Grief may make it hard to sleep, hard to function, hard to focus, hard to care about activities that used to bring you joy.
It is hard to feel so intensely for days, months, years, decades in a culture in which sad, angry, uncomfortable emotions are considered “negative,” and socially unacceptable.
It is hard to wake up wondering why you are still here when someone you love isn’t, and it is hard to pretend everything is fine, when it isn’t.
But what is the alternative to feeling? Closing up, pretending, being isolated in your grief, having your body protest later by becoming ill, having a breakdown, or becoming more depressed than you might have been before the loss?
Yes, grief is hard, but the alternative, not feeling, is much worse long term. And most of us are probably walking around with unexpressed grief over a loss of a child, sibling, friend, lover, spouse, parent, family, job, home, country, a sense of belonging, or even ourselves.
Please don’ t suffer in silence if you are grieving alone. There are people who are trained to help you through this long grueling process of becoming more human. There are therapists, support groups, death cafes, friends, hospice workers, and others who have been and still are in the process of grieving. If you are having a really hard time, tell someone, hopefully a kind person who will not judge.
You are not alone, even if it feels that way sometimes. And there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are still grieving years after a loss. We all are, even if we stop talking about it as much.
We do grieve differently though. Instead of being constantly overwhelming, that loving ache ultimately becomes a place we visit, rather than a flood that sweeps us away. And that old piercing pain reminds us of how much we love, how much we love.