• Lauren Brill shared a letter in the Group logo of Remembering those we lost/GriefRemembering those we lost/Grief group 1 month, 1 week ago

    Why my ex-boyfriend is always in my heart

    It’s been almost six years since I lost my ex-boyfriend, Brian. He loved me with all his heart. And even though I broke his heart, he never stopped caring about me, supporting me, or cheering on my success. When he was alive, I spent years keeping him an arm’s distance away. At the time, I just didn’t want the same relationship that he wanted. But when he died, I almost fell in love with him all over again, or maybe I realized I never stopped loving him. At that moment, I remembered the roses he bought me for no reason, the times we ran around lower Manhattan going to psychics to see what they’d say, and the comedy shows where we laughed until our stomachs hurt. Brian never wanted to tell me “no” about anything. He always wanted to see me happy. I never really thought about how I’d feel if one day he was no longer here.

    Before he died, he made me promise him that I would never settle for anyone who didn’t treat me the way he treated me. He literally made me look him in the eye and say, “I promise.” Now, when I date, and someone falls short of treating me how he wanted, it’s almost like I grieve him dying all over again. With each disappointment, I am reminded of him and how we really did have something special.

    While I can’t turn back the clocks of time, I keep Brian close to my heart every day. And when I find that person who treats me how he wanted me to be treated, I will honor Brian’s life by meeting that standard as well.

    Never again will I take anyone’s love for granted.

    Anyone else have someone in their lives that they hold close? How do you guys deal with grief? Would love to hear from you guys <3

    @amazz94 @bigstudbundy @zsigray81@delanomassey @josh-copeland @jim-c @fpjames7 @oneturbobenz @shelleybrill @telina27


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    • That’s a powerful story. He’s right. You shouldn’t accept anything less than what he would have been willing to give. From anyone. Grief is tough. Comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m currently apart from my ex girlfriend. It’s brutal. I want to be back w her so much. But I can’t speed up the process. It just has to be a one day at a time process. I think of the good. The memories are great, but tortuous at the same time. People say “ things will get better”. But sometimes I don’t want to hear that. Because I don’t really think they will, because when I was with her I never felt better. In addition, I’ve lost both of my parents. Mom in 2004. Dad in 2020. How did I manage? Not really sure really lol. I just kind of knew I had to. And I guess I just wanted to get through one day at a time. Sound familiar? But that’s really all I could do. Remember the unbelievable memories. All while missing people that I’d give anything to have back. To have one more chat. One more dinner. The finality of knowing that will never happen got overwhelming at times. But I would just realize how they would want me to be strong. As hard it was. There is no manual for this stuff. Every person deals with it in their own way, at their own pace. Grief is tough. It’s a lame expression, but hanging in there and taking it a day at a time is the best way to start

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      • I am so sorry for your losses as well. They say time heals all, but I remember writing when I was a kid that time doesn’t heal all, you just start to get used to the way you feel. One day at a time is definitely the best advice, but the reality is, some days are certainly better than others.

        With that said, I have also experienced magical moments, where I was almost certain he was watching over me. On the anniversary of the day I met him, something weird happen to my phone on Instagram and it gone stuck on a post of a storefront of a psychic. All the time, the number 72, his number, pops up in the most random places. And one time, his sister came to Miami for vacation. I didn’t know and we ended up sitting right next to each other at a club. We were at the same table. We took a picture, sent it to his mom. His mom texted me the next morning that she prayed to Brian to watch over his sister when she was in Miami and she woke to a picture of us together. I felt like that was definitely him working his magic. Loss and grief are tough. And while I don’t believe time will fully heal grief, I do believe that memories and love can carry you through some of the pain. – Lauren

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        • I think you are right on. I don’t think you ever fully heal from serious grief like that. You just get used to things as they are. Because to be fully healed, I’d think that means as good as you were before the loved ones went away. And I don’t think that will ever be the case in things like that. Nothing will ever be as good as it was. You just get used to it being the way that it is. Great stories about Brian working his magic. I believe stuff like that. When my dad was in the nursing home, but doing ok enough, we would go to the casino sometimes. And in 2019, we were going on march 8th. The day my mom passed away in 2004. There was a sweatshirt of his that had gone missing at the nursing home for over a year. Because I didn’t get it labeled properly. I loved that sweatshirt. Was like 40 years old. Just oozed if comfort. I loved it way more than dad lol. I would look in the laundry every day. The lost and found. Dad would say “jimmy forget it. You’ll never find it”. So that morning march 8th, while the aides were getting dad ready, I took yet another walk to take a look. For the sweatshirt that had been missing for over a year. And lo and behold, there it was. Hanging there. I couldn’t believe it. I got the laundry guy to label it. I took it back to dad and said “look pop!” He wasn’t impressed as I was lol. But it was great. Made me so happy. On that day. Of all days

