Nobody ever told me grief never really went away.
Nobody ever told me losses rearrange who you are.
Nobody ever told me the you from before would be gone too.
Nobody ever told me grief is not just about death.
Nobody ever told me grief was not linear.
Nobody ever told me grief goes hand in hand with anxiety, exhaustion and brain fog.
Well, they may have told me but we never really discussed it enough for me to pay much attention.
Grief is defined as a deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.
The truth, however, is that there are very many different causes for grief:
- a long-distance move
- the loss of friends
- loss of a job
- changes in your health or that of a loved one
- changes in financial security
- serious injury
- and many more…
My own grief journey
Over the past two years, my family and I have had a very rough journey with grief. We have lost two fathers, a job and our financial security, made an international move (loss of friends, school, familiarity, home,…), and more I probably still have not realised.
To say, it has been rough is probably an understatement. I am slowly emerging from what would probably be described as the downturn part of the grief process. Yet, as grief is definitely not linear, who knows how the next stages will look like.
I have personally found that I share this need for my grief to be witnessed. But because I do not want my family to carry to burden of my own grief on top of theirs, I use writing as my outlet (amongst other things). Writing in a journal or on social media, writing has allowed me to acknowledge my feelings and take the sting out of them. It has also allowed me to connect with others who understand (even though grief is personal and we do not compare stories or feelings).
Every journey is personal. Every grieving process looks different.
Talking about grief
How is it in your culture? Is grief something that is openly discussed in everyday life?
Talking about grief is difficult in a world that wants us to just get over it.
By understanding grief more fully, we allow for more compassion and ultimately healing for us and others. To be human is to know grief. The more we name it, the more we understand it.
This is my prompt to talk about grief for you and me. Because grief is one more taboo subject we don’t talk enough about. Mental health matters.
Some resources I have found helpful:
- Unlocking Us Podcast, Brené Brown – with David Kessler
- Books for kids
- Dr Carolina Leaf’s work on mental health. You can find her on Instagram.
How to Avoid Unresolved Grief by Ute Limacher-Rieblod
When Loss and Miscarriage are Multicultural by Melissa Uchiyama
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