Grief 12 Years Later

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

When I was in elementary school, my friend had invited me to go with her family to a country concert at the Crystal Palace. On the way to the concert her Dad had brought up how much it hurts to lose a loved one-- at this point it had only been a few months since I lost my sister. Even though I don't talk to this friend anymore (we just went our separate ways) what her Dad said that day, stuck with me. 

He spoke on how people say things will be okay even though they won't or have little idea if they will, that it doesn't ever get easier like people tell you it will, and though the pain will never go away you just learn how to cope (eventually, or not at all). Out of the many people who had something to say to me, I valued his the voice most, because it was honest.What he said didn't give me any false hope. For the first time since my sister passed, I wasn't being spoken to like a naive child; people didn't realize, but my childhood ended the same night my sister died. As sad as it sounds and however much people would like to disagree; it's true. A lot of people assume that I don't remember much from that night,but the fact of the matter is I remember every little detail. I became a little girl whose sole mission was not to cry, because I couldn't bare seeing my parents cry. 

People don't understand how much a family can disconnect, especially when we're all trying to avoid the unavoidable. Things weren't easy at home, at school I was the "the girl whose sister died" (an identity that still follows me), I wasn't able to connect with my friends anymore and the one friend I that I was able to connect with, passed away two years after my sister. I was 12 years old dealing with way more than I could handle, way more than any of my friends could understand, and way more than any stupid Chicken Noodle Soup book could relate to. 

Eventually, all my sadness turned into anger which ate my heart away. I became someone I didn't like, someone that my own parents couldn't even recognize, someone who just didn't care. I was just tired of it all and it became easier to be angry than it was to mend myself. I ended up going to a boarding school in Yaak, Montana (a whole different story) and as much as I hated being there, I was given the space I needed to finally accept that my sister was gone and my life would never be the same. I learned that I will always be a little sad on holidays and special occasions, and that there will never be a day that I don't miss my sister (or my bestfriend), but that doesn't mean I can't be happy. 

I've come to realize that grief is incredibly lonely. No matter how many people you have surrounding you, at the end of the day you're left to deal with it by yourself. I say that because everyone deals with grief in their own way and no way is wrong. Grief is a journey, one that is ugly, yet beautiful. It's a process that you have to let happen before it consumes you. 

They say there are five stages to grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance; but what about rediscovery or reconciliation? No one talks about what it's like to find yourself again or how to forgive yourself as well as rekindle relationships with other people that may have been broken during the process--which is where I am right now. My journey hasn't been easy, but it has made me love a little harder and appreciate more. Through my weaknesses, I have found my strength.  

xoxo, Lo 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful article, Lauren. I can understand more than anyone because most of my life has been filled with loss. I'm so glad that you are rediscovering yourself and fighting your way out of the grief. To be honest, I try but my grief still takes over on occasion. You are such a strong woman, Lauren. I hope you know that.

  2. Lauren this is a beautiful and honest article. I remember watching helplessly as all of you struggled after Jocelyn was taken from all of you...from all of us who love her. You are so correct that grief is a journey that must be navigated on your own terms. The horrible pain of your loss will never go away but somehow each person learns how or where to put it so they may continue to live. It has been 21 years since John died and the pain is still real for all of us who love and miss him as I know everyone that misses Jocelyn still has daily pain. Thank you for sharing this story. You are right, so many of us wanted to shelter you from the grief because you were so young, but no matter someone's age, they must be allowed to grieve and be a part of the grief journey. Mistakes were probably made, but they were made with good intentions...and those intentions were only to spare you anymore pain. Your big sister would be so proud of you today and would be thrilled to be an auntie to your precious little girl...I am sure she surrounds all of you daily...if only we could see and hold her! One day the reunion will be grand. Love you sweet girl!

  3. My grandfather passed away about 4 years ago, and to this day it's very hard for me to not think about him. I'm getting married this year, and knowing that he and my grandmother won't be there is heartbreaking. But I know that sharing the joy with my family will help me know that he'll be there in spirit. Thank you so much for sharing :)


  4. Miss Lauren, I just love you and wish I were there to give you a huge hug right now. You definitely had your darker harder days, but you have become such an amazing woman. I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments. This post is so open and honest. It shows just how far you have truly come! Miss you and Love you!

  5. Lauren, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. I can't even imagine what you and your family went through and continue to go through. Especially saying the day your sister passed is the day your childhood ended.....that really brought tears to my eyes. I have older sisters and I know the close unbreakable bond that sisters share. It's like no other. Lauren your sister would be so incredibly proud of you! You are an amazing woman who is wise beyond her years. It took so much courage for you to write and share this post. Every experience, every struggle, every loss...all of these things make us who we are. You have a story to share, so share it girl. You will continue to touch many lives like you have touched mine! <3


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