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    • The devastating power of grief visited me far earlier than I had ever imagined. I was 17 and undeniably in love with my high school girlfriend. I wanted to go out with her that night but I missed the chance to ask her before she went home. The next morning I was at a friend’s house when I found out she had been killed in a car accident early that morning. It felt like it had been me crushed against that tree with her. I had wanted to give her this beautiful necklace I had bought her for Christmas. 20 years later I still have it. I tried to be as strong as I could, but at the joint funeral, (one of her friends had died in the same accident) it overwhelmed me. Her family had arranged a bagpiper to play Amazing Grace at the service. For the first time the vulnerability inside me came rushing out. Our school had canceled classes that day and most of the students attended the funeral. I barely remember hyperventilating, I didn’t remember fainting. It felt so surreal, like I thought this didn’t happen. For the way I felt I couldn’t comprehend how their families felt, losing their children 10 days before Christmas.

      Over 20 years later and I still find myself feeling guilty I hadn’t got to ask her to go out that night, if maybe that necklace I keep was around her neck and that maybe she was my wife.

      Only a few years later I lost my Mom. Twelve days passed my 23rd birthday I held her in my arms while her terrified eyes stared back at me before closing for the final time. She had helped me through the well of emotions when my girlfriend died and now I’d lost her as well. I withdrew from a lot of things in the vacuum her passing left me in. For years I just held the emotions at bay, not talking about them and fighting to keep from falling apart. The depression that had started when I was younger fully took root in my life. It led to my trying to take my own life several times. Finally I was forced to go to counseling and I got better, but not over the loss. Then in 2019 I was at the lowest I’d been in many years. It was on the anniversary of her funeral that I was prepared to try again. It was that moment when The Unsealed help change my life. I read Lauren’s first letter and with tears blinding me I took the gun out of my mouth.

      I find myself back in active counseling and I know that even despite that, I may never fully deal with the grief in my life. I just am choosing to deal with it via flowers, which both Mandy (my gf) and my Mom loved.

      My greatest advice for those troubled by grief is this,
      It happened and while you can’t change it, you need to honor. Grief is important, it encapsulates the importance of the person you are grieving. It will ebb and flow and will find you in moments you least expect. Take the biggest connection in your life to that person and honor it. But most of all, talk about it, that is how I finally righted the emptiness it had left me. It is ok to grieve. Not everyone will process it the same way.


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    • Grief in general is hard to deal with because when we lose someone we feel like apart of us is gone, but we take on who they were in the things we do. Each person we meet gives us apart of themselves. When I lost my dad I was angry 😡 and sad at the same time. I couldn’t understand why I had to lose him. As I started to come out of my anger I realized we never lose anyone. They are with us all the time. Some are meant to help us grow. I dealt with grief by pushing things down and trying to be strong for others. That didn’t help me heal my trauma though. Healing takes time and it happens in stages. I just had to feel the emotions I had suppressed. I also had to forgive myself for not healing things when it came time to. Everyone grieves differently there is no right way to grieve. It’s unique to all of us. Death will never be easy to handle but if you have people around to help you let them no matter how much you want to push them away. It’s okay to ask for help in any situation.

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      • @oneturbobenz @telina27 I think you are both so right. We all find our own ways to grieve. But i think the underlining similarity is that we all need to allow ourselves to grieve and to express our emotions. Telina, I went through that anger stage like you did. Wanting someone or something to blame. And Roger, I also had guilt, “why did i leave breakfast early last time I was with him. Why didn’t i just stay a little longer. Was it really that much of a rush to meet my friend?” At some point, I moved on from both those feelings but I would be lying if I said there weren’t moments that they creep up on me, but I try not to let them have a hold on me for too long. The way I try to see it is that I was lucky to have known him. And I was even more lucky to be loved by him. While I miss him and I hate that he didn’t get to live a full life, the only thing I can control is how i choose to live my life. And so I do my best to make him proud and keep that promise. <3

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    • This is a powerful read. It’s not easy losing people we care about. It takes time to process a loss. Our minds start wondering how things would be different if that person was still alive. It’s said that time heals all wounds, but, it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like time just makes us get into a place where we can tolerate our wounds. Not taking anyone’s love for granted is good advice, because we don’t know how long that love will last (forever would be great). I used to try to get read of the grief I felt when it would hit me. Now, I embrace my grief until that feeling goes away. When I lost my mom, it was traumatizing, because the thought of losing her wasn’t even in my mind until she fell ill. To go from seeing her cook lasagna & watching her soap operas to being at her funeral felt like it happened way too fast for me & my family. I didn’t grieve as I should have, I bury my emotions because that’s how I was taught to handle things. Just be stoic. Those emotions & feelings would eventually come out in other ways. It’s important to express your feelings when they come to you at the moment.

