Everyone Grieves Differently

Everyone Grieves Differently

It's OK not to cry.
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I'm going to be blunt here: everyone is going to die, and the people who loved them are going to have to deal with that loss whether they like it or not. Everyone expects you to either be a blubbering mess at worse or a morose, quiet energy at best, but these scenarios aren't actual realities for some people, and that's OK.

When my grandmother passed away two weeks ago, I was obviously very upset, but also surprisingly calm and still extremely positive. My parents warned me to brace myself for the wake and funeral later that week, especially because I had never lost someone I had been really close with before. I took in what they said and expected to be extremely emotional throughout the week, though I wasn't expecting the reality of my emotional life to be the exact opposite.

Of course I was more upset than I had been when other very distant, older relatives had died in the past, though I never really showed it. I didn't shed a single tear at the wake, and it shocked me. I mean, how could I not produce one tear over my dead grandmother, someone who I love with all my heart, but still hysterically sob over the ending of "Toy Story 3" no matter how many times I watch it? Sure, I cried a little bit at the funeral but not nearly as much as I had expected to. It got to a point where I asked myself, could I really be this heartless?

But just because I wasn't extremely emotional over the death of my grandmother doesn't mean that I'm a heartless person. The way a person grieves doesn't define their love, or even lack thereof, for the deceased, nor does it define their love for anyone or anything else in this world.

Emotions are extremely difficult to control, especially during huge life changes like death. How a person reacts to these situations isn't necessarily their fault. Some people, like me, hate showing negative emotions because doing so makes them feel weak and vulnerable, so they either consciously try their best to cover up those emotions in different ways or it just happens automatically. Other people either don't have a problem with this and don't mind wailing like a baby in public, or they are just so overcome with emotion that they can't help but sob uncontrollably.

Coping mechanisms also don't define how you feel over the death of someone. Because I hate feeling negative emotions, my coping mechanisms always involve things that make me extremely happy. I'll work out, learn the choreography in different dance videos, sing my favorite songs as I drive around town, watch funny movies, or just read a good book. Sometimes I'll do something boring, like cleaning my room, just because it gets my mind off of what happened. For some other people, their coping mechanisms may involve doing things that will force them to be reminded of what happened. I've seen people constantly look through old photos, make certain foods, and visit certain places--including the cemetery every day after the funeral--so they could think about the person they lost. For them, perhaps exposing themselves to these things so often would help them better cope with the fact that their loved one is gone, or perhaps they're scared they'd forget them and doing these things would ensure that they'll always have those memories.

Whatever the case may be, just know that everyone grieves differently. Even if it may not seem natural or satisfactory to you, accept that however a person may behave after they lose someone is often temporary and is helping them get through the pain. So instead of questioning their behavior, simply be there for them.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.

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I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.


Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.


The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.


When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.


My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.


I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.


I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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