Grief defined is: "keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret" (www.dictionary.com). Grief even comes with 5 stages: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression and 5. Acceptance. Does it happen in this order? Is grief so textbook we've forgotten how to grieve? With social media being so prevalent in our daily lives, people have become fearful to grieve out of fear of judgement. To appear weak, emotional, and human is unheard of these days. Let's be honest, behind those screens we are all looking for something. Whether it's validation, happiness, companionship, or friendship; we are all seeking something. My question is: When did grief become a comparison to being accepted?
Recently, I lost my younger brother; suddenly and unexpectedly. For the initial couple days, i was in complete denial of what happened. Not me, not my family. I became angry about everything which resulted in me lashing out on my kids for no apparent reason, to them. I was hurt and could funnel my hurt because I have kids to take care of, a career to perform well in, and a household to manage. An unexpected support came out of nowhere and offered me the opportunity to cry, to be angry, to ask questions, and to grieve. The day of the funeral felt surreal. I see my brother beautifully dressed and looking at complete peace when I noticed a single red rose petal hit the floor as the casket was closing. For me, that was my brother letting me know he is always here with me. Grief looks different to everyone. Our feelings are not defined by a dictionary definition or what is accepted by social media. Feel it, sit in it, cry it out, write, talk, scream, listen to music, dance. Do whatever makes you feel a sense of joy before you experienced grief. Grief happens, but it is not who you are.