Those who have lost a loved one understand what grief is. Life comes to a standstill, but only for you. Your friends try to help, but don't know what to say. If they did, it would do little to soothe the ache that is your grief. This loss, you realize, is yours alone.
Sharing a loss with others can be difficult. Our grief outlasts their sympathy. At times, our desperation to share is matched only by our fear of bringing others down, of being misunderstood. Or worse - of overstaying our welcome.
GriefWall.org is an anonymous sharing site for the bereaved to post their feelings of grief and loss. Even if you have friends to talk to, it can be healing to post things you'd find difficult to share with them.
The worst thing about the internet is that it can mask who people really are. That same anonymity is also a gift. How many times have you wanted to share, but instead, kept your feelings to yourself?
Grief forums have their place, but the Grief Wall is more of a monologue that others can listen in on. It's safe to share your feelings without giving thought to how someone might respond. It's no replacement for relationships, but it is a great release and a complement to them.
People are more honest, even raw, when they know they are sharing anonymously. There is no fear of rejection or reprisal. Just walk up to the wall and leave a message. Others will read it after you're gone, but when you're sharing on the Grief Wall, you're the only one there.
Grieving people often ask, "Is it normal to feel this way?" It's one thing to read about the 5 Stages of Grief. It's quite another to cycle through all 5 stages yourself - in one day.
Grief and loss can be so overwhelming that it feels like an alternate reality. Life up to this moment is like a lie; the future, like a joke. It's life in a bubble. Those outside have never known it, or are too far removed from it now to connect. Is there anything quite like grief?
Maybe you can't even find the words to post how you're feeling. Reading can help. Whether it's someone's unravelled Grief Wall post, or a helpful book on navigating your bereavement, you need to know you're not alone. You will get through this - changed, yes. But better in some ways, too.
The Grief Wall may be a one way conversation, but its posts are meant to be shared. If you find a post that echoes the very words of a bereaved friend, share it with them. If you are grieving and you want a loved one to understand how you feel, leave a post on the Grief Wall and share it with them. It's about healing. It's about connection and recovery.
"People so often tell the suffering, "Go away." You tell them, "Come to me." -@duchess1201
"I felt so alone in my grief, what I would have given to have this!" - @EverythingCatTO
"I have mentioned you to people with MI as an anonymous way to express themselves." -@LapointLaura
"Love what ur doing to help people." -@Scarlett210
"God bless you. What a wonderful thing you are doing. What you are doing touched my heart! We all need a wall to post our feelings on. You have my support and I already see how this will be great for the ppl I come across everyday that need your web site." -@GarlandGloria
"At some point in our lives, we all need to heal. It's such a great concept. You guys are just what social media needed!" -@compassiom
"Your efforts and goals are beyond exemplary." -@jamilmihalko
"I'm gonna be reading more of your website. Glad to have found you." -@JessicaGimeno
"I left a msg for my dad who died last yr. and can leave msg's anytime I want. It's really #cool #heal" @2BipolarChicks
The Grief Wall is part of the Healing Walls network of mental health sites. Healing Walls offers anonymous posting and sharing on topics like grief, cancer, depression and more.
Follow Healing Walls on Twitter.