I ran a group for parents who had lost their adult children to suicide, or overdose, or accident—sudden deaths in other words, no time to prepare or to say goodbye. Being the facilitator to this group was one of the most difficult and most satisfying events of my life. Much of the time I wanted to be in the fetal position as I listened to their heartbreak. But many other times, we laughed, we cried, we bonded, we loved.
This core group of wonderful, loving parents were so honest with themselves and with each other. Who else but those who relate can sit with that kind of pain? Many had lost friendships for this reason. Unless you have experienced the loss of a child you have no clue the long, long time it takes to heal and the depths of pain you go through. In fact, when a new person would come to group and observe that this core group had been attending for several years, they became dejected, not being able to fathom being in pain for so long. But here's the thing—grief changes from one minute to the next, one hour or one day to the next. You will not be in the same place next month as you are now. You might be in a worse place (I know you don't want to hear this) but eventually you will be in a better place. The ups and downs are exhausting, but healing does occur whether you like it or not.
One of my dear clients in group said, "I search for meaning or a way to honor my son. But often, inside, I am a crazy mother yelling at the top of my lungs, ‘Nooooo, this cannot be true.’ I think if I yell it enough then time will reverse and I will have him back." The mother also said, "All this is bullshit. It won't bring my son back." She recognized that this was how she was feeling at that moment in time. She said, "Just being able to share it with a group of people who understand is valuable."
Don't grieve alone. Find someone who can understand and validate.