My relationship with Kevin was unique. That doesn’t make me special. Everyone’s relationship with Kevin was unique.
For almost the last eighteen months I’ve been on a journey. I’ve been trying to reconcile Kevin’s loss and learn a new way to go forward with my life as a wounded and changed man. Everyone in my family is trying to accomplish the same thing. But it’s a different journey for each of us.
My wife lost her oldest son, her firstborn. I lost my step-son who was a part of my relationship with my wife from day one and a part of my life for 19 years. My son lost his big brother, his mentor and playmate. My daughter’s relationship with her oldest brother was different because of their wider age difference, but he was a huge influence on her none the less.
Everyone who has mourned Kevin has done so in a different way. His relationships with each person he touched were different. Furthermore, as he was a unique individual, each person in his life is a unique individual with different goals, outlooks, thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about the world.
I’ve struggled with a feeling of loneliness as I’ve walked this path. It’s impossible to find anyone who has my exact way of relating to the world and the same relationship I shared with Kevin.
The difficult truth is this is often a lonely walk. We can, and should all try to help each other as much as we can, but because every person is different, and every relationship is different, every grief journey must also be different. The really hard work has to be done on the inside. You really have no choice but to face up to your grief alone.
That is not to say there is no help out there and I would urge anyone in a similar situation to find all the help they can. There are friends and groups and therapists and clergy and books and they all have something to offer. But how you incorporate that insight into your own struggle is entirely unique to you. There is no magic bullet; there is no great insight that is applicable to every person. There are lots of little bits of wisdom floating around, some will fit, and some won’t.
When I lie awake at night, when I walk alone, when I drive home, at all those times when I’m thinking and feeling and processing it’s only me. Or maybe it’s me and Kev, it’s certainly me and my memories.