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-
17 Comments Add yours
Loved this 💗 Thanks for sharing.
I’m sorry for your loss. We as a family have experienced grief this year,too. Sending gentle hugs from afar.
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allow yourself to feel. there is no time limit on grief.
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Girl I don’t see one thing on this list that is bad or wrong. Loss is so painful and grief is so powerful, I’m really a fan of a person doing WHATEVER they need to do to get through it, even if that means overeating, crying in private, and sleeping a ton. I’m so sorry for your loss and for what you’re going through. You know I know the pain of it too so take comfort in knowing you are not alone. But hugs girl, you’ll get through this and be stronger and deeper and even more of a goddess than you already are 🌺❤️🩹
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Hugs. What a wonderful post! One of my friends called me almost every day after her grandma died this past May, imploding with more and more guilt over every little thing – should’ve spent more time together (but you’ve been living with her) – could’ve done more, could’ve been more, but now it’s too late. It still comes and goes in waves, and working through it as it comes, messy, lost, feeling inadequate and inferior and inept when you’re not just seems to be how it goes. My own grandma also died over three years ago. Whatever it means, I often have dreams about her, and in the dream, sometimes I see her when the rest of my family can’t, or I am surprised I can hug her, or she says something strange, that she is well-informed about how I have been feeling, things that I haven’t told anyone. The theme is always the same: she remains very heavily involved in our family somehow.
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I’m so sorry for your loss, Moksha, and glad you are finding helpful ways of handling your grief. When my father died, and two of my best friends, I did most of the things on both your lists. Talking to my father and my besties was especially helpful. Big hugs 💜
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I am sorry for your loss and appreciate this post because I can’t imagine even writing this was easy. This post sounds exactly what it is like to lose someone you loved dearly. Sending you and your family lots of love ❤
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Moksha, I’m not sure there are “bad” things when grieving. Everyone’s grief looks different. I remember crying loudly at my father’s funeral and my MIL shusshing me because I was disturbing the priest talking.
Everyone processes grief differently and shows their emotions differently. It’s going to be a process. There are going to be ups and downs. Just because you don’t display the same patterns as your family doesn’t mean you’re any less of an adult. You’re a deeply caring human. Your experience will be yours, alone, most likely. That’s okay.
You have also been working through other steps, employing tools you’ve learned along your journey. This is what is more important!
Blessings to you and your family during this difficult time.
There is no wrong way to grieve. It’s okay to feel what you feel and it’s okay to be lost and distant for a while. There are as many ways to grieve as there are people in this world ❤
It seems that you are going through natural grief feelings. I’ve experienced many of these same things. As a reasonably masculine guy, I get not wanting to cry in front of others, but I have gotten to the point where I realize no one will think less of me for what are normal feelings. It seems like many of the changes you’ve already made are great. I would encourage you to see a therapist to talk about your feelings, crying or not, though that is the same thing we do on our blogs.
You’ve got a right to be happy, so please don’t feel guilty about that. I know your grandpa would feel the same.
love your plan to help cope. Sending love!!1 💗
You’re right, everyone deals with grief differently and I think the thing to remember is to give yourself grace. For me, when I am dealing with grief or something extremely complex and complicated, I like to “unpack” it.. A lot of times it seems too overwhelming but I find when I unpack it (that could mean discussing the very thing that’s bothering me to someone impartial or to make a list of all the things I need to do that’s overwhelming and crossing it off one by one), it really helps me put one foot in front of the other. And when it seems too high of a mountain to climb, I then tell myself to get through one moment at a time… get through this minute, then get through the next… you do what you can, when you can and with what you have!
I’m so sorry for your loss and I send a lot of warm hugs and wishes your way. Changing your environment, even for just a bit can be a huge help in dealing with sadness and grief, so it’s great that you could go on a short trip. I don’t think everything that you did before was wrong, just that it was your personal way of dealing with the traumatic event at that moment, and now your body and soul just need something different. But I think it is amazing that you recognise what you need and what doesn’t serve you anymore as you go on your healing journey ❤️
❤ I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds difficult. Please make sure to show yourself compassion to grieve however you need to at that moment even if it's on your list of "how not to grieve". And there is nothing wrong with not accepting this loss. It is huge! And it's only been a short time. Eventually with time you will find how to live with the loss but that doesn't mean it goes away.
Also if you don't want to cry in front of a therapist, have you ever considered doing a therapy session over the phone? It offers you a little more privacy and allows you to cry in your own bed.
Losing a loved one is always difficult. Dealing with grief is the hardest feeling. I’m so sorry for your loss. May his soul rest in peace. I lost my grandfather earlier this year too. I’m glad that you didn’t fall down the rabbit hole of grief. It is so easy to let it consume you. Take care, Moksha. I’m glad that you were able to write about it and process your feelings. I know that this post will be helpful to a lot of people. Thank you for writing this post even as you work through your grief
So very sorry for your loss x