Last week I started going to a grief group. It is led by the therapist I have been seeing for several months, and she encouraged me to join it. I was a little hesitant because I was not sure how helpful it will be, but I am feeling like I need the extra support. March and April are my “sad season” as I call them–Boris’s birthday is in March and the anniversary of his death is in April. And, I think dating someone new for the first time is bringing up a lot for me–new grief feelings that I have not experienced before. I have been having more grief/Boris-related dreams lately–some of them have been really complicated and meaningful. I think my brain is just wrestling with a lot–and maybe this grief group will be helpful? I am worried that I won’t be able to relate to anyone, or that I won’t feel connected to the material or the group. I am worried because I am further out from my loss compared to the other people, like maybe it won’t feel relatable anymore? I am not sure. But, this is just another way I can try to be present for myself and sort of nurture my grief. Hopefully, I will come back to the blog to give an update when I have been in the group for a while.
About Victoria Helmly
My love story began in 2005 and though my love is no longer physically here with me, our story has not ended. I met Boris when we were 14, but it was not until our junior and senior year of high school that we became more than friends (he was my first kiss!). We went to the same college and although our relationship was a bit rocky through our early 20s, we made it through. He was my person. Our relationship grew stronger as we matured and learned about one another more as adults. I was certain that he was my forever. We talked about the future a lot and we knew we would get married, but we did not want to rush—he was still finishing graduate school and I was just starting my first full-time job. We did not realize how little time we had left together.
In the summer of 2017, Boris was hospitalized three times for active suicidal ideation. This was a heartbreaking, exhausting, and life-changing experience. After 10 months of therapy, medication, and support groups, Boris died by suicide on April 7, 2018. My life now has two parts: the one before April 7, 2018 and the one after. My very best friend, my person was now gone.
If you were to ask how I am doing now, 2.5 years later, I would say I am okay. I am living. My world continues to spin, and I continue to move forward. However, I still carry deep sorrow and loneliness. I have struggled with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes I still cannot believe that he is actually gone. I still feel him with me, and I know that I will never stop loving and missing him.
I am currently in school for my Ph.D. and live just outside of Atlanta with our cat, Kitty Cat (Boris is responsible for the creative name). I work as a graduate research assistant currently, but I worked for three years with our State Unit on Aging prior to going back to school. I love movies, my friends and family, long walks, and traveling.