Grief. Something we will all inevitably go through at some point in life. When I say grief, each person reading this will have a different thought, will have a different feeling and will have a different idea of what grief is or should be. There is nothing more complex in the entire world than grief and I feel so confident when I say that. I have lost a number of different people in my 27 years on this earth and each death, each grieving season has been different.
I lost my uncle when I was 12 years old. The way a child processes grief…now that’s a whole different subject. I’m sure I could dig up one of my papers on that but we won’t go there. That was my first encounter with death though, and I can relive that week in vivid color in my mind. I remember not being able to go look at the viewing. I was terrified of what death looked like. I still am haunted with the “I should have just looked” thought, which has made me how I am today. I am obsessed with how humans process through grief.
Between now and then, I have lost 2 grandparents, a friend who was in a bus accident, extended family members, a hospice patient that I spent one day with and a friend to a drug overdose. I have gone up to look every. single. time. I’m that person that has to touch them, to make sure this is real life. For some people, that is just disgusting or weird or whatever perception they have on what is “right” to do at a funeral. Literally, I have no shame when it comes to how I grieve or what I need to do to process through the death of a loved one. At the end of the day, I know my mind and I know what I need to do to feel okay.
I will never forget the moment in high school when a girl thought it was okay to tell me how to grieve after the bus accident had happened. No one has the right to tell anyone how to feel during grief. NO ONE. Not your mom, not your best friend, not a single person on this earth has that right. The human mind processes through the stages of grief in whatever order it wants to and stays in each stage for however long it wants to. There is no timeline, there is no end. It never goes away, we all just get stronger.
A person could have had one significant moment with a person who has just died and it can massively impact them. Why? Because it’s how that person made them feel. It doesn’t matter if it was for 1 day or 5 years or 25 years. You can’t take that away from someone.
At the end of the day, grief is different for everyone. Be kind. You have no idea how people are feeling internally.
“It’s both a blessing and curse to feel everything so deeply.”