Yesterday morning I woke up from an awful nightmare of goodbyes and last times. The last time we walked in a park, the last movie we saw together, the last phone call, the last kiss goodbye.
It was 3 AM. I hate it when I get up early because the silence brings nothing but pain and memories of loss. It’s a shit way to start your day. I laid in bed crying and hoped I’d fall back to sleep.
It’s what I’ve learned is referred to as waves of grief.
I tried to fall asleep for an hour until our little dog Alice woke up and decided we had to go for a walk. Toronto is eerily quiet at four o’clock in the morning
But the sorrow I felt when I woke up wouldn’t leave. I had to sit for a minute and think of all the good things I remember to replace the bad ones I dreamed of.
The first hello, the first steps we made together, our first movie, how much fun we had walking in parks, and the many special moments we shared.
I used to love coming home when me and Ozzy (my first dog) adopted each other. He was always so happy to see me. His death has been hard.
There’s a way to rewire your brain when this happens. I did some Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy last year and found it incredibly helpful, especially when dealing with trauma. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been “proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems.”
If you’re suffering from loss or living with grief don’t be afraid to try new things. I went through a few different types of therapy after Rehtaeh’s death. Some helped for a while, some not at all. Some just left me feeling worse.
Therapy won’t take away the pain you feel, but it can help you remember there’s still much in life worth living for. Focus on the good.