I may not be an expert on grief. But I’m becoming an expert on MY grief. What I’m learning is, don’t ever tell someone how to grieve nor judge them for the ways in they process their grief.
Until you have lived through what they have, you cannot even begin to share an opinion.
Grief is not just emotional, I’m learning this as i battle chronic tension migraines stemming from what I can only assume is unprocessed grief.
I work. A lot. I throw myself into everything (even if it doesn’t always seem that way) because I’d much rather be busy than be at home alone. If i didn’t keep myself busy, I’d probably never get out of bed. I lost my mother a year and a half ago, and I’d say I’m doing quite well, considering.
Yet there are days, weeks where I think about her every minute of every day, wishing and hoping for even just 5 minutes with her. So many little things trigger my grief and my longing for her to be here.
Most recently, the death of Kobe Bryant triggered me. I was working and my first table of the day announced it as they sat down, my hands instantly started to shake, I got chills up and down my body, and I had to step away to process it, and along with it the news of the entire helicopter full of people who lost their lives. Every single living family member of those lost, just started on their own personal journey of grief and I wish i couldn’t sympathize with them. I imagine that this and some other events I struggled to come to terms with last weekend were what triggered my current week long episode of migraines. Obviously i may very well have something else going on, but I don’t think it’s coincidental that other loss and emotions came right before my headaches. I don’t think we realize just how much trauma and grief affects us, and how much we hold on to in our bodies. I can feel myself in all the tenseness, the stiffness in my back and neck as I try to relax.
Physical manifestations of grief come through in many ways, obviously in the tears and the sadness; but also in the tight chest, the shaking convulsions of sobbing and screaming, the headaches etc. we don’t realize how hard grief hits us until we’re in the thick of it.
On the surface a person who is grieving is just like anyone else, but below it, they’re aching and longing for the person who left them. The person who‘s loss caused their physical and emotional anguish.