Monday, November 4, 2013

There is No Right Way to Grieve

In the first 6 months or so after losing Sarah, it was really hard to accept that the rest of the world did not have Sarah’s death on their mind 24/7. Even with strangers it was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that they were not aware that I was grieving. I mean, I knew they had absolutely no idea that my heart was crushed and that when they would ask, “How are you today?” that I wasn’t going to answer. OK, to be honest, sometimes I did. It always cut the conversation very short. But, I always got mad. Every time. I would always feel guilty for the anger. But, part of the anger stemmed from realizing how much of what we say to each other as a society is out of habit. When we ask some a person how they are doing, do we really want to know?

It takes time to be able to put it into perspective that our grief lingers while the rest of the world goes on. And, it is hard. When grief is personal, it lingers much longer. It also makes it harder to grieve for others. Especially when it is a child. It is more of a "not again" feeling. Your own memories start flooding back. And, then there is a certain amount of guilt for not putting the other person first. This is my experience. And, everyone grieves differently

I ran into a friend that I had not seen in about four years. Her daughter and Sarah were friends for a while. The conversation was going great until she asked the dreaded question "How are the kids?" I have not had to tell anyone that knew Sarah previously about her passing in a very long time. It doesn't get any easier. And, it isn't that it is hard to talk about. It is just very awkward. It is never easy telling a person that someone is dead. Especially when they knew them. 

In short, this grieving thing doesn't get easier. You get adapt to it and you move on. Be gentle and kind to those who are grieving. There isn't a timeline to follow. There is not a proper way to grieve. Grieving is selfish. But, you have to do it. You can not just keep taking care of others and not take care of yourself. It will come back to hurt you. You are expected to be selfish. And, part of being selfish is letting people take care of you. There are going to be people that want to help. And, letting them do things for you helps them, too. 

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