Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Why am I letting you all share my journey with grief? The short answer, my experience was incredibly painful. During the most difficult time in my life I felt isolated and alone. Many people struggled with how to be around me and avoided it if possible. They didn’t know what to say or if they should say anything at all. My grief made them uncomfortable.
Grief makes people uncomfortable yet it’s something we will all have to experience at some point. We avoid talking about grief and it’s affect on us. We avoid talking to people who are grieving because it makes us uncomfortable. If we never talk about grief, how are we going to learn how to approach it when it’s our turn or when we are called upon to support someone we care about with their grief?? My intent is to do what I can to change people’s perception of and reaction to grief. My intent is to help people understand how grief feels. If we understand how it can feel we can be better equipped to interact with each other or at least learn to be around someone who is grieving without stepping on our own tongue.
There are some stigmatisms surrounding grief. I believe it goes back to the dark ages when a person was required to sit in mourning for a certain number of days and grieve in silence. After that time they were to join society once again almost as if nothing happened. Even today society would rather we go off and grieve on our own so we don’t make those around us uncomfortable by having to interact with us. After a few months it’s assumed we will emerge from our grief mostly “finished” and it will be safe to try and have a conversation with us again. Sorry kids, that’s not the way it works in the real world.
We have also been conditioned to keep our grief out of the sight of others. Those of us grieving are hesitant to reach out to others and ask for much needed help . This is mostly because we don’t know how it will be received. We have been conditioned to be strong, to put on a brave face and never let them see you sweat. As a result we isolate ourselves and assume we have to go it alone so we don’t bother anyone with our sorrow. How can internalizing our grief help with the healing process???
I want those on their own journey to know they are not alone. We need to help each other understand that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no timeline that is to be followed nor is there a step by step process through stages that we flow through. Grief is ugly and it’s messy. We all grieve at our own pace and in our own way. No one can dictate to you how you should do it or how far along you should be based on how long it has been since your person left. Grief is personal and it’s different for everyone!
As unique as everyone’s journey is, there are a number of experiences we all have when grieving that we need to share with one another. We assume we are the only ones feeling the way we do or being treated the way we are and that is simply a false assumption. When I learned there were others having some of the same struggles and challenges I was, it was a game changer! I found people I could relate to, peeps I could be honest with that would not judge or criticize me for the emotions I was carrying. It gave me such relief to know that I was not alone in how I was feeling. I felt lighter than I had in a long time and it gave me hope that I would some day be able to function again as a whole person. This is what I want to share with all of you.
My intent is to post about my own experience and allow you all to share your own experiences to benefit everyone involved. With love and kindness, we can help each other through our grief journey and educate others along the way.