There aren’t enough expletives in the universe to adequately cover how much grief sucks. Confronted with the five year anniversary of my sister’s death, my grief is hardly resolved. There continues to be tumultuous and frustrating thoughts that I cannot reconcile any better today than I did five years ago. Here are the six most frustrating things about grief: 


When someone old dies after a long full life, you don’t think about what could have been. But if someone dies young, it’s hard to avoid thinking about what could have been. Your loved one will never reach life’s traditional milestones. Never will turn 30. Never will get married. Never will have children. But it’s not all about your loved ones missed milestones, it’s the milestones you experience without them that sting just as much. 

Inability To Do Anything 

There isn’t anything to do after someone you love dies. No matter how much you want to – there is nothing you can do that will make any significant difference. Nothing will bring your loved one back, even for a moment. From preparing your loved one’s favorite meal to bringing flowers to their grave, at the most you are savoring your loved one’s memories. There are times these types of rituals bring comfort, but other times bring nothing but frustration at their inadequacy to heal the hole in your heart. 

Fear Of Forgetting

When your loved one was alive you took so much for granted that in grief you focus on. I never could imagine that one day I might forget the sound of my sister’s voice. I am haunted by the constant fear that I will forget it. It’s been five years now and sometimes I can hardly remember the sound of her voice, her laugh, and even the look she made when I annoyed her. No picture does her presence justice and captures her spirit the way she filled a room. 

Make New Memories 

No new memories will be made. The only memories I have are the ones of the past. Those same memories forever on repeat in my mind, like the last time I saw her. Why didn’t I give her a hug and say I love you? 

The Realizations 

The realization that life goes on is the most frustrating part of grief. Time didn’t stand still, even for a second after she died, it continued onward and became a reminder to those that loved her to see time as a reminder of once was. The finality that I will never see her again is something I am forced to accept but can’t seem to get over. When something funny happens, I look at her number in my cell phone and I am still tempted to call. Yet I continue to feel the blow that she won’t answer, ever. 

Inability To “Move On”

It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. 

John Steinback

After five years, I have not moved on. Grief isn’t something you can wrap up in a neat package and deal with. At one point this was frustrating. But now I realize I don’t want to move on. Grief is the final responsibility we carry to those we love. So why would I possibly want to live without it – it’s all I have left.

Kayla, we love you. 

Related: Why I stopped missing you

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