Everyone grieves in their own time and way, some more healthy than others, but all with the hope of the same outcome. I have experienced the loss of some extremely important people to me, and each loss I tend to grieve slightly different than the one before. I have had more then listed but these seemed to be the most impacting experiences for me personally. In no way making any more important than the other.
When I was 7 I experienced my first loss, my grandma, she passed away from cancer and I remember being slightly confused but also very very sad. Being so young I definitely grieved differently with this death than any other. Every time I see a dragonfly or cardinal I think of all the people I have lost. Dragonflies have a special meaning for my grandmother, at her funeral dragonflies were everywhere, hundreds of them.
My best friend growing up, we spent all summer together every summer, every weekend, vacation, literally any possible time we could we would be together. We knew each other from a very very young age and cheered together throughout our adolescence, never drifting apart, until her mom suddenly passed away when we were around 14/15.
Then everything changed, we used to do everything with our moms (they were best friends) and losing her mom was extremely hard on me. This wasn’t just from the loss of a very important person who played a huge role in my childhood years, but me and my best friend drifted apart and slowly stopped seeing each other all together.
A week after she turned 21 my best friend met her mom in heaven when she sadly and suddenly passed away. This loss was absolutely devastating to me. Some people may think that since we lost contact it shouldn’t have affected me, but that is what made it so hard on me. I should have made a better effort to not lose contact, I didn’t do enough to help help her. I couldn’t stop blaming myself.
Growing up we would talk about when we had children that they would be best friends “just like us and our moms!” And that we would each other’s maid of honors at each other’s weddings, obviously while arguing over who would get married first. We would talk about being our kids god mothers when we had kids and how we would spoil them. When I found out about this loss, I was completely shocked, sad, mad. I felt everything, guilty for not trying harder to not lose touch, sad for not trying to see her more or that it was my fault she got to this point. I didn’t get out of bed for months, I didn’t want to move I felt everything so strong and was so depressed over losing her. I was lucky enough to have a mutual friend who knew how close we were give me a monkey that was her so I can always have something that was hers and to hold if I need her. My daughter loves playing with it too which makes me smile so big.
Avoiding grief: there are many different ways people distract themselves from the pain of losing a loved one some of which may include:
- Overeating/not eating enough
- Domestic violence
- Drug/alcohol abuse
Stages of Grieving:
- Denial- this protects you from the overwhelming emotion, should not be confused with lack of caring or lack of emotion
- Anger- you could be angry at the deceased, feel guilty for being angry with deceased making more anger.
- Bargaining- thinking “what if..” or “I wish I could have…”. Thinking of what could have been instead of what is.
- Depression- the act of letting yourself feel the sadness that the loss left you with. It may feel overwhelming or like never ending sadness.
- Acceptance- this part takes the longest to reach. And it is accepting the loss and understanding that they are in a better place.
In recent weeks I have had two losses in my family and they had their impact on me. Each made me extremely sad, confused, and upset I hadn’t seen them more recent. Mixed emotions, but all very strong emotion. I will never forget the impact these important people had on my life and will forever miss each and every person I have lost and I’m lucky to have so many angels watching over me and sky👼