Death of a Parent Grief Suicide

To The Grieving: We Will Smile Again

To The Grieving: We Will Smile Again
Written by Kim Reed

It’s almost midnight, and I can’t sleep. I have words in my head that need to get out of there ASAP. When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, your mind swirls with questions, confusion, sadness, anger – all the stages of grief. I know; I’ve been here before.

When my dad died on a fishing trip in 2002, people were so sad for our family. Not because of his loss, but because of the how. How terrible. Can you imagine? Missing for nine days only to be found, and he was gone. That “how” has never, ever bothered me. All I knew was that the man whom I adored was no longer physically on this earth. That “how” did not and still does not enter into my grief with him.

But, it’s now 2016, and I am grieving the sudden loss of my older brother. He lost his battle with depression just this year. And grief, the tricky little jerk it is, is not the grief I knew 14 years ago. Yes, he is no longer physically on this earth anymore either; it doesn’t seem fair we are doing death all over again. However, the “how” in this situation negates all I said before about my dad.

With my brother’s birthday and Father’s Day in June, I can feel the suffocating thoughts going around and around in my head. This “how” is so confusing to me; I am mad to be honest. I am mad at depression; I am mad this is our life yet again; I am mad we are hurting; I am just mad. It’s different than my dad.

Most days I can get up and go about my routine because two kids do not allow for days hiding under the covers. Most days, I am okay. I will talk about it, about him. I feel happiness and see God’s signs daily. I have two of the best nephews – my brother’s sons – who are my whole world and just the BEST young men I know. So, overall, I am okay. But with these reminders, I can feel the thickness and that “how” creeping in and starting all the anger and questioning.

Grief is not linear, nor is it predictable. Grief does not discriminate, nor does it go in that perfect grief cycle and you know what’s coming next. Grief does not make you an expert – your loss now may not be your first, but it doesn’t make you feel as though you’ve got it this time.

I know. I am in the thick of it. These moments will not be good ones, and I have to jump right in and fight the good fight. This anger I feel will pass, I have to believe it will. Someone just said to me that she lost her father to depression. She knows that anger well and for me to let it happen and know I will smile again when I think of him. That simple statement gives me the hope I need when I am mad at being mad.

The stages of grief do not end or expire after a loved one’s death. The grief from my dad and my brother do not match. Their death circumstances are certainly different, but the same ideal remains – they are both gone, and we are all hurting.

This post should not make people feel sorry for me – that is not what I want. My goal in getting out these swirling thoughts is to remind the bereaved that wherever you are, you are doing it the way you know how. But, what I want all of us to remember is this – we are still here. Yes, we hurt, but we are still here. People love us; our departed loved ones love us. The “hows” may be so very painful, but just as that sweet lady told me, we are all going to smile again. It’s that hope I hang on to everyday, and I hope you will, too.


About the author

Kim Reed

My name is Kim, and I am a SAHM to two littles and the wife to one hardworking man. I’ve been through some life-changing events that left me reeling, but somehow I am still here trucking along! I get by with coffee, hugs, exercise, a good book, date nights, girls nights, family gatherings, trips, and the occasional glass of wine. Every night, I thank God for my blessings, I confess my sins, and I ask for another day to try it all again. I want my life to have meaning and to fully appreciate all the blessings that surround me.

  • What a difficult time. I’m so sorry for your losses. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Jen Enoch

    I recognize this truly is a sad time for you. I want to tell you that in this article, I’m also recognizing that you have hope for the future and the knowledge that you can’t stop life. I know it hurts, but I’m grateful that you still are able to hold onto your positive perspective of the future. God Bless you, and your entire family.

    • That means so much to me. When I do have my really down days, I have two little ones who wake me up to what’s still in front of me. Thank you for your blessings!

  • Tineke F

    Great post Kim, i am so sorry for your losses! I am in a similar period (just different order: first sister and now dad) and can so relate to your feelings. But yes, we will smile again!

    • I am so sorry for yours as well. You are not alone! Sending you hugs!

  • I also understand grief well. My dad passed five years ago after a long battle with brain tumors and my sister passed 6 months ago after a short battle with cancer. Both died too soon. Thank you for this post. Grief looks different on everyone, like you said, but we can all have hope that the sun will shine again. So sorry for your loss!

    • I am so sorry for your losses. I feel the sunshine more often than not, and I pray the same for you!

  • Abigail

    Such a great post! Yes I agree people go through grief in many different ways. I never really thought about grief looking different for the same person, during different circumstances. This is very important for me to remember when trying to talk with people who are grieving. Thanks for the information!

    • What a blessing you will be to those who are grieving. Thanks for reading!

  • JeeYoung

    Thank you for sharing such a candid post. Grief takes shape is so many different ways. It is a great reminder to know that everyone is different and I pray time will bring peace to you, Kim.

    • Thank you so much. The peace is coming – slowly but surely!

  • Tessa kirby

    Sharing your heart no matter what the topic is difficult so thank you for stepping out and being vulnerable. Depression is such an ugly thing and can be so heart wrenching for so many. I am truly sorry for your loss!!

    • Thank you so much. It really is ugly. I appreciate you reading!

  • Katie Crenshaw

    This is so powerful! I am sharing with some others that are going through something similar.

    • I am so glad you will share. Sending hugs to those who are hurting!

  • Chanel van Reenen

    I am so so sorry about the loss of your brother. I lost my dad unexpectedly this April and every day is a whirlwind of emotion.

    • That whirlwind is so crazy, isn’t it? I pray for you and your loss. Thank you for reading.

  • I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you so much for writing this…you are helping more people than you know.

    • I hope so. So many others have helped me. Thanks for reading!

  • grief is hard and unique to each individual. hugs, beautiful post

    • Yes, it is. Thanks so much for reading!

  • Patricia

    I am so sorry for the losses you’ve had to endure. Praying your strength and comfort during this difficult time

  • The Gilded Wife

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Kim. I can’t imagine the pain you’ve endured and praying for strength and comfort for you and your loved ones. I love your positivity in the last paragraph and yes time does heal.

    • Some days are harder than others, but I do try to stay positive – for my kids especially! Thanks so much!!

  • I’m so sorry for your losses. That is so much to endure. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • I appreciate your prayers so much!

  • sonny ohl

    i lost my brother to suicide in 2010, and my sister to suicide july of 2015… thank you for sharing your story, i too struggle with suicide grief..xoxo