Death comes in so many shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s quick and under extraordinarily tragic circumstances. Sometimes it’s slow, painful, and drawn out. In all the different ways death affects our lives, grief is the same. Grief is a beast unlike any other, and let me assure you, there is no wrong way to grieve. There is no wrong emotion to feel.
You will feel angry, like the universe stole something so precious from you while simultaneously ripping out a piece of your heart, leaving a gaping void that not even Duct Tape can fix. You will feel the most intense sadness rush in, attacking every happy thought, crushing them with Hulk hand fury. This sadness may last minutes, hours, days, or weeks. But hold on, because just as quickly as it began, it will end. Breathe.
You will feel nothing. Numb. Lifeless. The simple acts of feeding and dressing yourself should be commended.
Some days you will feel joy. You will remember the good times and wonderful memories you made. You will laugh at their quirks you miss most, like the annoying way they would leave only crumbs at the bottom of the Wheat Thins box, or how they insisted on singing along to every song in a Disney movie. You would trade anything to hear that slightly off-key harmony just one more time.
More often than you think, you will forget they are not here anymore. You will go about living your everyday life, need to ask them a question and as you pick up the phone to call… BAM! Reality punches you square in the jaw with epic force. The pain with rush in again, crippling you for a moment until your brain can negotiate with your heart and allow you back into the present.
The emotions and feelings you will experience are innumerable, but rest assured, you will get through each one. You will reconcile your pain and have more moments of peace. You will overcome your bitter sadness and experience joy. But you must never forget these feelings. Truly embracing your emotions is a powerful tool. Take and use them to allow yourself to keep living. And most importantly, never forget that the beast of grief has many faces. There is no wrong way to grieve.