This year has been a little heavy on me, grief-wise. My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year and passed away exactly one month back. After being a complete mess for the first few days after his passing, I tried to pull it together and deal with it as an adult (as all the adults around me were). Despite knowing of his diagnosis, we all thought we still had at least a few more years with him. Accepting his loss hasn’t been the easiest for me. And as much as I wish I knew how to deal with such loss, I don’t. This isn’t a guide on what to do but a guide on what not to do while dealing with grief.
How NOT to deal with grief –
- Immerse in work – the weeks after his passing, I totally immersed myself in work and kept myself so busy that I’d just get home and crash. Keeping myself busy meant I didn’t have to deal with the pain at all.
- Avoiding family – I put a little distance between myself and my family, just cause I didn’t want to see their pain or see that they were doing okay when I wasn’t.
- Binge eating – this has been my go-to way to deal with grief all my life and I found my way back to it over the last few weeks.
- Sleeping – I’d crash at 9PM after getting back from work and only wake up at 8AM the next day. I know this is a sign of depression but with winter setting in slowly, it was hugely comforting to just stay in bed.
- Not seeing a therapist – I just hate crying in front of people and I really really don’t want to cry in front of a therapist, so I just didn’t go for therapy.
- Feeling guilty when feeling happy – it is so weird but every time I felt happy, I felt guilty like I was betraying my grandfather. Every time I laughed, I’d stop mid-laugh cause I’d feel SO SO guilty for being even remotely happy so soon after his passing.
- Feeling guilty whenever I realized I hadn’t thought of him- If I suddenly remembered in the evening, that I hadn’t thought of my grandpa all day, I’d be racked with SO much guilt because it felt like I was forgetting him already.
These were some things I did that kind of helped me –
- Spending time with my siblings – My siblings are the only ones who can totally empathize with what I am going through. So the initial few days after, we all spent a lot of time together and just doing that felt good.
- Talking to him – (I can already feel a few eyeballs rolling) Just spending a few minutes every day just having a short mental conversation with him helps me feel better. Just cause he isn’t physically around, doesn’t mean I can’t hope that my thoughts can reach him.
- Change of scenery – My family and I just returned from a short trip. Just leaving the city lifted the omnious grief clouds that had been hovering over my head.
- Writing – Writing or just expressing grief is therapeutic.
- Crying – I let myself cry whenever I feel that dealing with the grief is too overwhelming.
These are some things I am going to try now –
- Working out – I really need to get back to working out and getting back into shape. I’ve put on 5 kgs in the last 2 months and need to get myself back into workout mode.
- Trying new forms of art/hobbies – I want to find new hobbies/art that can be therapeautic for me. I got a candle making set and I’m going to try making candles at home. It seems scientific enough to keep my mind busy and work enough to keep me occupied. (if you have any suggestions leave them below in the comments)
I know everyone deals with grief differently. The nine people in my family have been dealing with my grandfather’s passing in different ways. But knowing that you aren’t alone in dealing with your grief is comforting. If you are dealing with grief of any kind, sending you a warm hug and loads of healing wishes. If you have dealt with grief and loss, share your advice to help others who come across this post.
If you haven’t already, give my other recent posts a read-