Healing the Unbearable: To Those Who are Grieving

The moment I took this picture I felt a slight warmth in my heart and I knew right away that it was from my loved one.
-Photo taken by Jennifer Guillen on February 20,2023
The moment I took this picture I felt a slight warmth in my heart and I knew right away that it was from my loved one. -Photo taken by Jennifer Guillen on February 20,2023
Jennifer Guillen

Author’s note: In the year 2022, something unbearable happened in my life. I would have never expected something like this to happen. I grieved, coped, and cried over the loss of a loved one. Here is a journal from me to you on how I healed the unbearable. I hope this helps you get through the things we all don’t talk about.

If you are reading this, I want you to know you are not alone; you are not alone in any of this. It is okay to feel hurt, and to embrace any heartbreaking pain. It is an unimaginable pain, and no one should ever get to a point in their life where they feel these aches in their chest. Yet here you are.

The cemetery is one of the places where I feel safe and able to find peace when I’ve had a bad day.
-Photo taken from Jennifer Guillen on August 20, 2023 (Jennifer Guillen)

You are probably reading this right now thinking “what is she talking about?”, “She has no idea what I’m feeling”. You’re right; I don’t. I can only imagine what you may be feeling. Trust me, I’ve been through my fair share of heartbreaking grief.

It is complicated, it is dark, and it is painful beyond words.

I will feel this painful ache in my heart for the rest of my life. However, it has honestly changed my perspective on life. I now view the world in a different light. I fear things that never once crossed my mind. I fear losing another person who cared for me as much as they did. I fear caring for another the same way, because what if one day they are gone too?

See, the “what if’s” haunt me every single day.

From the moment I wake up, to before I go to bed, whenever I find just a moment to breathe, I can’t stop thinking about those “what if’s”. Wondering whether I could have done anything to prevent it. Lying awake at night replaying each moment and seeing if I messed up in any way. Wondering when the last time I told them that I do really love them was. Thinking I am finally doing better and can finally be free from this pain, but reality hits me in the most random moments, especially when I think I can finally accept it.

I think I am doing just fine, and then the moment hits. That very moment I realize I will have to live with a vacant hole in my heart for the rest of my life; the shock I feel, the denial, and the anger that comes with it.

One piece of advice a friend told me was,“time heals all wounds.”

Honestly, as much as I wanted them to be wrong, they were right. I’d take it the wrong way when they told me those kinds of things. I would always think, “How do they know it will magically be okay? How can something so bad happen, and life just go on like nothing ever happened?”. I asked myself these questions every moment of the day. Asking myself these questions did not help me heal; it just made everything worse. In order to begin healing I had to silence those thoughts and get rid of the bad habits.

The moment I took this picture I felt a slight warmth in my heart and I knew right away that it was from my loved one.
-Photo taken by Jennifer Guillen on February 20,2023 (Jennifer Guillen)

I had to learn to accept that life does go on with or without them– whether you’re ready or not. See, that’s the beautiful thing about healing; no matter how much pain it can cause, it always brings out the best things in one’s life. Sometimes without knowing it brings out people with genuine love and care.

I had to learn to lean on those people who were there for me at that point in my life. I had to learn that no matter how much I wanted to stay in bed, there were so many things and people that were waiting for me to get up once I was ready. I learned that writing my feelings out was so much healthier than having to bottle them up.

I had to accept that the sun would rise each day that came without them, but it always set each day, and I strongly believe that they painted it just for me. I taught myself that no matter how much pain I was in, I still had to get up each day, even if it was just to go take a shower. The small things you do, do matter, they are an improvement from the day before. You should celebrate that!

Through my advice, I was reminded that no matter what, the person that I lost would never want me to sit here all sad. They would have wanted me to keep living or to at least try. I know that’s the last thing you may want to hear, but it’s the hard truth. You need to keep reminding yourself that they are always a part of you. No matter how long they’ve been gone, they left a piece of them in your heart. All of the memories y’all share are there for you to remember and go back to whenever you want. Cherish them forever!

Though time might not heal all wounds, time does teach you how to carry them.

Each day the weight in your chest gets a little bit lighter. That’s how I know you’ll be okay. You may struggle for a while but with time everything will get better. Grief has its ups and downs, you might be okay one minute but then the next you might be drowning in sadness. Just know that it’s okay to embrace those feelings because hiding them won’t make it disappear.

Grief is grief, it’s a hole that won’t be filled fast, but over time the hole will shrink enough so that you won’t fall in every time you take a step. If there is one lesson to take-away, it is to live for them, remembering their life and not their death.

About the Contributor
Jennifer Guillen, Staff Writer
Jennifer Guillen is a senior journalist at Golden Valley High School and a staff writer for the Campus News Team for the Grizzly Gazette. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her interests include writing, spending time with her family, and watching sunsets. She loves spending her time outdoors and going on adventures. She tries her best to experience new things and get out of her comfort zone. She loves to discover life with others but not as much as she does alone. She is passionate about writing about the struggles students might have during and outside of school. As well as mental health issues students might have. Being a part of the Grizzly Gazettes means that she will be able to write what she's passionate about and be able to tell others' stories. This matters to her because she thinks that everyone has a different story to tell and everyone experiences life differently. She believes that there is no right or wrong in any story and everyone has different opinions and perspectives.