And finally… Of grief

I’ve been both compelled and hesitant to pen this post for a long long time and today I decide I am ready.

I’ve been thinking about grief and my grief for a long time, and wondering how to better articulate it, transcend it. I struggle with it constantly. I wish I had answers and I wish I could imbue my experience with a kind of universality, to make this ugliness useful somehow, like sharing and reaching out in a support group setting. I do think to a certain extent that helps, but I also think everyone’s monster of grief rears a different head, and we each can only deal with our sadness our own way. So, I guess here’s my account.

I don’t think grief manifests in five discrete stages; one does not move upward on a ladder of recovery, unlocking achievements and gaining points with a system. For me, I thought I was fine for a long time before I realised how deeply affected I was by death, by loss.

I could still joke, laugh, love, feel good about myself, even in the immediate days after. There are some days I feel bulletproof. I think I’m a strong and independent person, and I think I’m ok. But then there are other days where I am lying, I am not ok, I am profoundly sad, and I feel the loss everywhere.

The days I dealt with paperwork were some of the worst. I don’t know what it was, the reminder? The remainder of a person’s life all wrapped up in handicapped bank accounts and laughable bureaucracy? But all I know is lashing out before I even realised to myself how angry I was, how angry I felt, my anger manifesting in stupid angry tears, and pointless angry actions.

It was only like four or five months later that I realised I wasn’t done grieving. That I was just sad through and through. I binge-watched shows to mask compulsion with emotional investment, and I let myself go in most of the ways people would normally hold themselves together. But mostly, I didn’t think about it. I stopped thinking about it.

It sounds almost tragic, but it wasn’t like that. There were great days, and I was truly cheered up by the shows I watched out of compulsion, by the conversations, the friends, the food, the beauty and life around me. These things really did make me happy. But I was still grieving. And I probably still am.

I definitely haven’t figured it all out yet.

I am of the belief that articulation transforms pain. I believe that when I force myself to describe things/emotions, to dress them with words, to categorise with labels, to pin down with signifiers, I will understand it better, and through understanding, I’ll know how to better deal with it. It’s not so much about release, but about reading it back to myself and seeing myself, both foreign and familiar.

So, I guess this is my way. It’s a good way, mostly. (:

I wish I would stop feeling sad, and I wonder if the more deaths/loss happens in a person’s life, the more the person will change. I don’t know, I certainly don’t hope so. Right now I feel a sense of heaviness, not even really sadness, but almost fatigue from carrying it around silently for so long. But I know in the next hour, I’m going to be home, I’m going to read a novel or watch an episode or laugh with my friends, and I’ll be better.

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