To be completely honest, I never wanted to do this. I have always been a private person and over the years that I have lost some of my closest loved ones, it never really occurred to me how important grief is. Grief, just like any other emotion serves an important purpose. That purpose, primarily being to cleanse one’s spirit of the sorrow, anger and utter chaos that goes on when someone dies. Most however, don’t see grief for the positive that it can bring to one’s life. Instead, many choose to hide from it. And instead of allowing grief to work the way it’s supposed to, many tend to stuff those emotions deep down for no one to see. The problem with this is that grief is messy. It’s not just messy, it’s stinky and sticky and, no matter what, it finds it’s way out in one way or another whether we choose to acknowledge this fact or not.
I have experienced a lot of grief over the short 27 years of my life. When I was 12, my sister died from a brain tumor at the age of 6 years old. When I was 17, one of my closest aunts passed away from ovarian cancer that spread to the stomach. When I was 24, the grandmother that helped raise me passed away from congestive heart failure. A few years later at the age of 26, my grandfather who helped raise me, passed away from dementia and heart problems. Last year, at 27 my mother passed away from her third bought with breast cancer. A week after she passed away, I found out I was pregnant. A month later, I went to the doctor for my first prenatal check up and found out that my baby’s expected arrival date would be two days after my mother’s birthday. How tremendously bittersweet!
So, if you could compare my experience with death to education you could say I have a doctorate in grief. And as a person with so much experience on this topic, I feel that I owe it to others who are struggling and dealing with many of the same issues to bear it all, so to speak. Death and grief can provide many lessons not only about life, but also about the human condition. There is beauty in death and grief, but these things can be easily missed if we are not vigilant and persistant enough to see the process through to the end. The reason for this is because most people simply don’t know how to handle death. Most people get uncomfortable at the mention of illness or death because of fear. Fear of the unknown; fear of their own immortality; fear of being alone; fear of all the sticky stuff that comes with grief.
I decided to start this blog out of this knowledge that grief is tough for anyone affected by it. Whether it is the person who lost the loved one, the person dying or the person who is supporting the one who is grieving. The good news is that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t just for the person who is dying. So this is the place to get sticky—-to get your hands dirty—to delve into the mess head-first and turn grief inside out.
Good News, Grief!