How many times have you heard someone say, “My loved one died. Well, she was sick and we knew it was coming, but still . . .”?

Why do we feel the need to offer that explanation?

Why do we feel the need to minimize our loss by saying that it was expected?

RELATED: The Day She Dies

Why do we diminish our own grief like that?

The fact that my mom was sick for 10 years and that she was dying for over two months does not make her any less dead.

She still died.

She is still gone.

It is still an immense loss.

Even I, myself, thought it might not be so bad when my mom passed. I thought all of the years of illness and loss had somehow prepared me for the final loss. I thought it might come as a relief. I thought it might not be that hard.

I was wrong.

RELATED: The Day You Realize Your Mom is Really Gone

When someone loses a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly, we are heartbroken right along with them. We understand it may be quite some time before they process the loss and begin to move forward with their own lives.

When someone loses a loved one who has been sick for a long time or a parent or grandparent who is well into their 90s, we are somewhat comforted by the fact they saw it coming. We do not expect them to grieve as hard or for as long. We expect them to “be over it by now.”

No.

That’s not how it works.

A loss does not have to meet any specific requirements to qualify as hard.

Loss is loss.

Death is death.

Grief is grief.

It all comes in many different forms.

We need to stop minimizing the grief of an expected loss.

RELATED: Watching A Parent Battle Cancer Is Hell On Earth Torture

Just because we knew it was coming does not mean it hurts any less.

When your loved one’s battle finally comes to an end, please do not minimize your loss to make other people more comfortable.

Do not diminish your grief.

Own it.

It is proof of your love.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Lauren Dykovitz

Lauren Dykovitz is a writer and author. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at age 62. Lauren was only 25 years old at the time. Jerie passed away in April 2020 after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer's. Lauren writes about her experience on her blog, Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She has also been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites. Lauren self-published her first book, Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer's. She is also a member of AlzAuthors, a group of authors who have written books about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Please visit lifeloveandalzheimers.com to read more about Lauren’s journey.