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      • Gerald I know your mom is looking down on you and she is really proud. You know, I too often bury my emotions . Not because I think I have too but because it’s easier not to face them. Often they come out in other ways like anxiety, stomach aches or even back aches. That’s how I ended up writing. It became a healthy outlet for self-expression. A way to let my emotions out, while only really having to vulnerable with myself. While being vulnerable with myself was healing, I found an even great level of healing and empowerment with sharing my vulnerability with others – specifically through my writing. Sometimes words are easier to write than they are to speak. Funny how that works. My most painful moments I wrote about over and over again until I felt better. Then, one day I decided to share my writing and that moment changed my life and led me to The Unsealed. It’s crazy how are most painful moments can help us find both our purpose and our power. That’s why it’s so important to keep pushing and keep fighting when life is tough. There is always some rainbow on the other side of the storm <3

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        • Appreciate that Lauren. I believe she is too, looking down with a smile. Yeah. Anxiety is definitely one way those emotions can come out. I’m glad you found healing and empowerment through writing. I feel writing has done the same for me in terms of its healing power & empowerment I’ll never felt before. It’s a great outlet for self-expression. I feel it’s one of the best outlets where I can be my complete self. It’s incredible! It’s sad what happened to you in the past, but how you used writing to heal is an amazing testimony. Yeah, it’s funny, because sometimes when we’re speaking, we’ll put a lid on ourselves on stuff we should say & don’t say. With writing though, there’s a freedom to write whatever we feel at the moment or things that happened to us in the past. I’m glad that you created The Unsealed. It’s a great site for people to unseal themselves. You’re so right about how our most painful moments can lead us to find our purpose & power. It’s a beautiful
          l thing to experience. Sometimes it’s tough to keep fighting when life is tough, but, it’s worth it to get to that rainbow after the storm is done. 😀

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    • I struggled for quite a while after losing my mother. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer many years prior to succumbing to it. When first diagnosed she entered a trial study and it was under control for years. When the trail ended, she was so excited to find out she was in the test group and he cancer was under control. About a year latter she developed a very bad cough in the winter and thought it was just a bad cold. I encouraged her to go to the doctor but she originally resisted. Eventually I called an 800 number to talk to a nurse about her symptoms and then put her on the phone with the nurse. The nurse herd the cough and told her to get into the hospital. We discovered her cancer had come back and spread to her lungs and was now at stage 5. They said she had 6 months to live.
      I focused on taking her to her medical appointments and taking the best care of her that I could. In the end she only survived 3 months but in the end, I was able to ensure she was able to get her wish and die at home. This was difficult. One day I went to work, and came home to find my older brother had her sent to the hospital. She was diabetic and her sugar was high as she couldn’t swallow her pill the night before. I rushed to the hospital and convinced the doctor to let me take her home after first learning how to give her insulin and do her tests. This led to a family fight in the kitchen as my brother was upset that I put her wishes ahead of his. My mother was in the living room at the time and listening to the yelling. I had to carry her up the steps in my arms to put her in her bedroom in hopes she wouldn’t hear my brother yelling up there. Unfortunately, it didn’t help and even with the radio on she could her him. My mother was crying in her bed saying she didn’t want to live anymore. When I went down to the kitchen to tell my brother that she upstairs crying his response was to tell someone to shut the kitchen door. I regret not throwing him out of the house but he had brought his 2 sons over as his extra muscle in case it came down to that, and the last thing my mom needed was a fist fight.
      The next day she was doing better and was able to eat breakfast. However, she picked up C difficile infection in the hospital that gave her bad diarrhea and by the end of the day she was sick. It took a couple days to get that under control but she passed away a few days later at home. It was shortly after midnight. I knew the end was coming so I told the nurse I would call my brothers and let them know so they could come and say goodbye. By the time I got back to her bed and held her hand her breathing slowed and she took her last breath minutes later. The nurse was surprised how fast she went. I am pretty sure that was done intentionally by her as she didn’t want to see my brother.
      After she passesdI looked at her paperwork from her cancer trial. The trial was to see the effect of being on a drug that stopped the creation of estrogen and also one that blocked the absorption of estrogen since her breast cancer was fueled by estrogen. When it I got to the part at the end of the study it said upon completion the patient’s doctor should put her on one of the 2 treatments. My mom’s doctor failed to do that so her cancer had not been treated since the end of the study which is why the cancer came back and spread so fast. I realized that had I only read her study after it was done I could have ensured she was treated. I felt some guilt for not showing more concern at that time and the memory of crying up in bed was haunting me. For weeks I would break down crying whenever I was alone like at a red light while driving. I didn’t have anyone to discuss it with and I didn’t want my kids to see me crying. Eventually I got over the crying but I thought of her everyday and it usually it made me sad like I hadn’t done enough.
      Eventually I spent some time thinking about the day when I would eventually pass away. I realized that I wouldn’t want my kids to feel as bad I as did when I lost my mom. Then I realized how sad my Mom would be that I was hurting so much. I realized that what I was most sad about was there was no more time to spend with her. However I had a lot of happy memories with her prior to her death and I should be focusing on those. The only regret I have is that I spent the last months of her life trying to make her comfortable and hoping for a miracle that I didn’t take advantage of all that time I had with her to enjoy the little time I had left. Looking back now as I write this I realize I did spend a lot of time with her those last months and I let that horrible night overshadowed a lot of it.

