No matter your religion, beliefs or culture, grief is something that is uncomprehandable and often all consuming. It seems impossible that someone who was there yesterday can just be…. gone. Grief is a very personal and often lonely journey. We all experience it very similar emotions but in a different way.
One of the ugly sides of grief is that it becomes competitive.
“I hurt more.”
“I knew them better, my pain is stronger, you couldn’t possibly understand.”
“You didn’t even like them, how dare you pretend you are sad.”
In our overwhelming pain it can seem wrong that someone else is hurting. It may be that they didn’t know them at all but it’s their first experience of death and they feel overwhelmed. It may be that they have experienced lots of death themselves and this loss is a reminder of everything they have been through. It maybe they once shared a conversation or even a look that was life changing in some way. It is not the same as your grief but it’s raw and painful all the same.
Because grief is so complex and we all have different beliefs, I find it useful to start from a common ground. I believe that regardless of what you believe about life after death, a person who has passed lives on in us. We wouldn’t be who we are today if they hadn’t been there. It might have been a small interaction with someone you barely knew, a smile that got you through a hard day or it may be that they raised you, imparted knowledge and life skills. Those memories are part of you, are yours and only yours.
The best thing we can do for our own wellbeing as well as others is to come together during grief and help each other keep moving, because the other bizarre truth of grief is that although it feels like your world stopped, after the tears and fog of grief subside you realise that the earth is still turning, your alarm will still go off and breakfast needs made. The one positive step we can all do is live… with your memories carrying forward the one who has gone.