your birth is a fact, so this day is still your birthday. It will always be your birthday. No one can take it away from you or from all of us who love you. But the day has irrevocably changed for us.
I grew up believing that I was a replacement child, for I was given life after another child lost his: a brother my family loved and missed, and whose absence cast an obvious shadow over my grieving mother's heart.
Thank you, Flight Cadet Ensign Paul Chaplitsky, for your service. Although your training ended much too soon, you continue to serve still, as your story and your family teach us lessons in how to live.
I am working now on surrendering to this new world, attempting to understand it, one moment at a time. If you know one of my tribe -- people who have lost siblings -- be kind when we seem confused and unsure of ourselves.
To my fellow bereaved: If you need more of the whole story about someone you loved and lost, consider asking for it. Unexpected colors can add new, rich dimensions to your memory -- and, perhaps, fill in some of the empty space in your heart.
I can't speak for them, or for anyone else, but when my sense of the natural order of things left, I acquired the heaviness of grief... and an immense amount of fear. Now that nothing makes sense, I am afraid of everything.