Open letter to people who have lost someone and are grievingRashi Bhargava
I am Grief, a complex emotion which humans experience when they suffer a loss of loved ones. I am a natural reaction to loss, a stubborn and mercurial beast. When I hit, people find themselves paralyzed and removed from daily life. They struggle to carry on with daily tasks while saddled with their sense of loss.
I am not just a series of events, stages, or timelines. The world put pressure on us to get over the loss, to get through the grief. But remember, I am not linear. I have my lifespan unique to the griever. The grieving journey is like a roller coaster ride and unique. Please do not let anyone tell you to push to get over it or heal within a certain time. I will make you oscillate back and forth between all phases of anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. So, as you trip, move forward, and stop on the way to gather strength, be easy on your heart and be compassionate toward yourself.
There will be days when you will feel completely normal, and others when you struggle to get out of bed or stop the tears from flowing on and on without an explanation. Milestones, special events, will be major triggers. Feel the anger and tears. You have every right to do so in any way it feels right for you. It’s your journey and healing. Don’t suppress the feelings because they are powerful. They demand to be felt.
And for people who are supporting the grievers, please be mindful of what you say. What you say can scar someone going through a loss. Don’t tell them how to feel. They don’t want advice, nor they don’t want you to fix anything. Grief is a very personal experience and belongs entirely to the person experiencing it. You may believe that you would do things differently if it had happened to you. The grief belongs to the griever.
Sometimes, remaining silent and just being there is what is required. Phrases such as “Thank you for sharing”, “I am sorry you are going through this”, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help”, “What is on your mind or heart?” are a balm to a grieving soul. It will give them the confidence that they can come to you for support.
I am not a sign of weakness, neither I am a disorder or disease.
I am the price of love.
I am a healthy and fitting response to a loss.
I am a tribute to a loved one who has died.
I will never end. But will change.
Over a period, you will make some sense and order in the chaos, create a rhythm and routine that works. You will devise and develop your rituals and traditions to remember your loved one and continue their legacy. Just have patience and allow yourself time to feel me and experience everything good and bad.