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Grief lessons that no one talks about

It's been a decade since my grandfather passed away. Of all the people I have met, I have never met someone as upright as he was. He was and is my example to follow and fortunately I had the opportunity to live with him closely from the time I was a baby until his last day of life. He was diagnosed a few months before his departure with cancer, the diagnosis was given very late because the other organs were already affected.

They were the most difficult months and at the same time the most beautiful that I had, because I had the opportunity to see many of my relatives that I had not seen for years but, I was also touched by those times when I saw my grandfather full of pain and felt an impotence the size of the ocean.

He was like a second father to me. He sang to me, he took me to school, he bought me my sweets and favorite foods, he took me to the movies, to the park, to parties, I went to sleep to his and my grandmother's house on weekends and the moment I lost him - which was when I was 12 years old - I lost ground. I received all kinds of comments, many that made me feel worse and a few that were encouraging. There were people who were taking care of me and people who from then on decided to move away.

And despite not being the only one at home dealing with the loss of my grandfather, I noticed that each of us lived through our grief in different ways and although some hid it better than others, none of us could not get rid of the grief.

I have had some losses in my life, some surprisingly painful and some that hurt but never to a level that really felt like I was dying; This year, unfortunately, I lost my grandmother on my mother's side, my father's best friend and just a few days ago a great friend of mine. Even though one was already expected and the other two completely unexpected, they all hit me in some way and certain lessons that I had learned previously came back to me.


Grief is a process, not any kind of problem

I had to see some members of my family who believed that coping was for those who don't have the strength to continue. Just as I also came across with comments from certain people who believed that there was an adequate period of time to mourn and that at the end you should already be fine, and the truth is that it's not. Each person is going to take the time necessary to be able to move forward, nothing and no one has the permission to tell you that you are bad for being in mourning.

It takes time and patience

A duel is not something that we have been taught to live and that we know how to handle and control it without any problem. More when it comes to adapting our life and reality to the absence of the person we lost. The grieving process will probably bring out all that darkness within you and the people close to that person. Sometimes it will be in the moments that you least expect. In my mother's case, losing my grandmother has brought her a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes you see her very happy and other times you see her very sad, sometimes she gets angry out of nowhere, sometimes she laughs and we know it's not something we should take personally. It will take time, it will take fights, disagreements, despair, anger, among other things and we must be understanding with ourselves and with people who are grieving.

It feels like you're sick

Oh yes it definitely does! I am an emotional woman and it seems that my emotions are not friends with my organs, because whenever I'm dealing with some type of grief, I find myself with health issues, specifically in the stomach. The first days of mourning, I feel the famous flu symptoms and my head really hurts, I have sometimes felt congested. It's horrible, but to this day I know it's part of the process, part of the grief.

Mourning can change every day or even every second

The same day that my grandmother passed away, my mother was out of the country along with my sister and my father was working. It was just me and my brother going to the funeral home. At times we were very sad and we cried, other times we were with the family and laughed, there were times when we were silent and others that I personally just wanted to be alone or just talk to my boyfriend. They are days of all kinds of emotions, highs and lows, where the only thing left for us is to listen to the heart and let it be.

It will hit when you least expect

There are days when I am very happy, where everything seems to go according to plan and suddenly you find a memory, a smell or an experience that leads you to remember about them and it feels as if it was was happening again. A few days ago I was on my way to a place with my friends, when we drove next to the house where my grandmother lived and from one moment to another, my voice dropped and I wanted to cry. I couldn't help it and I dropped a few tears. Minutes later, I felt good again and that was it. On another occasion I was cleaning my computer and I found photos that we have with my dad's best friend and I also felt again a hole in his stomach and a lump in my throat.

Grieving doesn't always appears when someone has passed away

Today I'm talking to you about when people I cared about died, because some are recent and I really wanted to write this post based on that. However, I have lived other types of griefs such as a break up or losing a friendship, losing an object or job that had a lot of value, even breaking with old beliefs means a certain type of grief and everyone has their right to feel that kind of grief. Maybe in the same way or maybe some less than others, but that does not mean that they are bad or that they shouldn't be felt.

There's no time limit for grief

I know people who still find hard to assimilate a loss from many years ago and others who with a few months or a year were motivated to keep going. But just because someone else moved faster doesn't mean that you have to run to get to "feel good again." There is no such thing.

Just as some of us learned to run or speak before others, grief is completely different to everyone. You will know when you're ready to move forward and when to pause.

Feeling good in your period of grief isn't bad either

Sometimes we avoid laughing, making jokes, having a good time, especially in the first days after a loss. Personally, there are times when I have felt good and when I do, I feel guilty. As if there's a rule that says that you cannot be well if you are in mourning and that cannot be less true. Our emotions come and go and believe me, it will be better to allow them all out to contain yourself. Laughing or smiling makes you human and it's part of it too.

Break all your expectations of all the people that surrounds you

There will be people who will leave in the most difficult moments of our life such as losses and people who tell us the things we least want to hear... it really is a very difficult stage and the times that I have been in mourning, It's hard to find someone who says exactly what you want to hear because I for example didn't even know what I wanted to hear.

Unfortunately it all feels very turbulent and we will be faced with having to deal with the reality of who the people around us are. Many will listen to us and do everything to support us, while others will disappear and it is an important part of the grieving process.

It will change your life

Before losing my grandfather, I decided one day to approach him and ask him absolutely everything he knew about his ancestors and to tell me all his life story. I think it was the most precious memory I had with him. I can still remember the huge smile he had when he started narrating.

After he left, a family friend told us how she wrote a book with her grandmother about all the stories her grandmother lived and when she misses her, she starts reading her stories. It was at that moment that I decided to do the same. Ask my grandmothers all the stories that they could remember, to be able to have them as a legacy in me. I can say that it changed my life and I understood that in the blink of an eye, our life can change.

It was then when began to keep letters for myself, take more photographs, make all sorts of journals, I learned to touch lives because I think that's the best way to leave a legacy more than leaving tons of money.

There will be ups and downs, times of confusion and pain that you'll feel in every inch of your body, I can't lie to you, it's awful and you'll want to get rid of it. Just be aware that what you are feeling is part of life and it's natural and the toughest yet strongest way to learn very important life lessons.

If you are someone who is mourning a loss, I send you a big hug. And remember, give time to time.


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