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There is lots of talk about what grief looks like, how to deal with it, talk about it, how best to help.

But the reality is that we are all individuals and the loss we deal with is a unique loss. No one loses the same daughter or granddaughter, dad or son, no relationship is the same, and so no grief is the same. Even for me & Chris, the loss is different. Things that he finds helpful I find devastating, and my triggers are not the same as his. As a mum and dad, the loss of our daughter is different, because our relationship with Lauren is different. This does not mean greater or lesser, it only means different.

What we do all suffer through is an altered image of what our life will now be. We all have aspirations of what our future holds, part of being human is to plan and dream. Change through any kind of loss; bereavement, separation, divorce, job loss, countless other life events that I can't even imagine, all lead to an end result that we had not anticipated.

The shock and bewilderment of this altered image of our future can be almost impossible to digest. We are sold a fairytale, and not just by disney. When reality bites, as it envitably does, we are unsuited to deal with it.

We cannot live our lives expecting horror and pain, but there needs to be an option to the blasé way we deal with reality. More and more people, especially young people, are finding the reality of life too much to deal with. That needs to be a wake up call, expectations need to be managed. Reality over dreams. It's okay to be sad, sometimes we have good reason. Change is hard, even when it is for the better, so when it's for the worse it can seem insurmountable. But it is possible to live with, just like countless others before us, because life is precious, all life, even when it's difficult.

Be kind to everyone, especially yourself.

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