How does one grieve without completely falling apart?

There’s so much I want to write about, and at the same time, nothing at all.

I feel like I can’t write anything before I acknowledge the loss of an incredible woman. A week ago, Ify, a woman who worked at the organization I interned at from June-Dec of last year, and continued on as a volunteer in varying capacities, was killed in a car crash.

I didn’t work super closely with her, but I had worked very closely with her for two weeks right before I left, and had varying encounters since she began working at the home in Feb/Mar. She was a woman of excellence. She loved God wholeheartedly. She was compassionate, kind, and gentle, yet very determined and strategic.

When i first heard that Ify had passed away, it was Sunday night…right after I had posted my latest blog and was blown away by the response. As soon as I heard, I was in shock. How could she be dead? I was just laughing with her three weeks ago. She thanked me for how well I functioned under pressure. It was a nice interaction.

All I want is to be in Mass with the rest of the team to celebrate her life. I feel so isolated and alone in my grief because no one here seems to comprehend the significance of this. I feel trapped in Canada – knowing that the only way I’m going to get out of here is if It’s the end of August. And it’s not.

Grief is never something I’ve been good at…not that there’s really a right way to grieve. I suppose I should say that I’ve never allowed myself to grieve when someone I care about passes away until this year. I’ve got a lot of grief and sadness pent up inside of me, and it appears that now that I’m not using my eating disorder to cope with the feelings of sadness and loss, everything is coming out. I’ve had a hard time getting out of bed, eating seems to have fallen by the wayside, and the idea of being around people makes my skin crawl.

I left my house for the first time since Sunday today though, so there’s progress, and I ate food. Also progress. I can’t allow Ify’s death and all of this grief to derail me. I’ve worked so, so hard to get to where I am. I can’t give that all up. But I just don’t feel like I have the emotional capacity to do this right now, and that makes me sad. Along with everything else in the world…

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