An Elephant Named Grief

Grief. The mere mention of this word makes people uncomfortable. Most people feel empathy, but it's hard to talk about. When I’m with someone who knows about Keven’s death - it's like there’s an elephant in the room and its name is Grief. I see the looks on people’s faces and I end up trying to comfort them for feeling bad about my loss. Kinda crazy, but more often than not that's how it goes.

Solution:

We talk about grief more often, so it gets less awkward. Grief has been around since the beginning of time and will never go away so we’re behind in this country. Soon I’ll share what I’m learning about how other cultures deal with grief.

A quote from my favorite book on grief:

“Grief and loss happen to everyone. We’ve all felt misunderstood during times of great pain. We’ve also stood by, helpless, in the face of other people’s pain. We’ve all fumbled for words, knowing no words can ever make it right.”

~ Megan Devine, It’s Ok that you’re Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand

Grief isn't just about death and dying. Loss is what causes grief.

All types of loss:

  • Marriage

  • Job

  • Friendship

  • Home

  • Health

  • Ability to care for oneself

  • An opportunity

You can probably think of many more.

We all know traumatic losses are hard to talk about. If you lose someone to an illness can be tragic, losing someone to old age is expected. Losing someone to an accident, a drug overdose, murder or suicide is traumatic.

Suicide death is especially difficult because the person chose to end their life. This adds a whole new layer of emotions on top of the natural things felt due to grief. Guilt is number one, questioning yourself about what you could have done to stop the person (hint - the answer is “nothing” if the person was committed to doing it).

I’ll be exploring all of this more later. For now I just wanted to say, I am okay with talking about my grief. I need to talk about it, but mostly will be writing about it because of “the look”.

There’s this facial expression people get (similar to a deer in the headlights look) that shows me how uncomfortable most people are when I mention Keven’s death. This makes me feel guilty for talking about him - I’d like that to end not only for me, but for EVERYONE that has experienced any type of loss. It's not right that we need to feel more negative feelings than we already have.

But with all this said - I will talk about cheerful, positive things too! We are bombarded left and right all day long with all the tragedies of the world.

If you can relate to any of this, please leave me a comment! I love comments. Otherwise I feel like I’m talking to myself, something I would NEVER do (hahaha).