It has been almost four years since I first talked about my experience with grief. I lost my dad in March 2016 and in a few short weeks, it'll be four years without him. At the time, I didn't think my life was going to go back to 'normal' but somehow it did. I look back at that time in 2016 where I was just hopeless; I had lost my dad, my family was forced to move, I was still getting my footing in my career, and things were messy in my love life. I was kind of lost in who I was and where I belonged. It was horrible.

Now, four years later, I'm settled into a fantastic new job, have a wonderful boyfriend and have a better sense of self.

Grief doesn't go away, ever. It is always there, a constant reminder of who you lost and who isn't there anymore. I wake up and one of the first things I think about besides wanting to hit the snooze button is my dad. Whether I had a dream about him or I just feel his presence, the thought is there. It's the first thing I wake up to and the last thing I go to sleep thinking about.

My new job is located very close to where my dad worked when I was growing up. I think about him on my commute to work, knowing he rode the same train for years and walked the same path as me. It hurts but makes me smile.

I don't cry a lot anymore, except for the occasional holiday or birthday but then it passes. It's just my life now but when I think about that, I feel an ache in my chest.

Before my dad, the person closest to me that I lost was my grandpa. I was 13 years old, my parents had just gotten divorced, and life was weird. I don't think I realized how sad it was at the time but losing a grandparent is nothing like losing a parent, I know that now.

However, grief-struck my entire family last month when my aunt, at the age of 53, passed away. It rocked my family and it's what prompted this post.

My aunt was my second mom. I was the first baby in the family and everyone ate me up (truly, I was adorable) but she took a special liking to me. I cannot even put into words what our relationship was, it was just so special. She was more than my aunt...

Without going into detail and protecting the privacy of my family, things changed in recent years and that relationship wasn't the same... but I also have gotten older and things changed for me as well. That being said, I still loved her with every part of me and to not have her here anymore is strange.

I felt guilty at first because I showed no emotion and I honestly felt no emotion. I didn't cry, I didn't really feel anything. I don't even think I was numb, it just didn't really affect me. It was sort of worrying everyone else around me and in turn, I started to worry too. I was going about my days like normal even though I was thinking about my aunt.

It was unlike anything I ever experienced before and perhaps, after losing my dad, nothing else compares. I've already gone through unspeakable pain.

Of course, I cried at the wake and the funeral... it was an emotional few days but when I was alone when I saw other people cry, I didn't feel much and I told myself that it was ok.

Everyone deals with their grief differently. Some cry for days, some don't cry at all, some get angry while others just hide it really well. There is no right way to grieve, there is no wrong way to grieve. It just is something that you deal with.

I dealt with my aunt's death and I'm still dealing with it. It is still very fresh and raw for everyone in my family. It is a constant reminder that life is too short and petty things don't matter. It's still at the forefront in everyone's mind, including my own. Right there along with my dad, my aunt is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing at night.

I would say that my lost loved ones are what I think about the most during the day and it's really hard to carry that with you but I get through it, just like we all do.

No matter who you are grieving, or how you are grieving, know that it's ok. It will be ok.

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