Tag Archives: Grief

Hurting and Grieving

I can’t do anything right. I open a bag of pretzels and eat a few, then I can’t finish the bag. I open my journal and write a few lines but I can’t fill the rest of the page. I open my make-up bag and pick up and eyeliner but as soon as I attempt to apply it, I’m unable to do so. Other people might assume I’m distracted, but I am merely consumed with one thing, and it is grief.

It is raw grief, since I found out about my friend’s death a month ago. The grief in itself is debilitating; I can’t focus or go through my daily routines without messing something up.

I suppose I also feel guilt to some degree. I wonder why I feel happy sometimes and why it was my friend that passed away instead of anyone else. I wonder why he took his own life. I struggle with feeling like I haven’t done enough, that somehow, miraculously, I could have prevented his death by a phone-call from the other side of the US coast or told him about my own struggles with mean-spirited people in elementary school and high school. Hindsight isn’t helping, I know. It just serves a vicious cycle of guilt which feeds the grief monster.

There’s an awful cliche that goes something like this: Time heals everything.

The mourning process has just begun for me and honestly, there are days that I feel like I can’t function at all. I know the impact of the pain will gradually become less astute to a degree, but the loss will probably always hurt. And maybe it hurts because it is evidence of how much we love the ones who have gone out of our lives suddenly, abruptly.

I couldn’t sleep last night and  I thought that I would reread articles to help me gain closure. Wrong. At this point, everything is personal and the emotions are a roller coaster of grief, guilt, anger, darkness (yeah I know the last one isn’t an emotion but it might as well be). I braced myself by taking a few breaths then read the articles and became angry because some idiot reporter got the details wrong about my friend’s age and exactly how many family members he had. The articles were also maddeningly objective, and included the comments of school authorities that seemed like they wanted to take the blame off of themselves for any cases of bullying or students whose mental and emotional health they might have overlooked.

Here’s a blog post which about sums up my feelings towards the news reporting on my friend’s death, from a great resource for those of you grieving out there, by the way.

http://www.refugeingrief.com/2013/12/have-you-been-the-news-when-death-becomes-everybodys-business/#more-1137

I guess I’ll go back to trying to finish those pretzels now. Army of Me by Bjork is playing on my iPhone. Right on cue.


When you’re feeling down…

The Grieving Introvert and the Holidays: A Different Kind of Survival Guide

These days are especially hard when personal loss couples with that awful time of the year called Finals (which plagues all College students such as yours, truly).

A little more than a month ago, one of my friends passed away by taking his own life. I’m still recuperating with the loss since it is fresh, although this doesn’t mean it hurts any less for people who are mourning loved ones who have passed away a while ago. I’m truly sorry if you are reading this and you have lost a friend, a relative, a sibling, a parent, a lover. I mourn with you. Remember that people who might have left the earth never truly leave us; we honor their legacies by remembering them, loving them.

It takes more than words to truly express what my friend Steven was like, but I will still try because I know it will help me heal. I will remember Steven as someone who was truly beautiful. He was caring, insightful, and brave and always will be in my memory. He was 17 when he passed away, the same age as my younger brother. One of the questions I’m still struggling with is why?

Why did it happen? Why him? He was so young! Did he leave a note? Why didn’t I pick up on signs something was wrong?

I don’t know if those questions will ever be answered, but I know that by remembering Steven, by exploring my pain, by getting the resources I need, by talking, writing about loss, I will reach the place I need to be wherever that is. I don’t know what that looks like, however I attached a link to a Huffpost article and a few tips to survive the approaching Holiday season (once I get past Finals, ha). I will try to take time for myself (despite this crazy week) to reflect, slow down, and cry, all of which I need to do. There’s something I won’t do, however. I will never “let go” because those who have touched your lives, those who you have loved fiercely will never, and should never be forgotten.

We keep people alive by remembering them. In John 11 in the New Testament, Jesus weeps for Lazarus and then raises him from the dead. When I close my eyes, I can see Steven laughing, blissful as I have never seen before.

He is as happy and as alive as ever.


Champaign-Urbana Radical Reading Group

A monthly books and music club for people with an anti-authoritarian/anti-capitalist perspective. "Revolutions can, and often have, begun with reading." -Arundhati Roy

thenerdsofcolor

Pop Culture with a Different Perspective

KTLA

Los Angeles News and Video for Southern California

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

Love Harder

Women of Color Working It Out

The Crunk Feminist Collective

Where Crunk Meets Conscious and Feminism Meets Cool

andrea smith's blog

The 18 year plan to end global oppression

Spark: A Creative Anthology

Spark is a quarterly anthology accepting Poetry, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, and Creative Non-Fiction. We encourage both established and emerging talent.

Mission Bible Class

Free resources for sharing God's Word with children

BY JESSICA NGUYEN

blog + portfolio

Blooming Lotus

Journey to Recovery from Childhood Abuse

The Invisible Scar

raising awareness of emotional child abuse, its effects on adult survivors & the power of words on children

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

HelloBeautiful

Celebrity News & Style for Black Women