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Erin, PA

Erin, PA

The experience of losing a loved one was recently described to me like this by my therapist during one of my first therapy sessions (something I felt ashamed to publicly admit until now for some reason): imagine looking at your life through a window. Before you experience death close-up, the window through which you view the world is clean and sparkly and clear. After you’ve lost somebody, especially in a tragic way, for the rest of your life, you are looking out the same window, only now it’s dirty. I thought that was such an incredible way to explain it. It’s been stuck in my head ever since.

My therapist then asked me how my trauma has changed me as a person. All I could really say was that it has made me darker, less sparkly, made me think about death A LOT more, less naive and more realistic.

She said the fact that I used the word realistic was a step in the right direction. It showed her I was working my way through this. We’re all going to die at some point. I just needed tools to get to a place where I can have healthy thoughts about it and not morbid, obsessive thoughts over it. 

We ended the session laughing and repeating this to each other: “It is what it is, but it’s all going to be alright, but it’s okay if it isn’t.” It doesn’t really makes sense when I type it out, but it made me feel a little less dark, a little less morbid, a little more sparkly. 

All this to say, I sought out no therapy or counseling of any kind after my sister died and continued not to after my mom died. I regret that decision because I feel like it’s made my grief process more complicated. I just wanted to share because mental health is no joke, and there IS help out there, if you need it. Stepping into that room is the healthiest thing I’ve done for myself and for my family in eight years. My husband deserves a happy wife, my children deserve a happy mom. -Erin, PA

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