I say yes. I have experienced it and it’s been now 2 years that I ‘lost’ the person I’m still sometimes grieving today. March 19, 2017 is the day my sister left the United States after living here for almost 20 years. The last almost 3 of those years we lived in the same city, had regular wine, sushi, and movie nights. When my husband and I bought a house, she moved in for her last months in this country before heading home with a one-way ticket and her American adventure packed up in 5 big suitcases. The following months (there were many and there are still some to this day) were incredibly hard. I noticed changes in me and those were changes I did not like. I was not interested in the hobbies I had been so passionate about for most of my life. I thought I’d get over it and it would all pass since we live in a world where a person across a huge pond is just a FaceTime call away. But it was not the same and being the wife of a firemen who had gotten to know her new house and home with her sister in it, I was now sitting by myself on the couch every third night, grieving.
At first I told myself to not be so pathetic. She isn’t dead. What am I doing? Why am I feeling this way? I felt a little ridiculous and kept reminding myself of people who have REAL problems. The months kept going by and when I was still not feeling alright after about 8 months and my passion for riding horses had still not returned (I still forced myself to take lessons though just to pretend everything was okay) I started looking for help. This is something not a lot of people know and I contemplated whether I wanted to write this or not but why the hell not? Researching counselors and therapists, I stumbled upon the Atlanta International Counseling group and made an appointment. For a few months I went pretty regularly and it was an immense help. Viviane was a god sent helper and supporter. After many months of feeling completely heart-broken, or more heart-shattered, I finally started feeling a little better. There are still weak times but I keep reminding myself that I work hard in order to go home more often to spend time with my family.
I think this is the most vulnerable blog post I’ve written so far but for some reason it just spilled out of me this morning and keeping it all bottled up will not help me in any way. I can breathe now without feeling like I’m about to cry. But know, for the 1, maybe 2 people reading this, I do believe that you can grieve a person even if he/she has not died.