What No One Tells You About Grief

Recently, I received the unfortunate news that my grandpa had passed away. In between crying and dealing with this huge loss, I realized a few things about grief. When a loved one dies, it’s awful. It’s terrible. A confusing mix of emotions that abate at a moments’ notice.

Here are some of those things:

1) Everyone reacts to bad news differently. You may cry or you may laugh hysterically. You may sob in front of people or in solitude. Whatever your emotional reaction, it does not mean that you don’t care.

2) If you have a loved one who doesn’t cry often, or if you yourself don’t cry often, those crying fits may be alarming or overwhelming. For me, one of the most difficult parts of this was seeing my father cry. It’s okay to take a second to breathe and let the emotions out. If you’re a person (like me) who can bottle things up, that’s also okay. Express it at your own pace.

3) You will have people ask you how that person died: were they in pain, was it sudden and so on. They will also ask “how are you holding up?” If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably say something along the lines of “I’m fine” or “I’m doing okay.” Whether it’s the truth, or you’re lying through your grief-stricken teeth, these types of answers will usually get people to leave you alone (if that’s what you want). Talk as much or a little as you want. If people judge you, pay them no mind. Your grief is yours and yours alone.

4) Along with people asking you questions, you will probably receive a fair amount of hugs and kisses. If you’re the type of person who is not comfortable with physical contact, let people know. In the same regard, if you crave hugs and kisses, tell people. In this heightened emotional state, being around people may be therapeutic; or you may revert back into your shell. If you’re an introvert like me, you may resort to hiding out upstairs on your phone, or reading a book until you feel comfortable enough to interact again.

5) If you’re craving distraction from the news/grief, you may find yourself wandering in and out of random stores or scanning aisles in the supermarket. Personally, I cleaned every room in my house and reorganized my bookshelves in alphabetical order by authors’ last name. To each their own. Find your comfort in ordinary things.

6) If you’re someone who eats when you are stressed (*raises hand*), you may feel hungry and completely full at the same time. I also recommend not eating a ton of junk food before a long plane ride. Otherwise, you may spend five hours of the flight wishing you hadn’t eaten that last lemon square. Even though it was delicious at the time, turbulence over the Rocky Mountains can change that feeling quickly.

7) You may go through the “5 Stages Of Grief” in a matter of minutes. For me, this included weeping at the sight of a beautiful tree, threatening to run fellow shoppers over with a grocery cart and quietly sitting in my room in silence. It led me to accept that death is a part of life while sitting in a diner eating breakfast. Take as much time as you need to process your emotions and your grief.

The main point of all of these observations is this: Your grief is valid and however/whenever you express that grief is completely up to you. Take some time to take care of yourself and the ones you love. Death may not be something you just get over within a day, it will take time.

 

 

Lukewarm Coffee & Cinnamon Rolls (or, How I Am Not An Adult Yet)

Happy Sunday!

I have some exciting news to share with you all. I am now officially 20 years old, as of this past Tuesday. My teenage years are finally over. My blog is almost two years old. I’m growing up. However, despite my adult status, I now feel anything but an adult.

In psychology, there is something called Terror Management Theory (TMT for short). Basically, what it means is that we (as humans) are constantly trying to avoid death, even though it is inevitable.

We put up defenses to avoid even thinking about death. We distance ourselves from animals, we distance ourselves from others, we do everything in our power to avoid death. This includes aging. Even though we can’t stop the aging process (despite our best efforts), we often try to make ourselves feel better by trying to look/act younger. We surgically enhance what we once had,cover ourselves with anti-aging beauty products, dress up in clothes that make us look younger, and we thrive on compliments such as “you look so young/pretty”. Parents cast their unfulfilled dreams onto their kids, they want the best for them, because it’s something they could never obtain.

It’s something we as humans do on a subconscious level, and I find it to be sad. I’m growing older, we all are, and now I’m grasping onto the last glimpses of childhood/my teenage years. I’m terrified of my future, and knowing that everyone else is too doesn’t help. One of my pet peeves is when someone tells me not to worry, to take it day-by-day, but then later asks me what my future will hold. Doing that just reminds me that my future is fast approaching, which means I’m getting closer to death. So please, don’t ask me that unless you want me to have an existential crisis.

I guess the only thing we can do is take it day by day, at least until we finally crack the Fountain of Youth (secretly, I’m hoping it’s a real object, because that would be awesome).

But for now, what were you scared of when you were 20? If you’re younger than 20, what are you scared of in your future?

Have a great day!
xxoo

Phenomenal Woman.

RIP Maya Angelou, thank you for your beautiful and inspiring words.

xxoo ❤

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Chapters 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399 : Death

Happy Wednesday! 

I know I just posted something a few minutes ago, but I really wanted to talk about something that happened to me today.

Today, my dad called me and informed that a close family friend had died. Technically, it was my “uncle’s” (he’s not related to me) mother. Even though they weren’t related, I did grow up knowing this person and spending time with her and her family. It was devastating to hear, and I can’t imagine how her family feels. Her grandsons are like brothers to me, and it pains me to hear their voices and hearing them sound so upset.

I want to comfort them in any way I can, but there’s only so much I can do to help. I wish I could physically care for them, but I’m stuck at school. I’m really at a loss for what to do…how do you deal with death, even if you know it’s inevitable. How do you help those who are affected, and how can you help them through this tough time?

What does death mean to you, and how do you cope with it?

Love you all!

xxoo

Chapters 192 & 193: Tragedies

Happy Monday!

For those who don’t know, there were several explosives that detonated during the Boston Marathon this afternoon, leaving numerous people injured, and several dead. People around the country have been offering their support and love, and personally, I wish I could do more to help. They need people to donate blood, and people around Boston are offering shelter and care for those who were affected.

It seems like tragedies bring out both the worst, and the best, in people. While it’s awful that someone decided to go ahead and injure all of these innocent people, the rallying of support and love is inspiring in many ways. Good vs. Bad has been a constant battle for years, and it shows the true spirit of humanity, and who we are as individuals, and who we are as a society.

Hope you all have a great, and safe, week!

Image xxoo