When I checked my sister’s Facebook page to remind me of who he was, I couldn’t believe how much Tom looked the same as he did 20 years ago. I looked at his wife and his two children and suddenly felt pain. Everyone looked so happy, so together. I felt sadness for the trauma his children must be feeling and for the dark loneliness his wife must be experiencing. I have a family of four. Seeing his family felt too similar to filter. I couldn’t help but wonder what on earth happened during his last 20 years to make him end it all. On and off last night, I drempt about Tom and his family and my sister. I woke up confused that I was grieving someone I didn’t even know and couldn’t even remember.
The Many Face of Grief
I’m sorry you were in so much pain, Tom. I’m sorry wife and kids that he left so early. I’m sorry to my sister for the complicated grief she must be experiencing too. On the grand 1-10 spectrum of grief, I am at a 1 or 2. Understanding that there is indeed a spectrum, is a priceless tool to navigate it mindfully.
Gabrielle Anderson is the Director and a Therapist at the Family Therapy Center of Northern Virginia, llc
She and the other team members can be contacted directly from the Center's Meet the Team page.