Your expression of grief is valid

I want to talk about this judgment we carry within us in the realm of grief. For some unknown reason, we really believe we are entitled to pass judgment on how someone grieves. This notion bothers me because I don’t understand why we feel we have any right to an opinion on anyone’s choices. (A constant 2020 theme!)

If someone is still posting pictures of their late parents 20 years later, who are we to pass judgment because of our own beliefs?

It seems like quietly going about your grief is revered but who said that that’s the only way to grieve?

Especially in 2020 in the age of COVID-19 where we don’t even get to embrace each other in loss.

I’ll never forget standing at my grandmother’s funeral crying from within the depths of myself and having no one to hold me.

And this lift on the bans, the borders opening up, and all the rest of it really doesn’t mean a thing to me because I lost someone fundamental to me because of this virus. Yes, she passed from COVID-19 because she was an elder with comorbidities.

She didn’t need that. And she didn’t deserve to not have the dignity that people deserve when they’ve lived an entire lifetime; when they’ve impacted more than just 16 people at a crematorium. And I’ve wished I could literally tell every single person how harsh it is to experience a visual, mental, and emotional trauma like that.

Well, I guess I am. I guess I am breaking this silence.

I am struggling.

This toxic attitude of “privacy is best” is simply a tool we’ve created to hide our truth because of judgment, in my opinion. When people express their feelings publicly it’s like this ugliness seeps in; this dismissive attitude that’s couched in someone else’s projection. But that’s not something that I can get with nor have I abided to in my life. I’ve embraced my truths and laid them bare because I know that so much more can come from being honest rather than hiding; so much humanity can be preserved.

I’ve felt so weighed down by the perception that I should be quiet when all I want to do is scream. And truthfully, all I’ve wanted to do was tell people how real this virus is and how harsh it is losing someone to it.

This was the first year in my whole life that I didn’t see my grandmother at all. And I didn’t get to see her when she was gone either because of COVID-19 protocol. Do you know how hard that is?

And yet, I’ve still received indication of how I should grieve.

How dare anyone tell another HOW they should grieve? Grief is personal and every lived experience matters. Whether or not you remember the person the way I do is irrelevant to my lived experience. Whether or not you are able to articulate your feelings has no bearing on the quantification of my pain BECAUSE I can write about it. Who said that while I write I don’t cry my eyes out and experience a catharsis I need for my own healing?

Who said sharing my pain won’t bring me the support and solace that I need?

I don’t hold a negative world view. I believe that people hold inherent humanity but that we are damaged by our unexpressed and unacknowledged pain. I believe that people who see others express themselves find empowerment to do the same in big and small ways. I believe that silence is nothing but destruction. I believe that a positive world view is maintained by putting things out into the universe in good faith and in return, you receive abundance.

So I will not stop sharing my happiness AND my sadness – because that’s what makes me ME.

This has no bearing on how anyone else should deal with their grief – but if you’re a person who cares to express your feelings, don’t feel shamed into silence.

I miss my grandparents terribly. They were a source of stability for me throughout my life, especially my grandmother. I leaned on her a lot. I went through so many ups and downs in my life and especially in my twenties and she was the only person who would bring the same energy consistently, despite my own fluctuating emotions.

When I lost my grandfather, I felt I had lost a person who was my motivator and driving force to achieve. This loss is completely different. It is like a foundation has gone. I feel like I am a different person now that they both are no longer here. And it’s scary to not feel that safety net anymore. It’s scary to know you once experienced unconditional belief in you and now it’s gone.

And it’s not like I can’t rebuild my foundation, or learn how to create one with others from the tools I’ve learned, but why should I pretend like it’s not hard for me to have lost that right now?

I’m so tired of having to pretend to hide in strength because of what society expects of grieving people.

“False dignity” – that’s what I’d like to call it.

This loss has also brought out a lot of fear in me. I’m terrified about losing my own parents and brother one day. It’s always been our unit that has had my back no matter what. And it’s inevitable. This loss is so deep because it’s like an unbelievable reality. A reality where I know that everyone who has molded me will someday not be here. And yes, I get that it’s something I need to accept – but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to digest right now? That pragmatism should trump my feelings?

We need to stop dictating how emotions should be handled. We need to stop minimising emotions in the context of life.

Pain is pain.