How Do We Grieve?

Where to begin? How do we even express how we are feeling or will feel? As I write this, tears run down my cheek. How do we face the fact that eventually, we will all have to experience loss?

A couple of weeks ago, Carrot sent me a link to the “Grief Video Blog” from the American Alpine Club, where different climbers express how they have experienced grief after losing a significant other. This is a topic that had crossed my mind for the longest time after I first found out about climbing and extreme sports. I once thought, “There is an inherent risk that comes with extreme activities and there needs to be an acceptance of this in order to delve into the discipline.” However, let’s be raw and honest, we will all die. Now I clearly understand that it is only natural and part of the cycle of life. We are not immortal and this means that no, we won’t live forever. When we had the opportunity to sit down with Lynn, I asked her: “How do you cope with the loss of several loved ones throughout your personal/professional life?” Her answer was confusing at the moment, yet wise and loving; she answered something along the lines of: “You learn to understand death.”

While going through Angela Vanwiemeersch’s testimonial, tears soon made an appearance and my sight quickly went blurry. She opened up about the struggle to cope with the death of her loved one and mentioned something that struck me. Three years after Scott’s death, Angela still tries to do as many of the things they did together because it is a way for her to be closer to him, to reconnect. This portion of her testimonial took me back to a moment in life where the anticipation of grief was more present than ever.

My grandmother, a 97-year-old woman, had a medical emergency not too long ago. Doctors thought she was in the verge of passing and, to be honest, so did we. This moment made us, or at least me, realize the fragility of life. My grandmother has always gone though strange medical emergencies and came out victorious. Thereafter, we have unconsciously assigned her an illusory quality of immortality. Oh, what a mistake! She came out victorious, but there was something different this time around.

My grandmother is now as fragile as her own life, and as much as I would like her to hold on to it, I understand that her time will come. This is when anticipated grief comes to play. How do we handle it? How do we cope? I have never lost someone, yet, whose life was so intertwined with mine. I must point out at this point, that this does not compare, in any means, to the loss experienced by the people in the Alpine’s video nor want it to be perceived that way. However, I guess that we -regardless of discipline-, are never ready to cope with the loss of a loved one.

I was sitting with my aunt talking about my grandma and her inevitable, eventual death. My aunt has devoted her life to my grandmother and does not know anything beyond that. Therefore, she confessed to me that she feels like a coward and is not ready to face what is ahead of her. After a long, sincere conversation, she concluded with these words, “It will be okay, because when you lose someone you love, you live from your memories.”

I won’t say that I am ready for loss, and I won’t say it won’t hurt or that it is okay. All I have to say, right now, is that I understand.

Beyond all, I am grateful for the memories.

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Gaia Cowriter theDIHEDRAL

 

 

20 Replies to “How Do We Grieve?”

  1. I have lost everyone in my family. At a certain point, knowing I was going to lose one, I started seeing it as more about my memories of them than about them. Strange evolution. I have chosen the moment when I would, without saying anything to them, have my last moment with them while they are still themselves. Not always, but when it’s possible. Other times I want to be with them at the end. These things have helped me live with the absence of those I love. When my dad died of MS everyone said, “It’s for the best.” It wasn’t for MY best, but yeah, for him? That’s when I learned that death is OK for the dead person, but sucky for those of us who miss them. ❤

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  2. Beautiful thoughts. Your post reminded me of something my college roommate’s mom told us when we were still in our teens: “You can’t anticipate emotion.” She was right. You will feel how you feel and it may be different than how someone else feels, but you will make it through. Blessings!

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  3. A beautiful post; thank you. When faced with loss, I’ve always found comfort in this quote attributed to Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

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    1. Nicely written. I feel like a poem my grandma had on her ice box in her kitchen in Spencer Iowa. The jist was spent time with me now. Give me flowers now. Don’t wait until I’m dust.’ I believe those we love not only make us better for loving us but travel with us always in my deepest corner of our heart tucked away safe.

      I was wondering since I went Premium today can you tell me of your logo.My spirit snimal is a whitewolf.This logi of yours has present of spirit.

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      1. This is great Val, thank you! For the logo, we used a outside graphic designer. She took what we were looking for and gave us several options, and this is the one that really felt right. If you want her info, I would be happy to pass it along. Just drop an email at thedihedral@gmail.com if you’re interested.

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  4. Thank you for your beautiful post. We can never truly know how we’ll react on the death of a loved one. Even if we think we’ve done everything to prepare for it, it still comes as a shock. Not quite how we imagine the end would come… It’s a process and a journey – sometimes we need to travel along the grieving path on our own, sometimes with trusted friends. We just have to pray for the right people at the right time to travel with us. X

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  5. I am so glad I took the time to read this post. I am currently going through this possibility with my sisters illness and my heart is heavy. It could still turn out fine but one never knows. We can only hope.

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  6. Well said! In retrospect, my mom had a beautiful and powerful death. She very nearly chose her death day. While timely and expected, that doesn’t mean I didn’t cry then and for some time after when I thought or spoke of it. While death is as much part of life as is birth, so grieving is as apt as joy.

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  7. Dealing with loss is never easy, and I don’t know if it gets any easier with time, but we can hope to cope well without feeling like we are letting the ones who have departed down. Good luck.

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  8. Coping with loss is difficult, no doubt about it. I lost 2 grandparents and their deaths were not unexpected since they both ended up in hospice, so at some point I knew that the inevitable was to come. I think what was harder during that time for me was losing them figurately in the process to their eventual death. I am so appreciative that I had the time I did with them but I am also grateful for the memories.

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  9. Ah this is where faith comes in for me. Everyone has to grapple here with what happens “after”. For me, I like to see life as a giant cosmic relay race. We just take the baton, do our best with the laps in front of us, and then pass it along to those behind when we are done. I believe our spirit, our essence, doesn’t die, but transitions into the next relay race where we begin again with new everything. Thanks for writing this! Peace to you.

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  10. First of all, thank you for writing this post. It was very touching and even provided me a moment of nostalgia as I thought back to my own maternal grandmother who passed earlier this year. Also, I want to thank you for liking our content at science-lion.com. We’re a young and growing company, so support like yours keeps us motivated to keep providing content! Thank you and keep up the great work!

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  11. First of all, thank you for writing this post. It provided me with a moment of nostalgia allowing me to think of my own maternal grandmother who passed earlier this year. God bless her soul.
    Secondly, thank you for liking our content at science-lion.com! We are a young group and continuously growing so your support keeps us motivated…we really appreciate it! Keep producing great content!

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  12. I look forward to a time when death will be no more. When hunans will leave forever as intended on earth. Psalm 37:9-11 Revelation 21:3-4.

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