      I still think of her pretty much every day but now I think of the happier times and quite often of the things she taught me growing up. I even found the recipe for one of her favourite casseroles a few years ago and make it regularly now. Eating reminds me of happier times. Too anyone grieving I hope you are able to focus on the happier times and that you value the time you have with the people that are important in your life that are still with you. Try to make as many happy memories with them as you never know how much time you have to do so.

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      • I am so sorry for what you and your mother went through. But you are so right, focusing on the happy times makes everything a little easier. Also, you can feel gratitude for having so many happy times. With my grandfather, I always think about how he called me his little athlete because he knew I got my athletic talent from him. With Brian, I have so many little moments to remember.- from hanging out at my parents’ house watching movies to going on trips to all our inside jokes. Some of which I read back and I can’t even remember what they meant and yet somehow they still make me smile.

        Making memories with the people that you love is what life is all about. Because at the end of the day, life doesn’t last forever for any of us but our memories stay with us and sometimes last even beyond us.

        Your mother is really proud of you and watching down on you. She’d never want you to blame yourself or feel guilty for anything. So just love her and remember why you loved her and that I am sure will bring her peace <3

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        • I remember the first time I read about the promise you made Brian. I think what he wanted was to ensure you were happy. The way he treated you was the way he felt was the best way he could make you happy so that is what he hoped you would find with someone else. Maybe a part of him hoped you would look and not find someone and come back to him. The idea if you love something set it free and if it returns to you it was meant to be.
          I don’t know the specifics of your relationship but maybe part of the reason you pushed him away was because of how he treated you. I could see that being in such a relationship could make it hard to grow as a person and learn to be strong and independent. I don’t know if by making that promise he has you applying a standard that is hard to live up to. You deserve to be treated with respect kindness and love but maybe you end up making quick decissions and don’t give guys a chance? Maybe not and you just attract a lot of jerks lol.

          I would suggest thinking of what you would like in a partner as far as what would make you happy. If there are some things in the way he treated you that aren’t so important, I would have a talk with him about what you think would make you happy and see if he would be okay with that being your standard. Maybe next time instead of putting his sister at your table he will put the guy you are looking for there.

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          • “Maybe next time instead of putting his sister at your table he will put the guy you are looking for there.” This line nearly made me cry. He is probably just waiting until i feel so tortured that I will appreciate that person to no end. And I do think you are right. I do think on some level he was hoping I would one day come to him. I just don’t know if that is what he was thinking in that moment. But I think he left me with this beautiful gift of knowing the magic that is possible between to people and having a reason to not let go of keeping THAT as my standard. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, right ? I always say even if something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant to be a part of your life or didn’t touch your heart or shape your soul. I really appreciate your insight. I do hope that not only one day he sends me the right person but when I find that person he also sends me a sign that he is watching and he is smiling. <3

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            • @jim-c @oneturbobenz @telina27 @lostone89 @bigstudbundy All of your responses were so thoughtful and so beautiful. It really touched my heart. Grief is one of those things that I feel like always stays with us in some form. Maybe it gets easier. Maybe it doesn’t. But Grief also means we were lucky enough to have someone pretty special in our lives. Not to be cliche but, “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

              I think there is a lot of truth to that. Anyways, I really appreciate all of your responses and touching stories. I love you all! Make sure you guys all add each other as friends. We are trying to build a community of love and support where people can write to each other and have a safe and encouraging space to speak their truth. Thank you all for your kindness and support (Both with my grief and The Unsealed). -Lauren <3

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