1. Don’t suppress your emotions. Being “strong” will damage you mentally. Get professional help like counselling early. Do everything in your own time and don’t be rushed or pressured. This is not the best time to make decisions. (I regret not slowly going through and keeping more of my Papa’s things, especially handwritten things.)
2. You will slowly adapt to your new reality. Pain does diminish (for me, after a decade at least). You will feel guilty about this and feel sad about forgetting how you interacted with your loved one especially if you lack enough photos or videos (how I wish I had a video of my Papa- he had the best laugh and I just miss his voice and whole being).
3. The saddest part is that as days fade so does your pain. The brain protects you by forgetting. The comforts of that time slowly become blurry as you adjust to the new normal. You never thought you’d make it here, but somehow you just do.
4. You may feel guilt over this, but you will find new joys. They won’t replace the old, but you’ll be so thankful and feel blessed.
5. You will have deep empathy for the grief of others and be more sensitive towards them. Because you know how the worst day of someone’s life can feel.
6. You will be utterly grateful for all the love you were showered with. And all you want to do is honour your beloved one. All you want is to make them proud.