Grief Is A Bitch
Recently, I lost someone close to me. It was unexpected, traumatic, and one of the most horrible days of my life. I don’t say this as an attempt to garner sympathy, but rather a statement of facts.
I’m almost 30 years old, and though I have surely had people close to me pass away, this death hit me like a ton of bricks. It bitch slapped me. Dragged me under a tidal wave and kept my head submerged underwater while the waves continued to crash over me. I thought I had dealt with grief before, but clearly I was fucking wrong. This shit hurts. It’s distracting, stressful, frustrating, paralyzing, maddening, depressing, and a whole bunch of other things for which I don’t have words. Simply put, grief is a bitch.
A friend recently told me that grief is “allowing yourself to feel every emotion under the sun.” If that’s true, then I have felt everything since the passing of my dear friend. If I’m being honest, I’m still feeling everything. Depressed? Sure. There are random times when a song will play, and it will automatically make me think of him. Then, I’ll have an internal battle with that one thug tear that wants to fall out of my right eye. Agitated? Definitely.
There are plenty of unread text messages sitting in my inbox that I can’t bring myself to answer. Why won’t you all just leave me the fuck alone? You know I’m alive, and I just need some time to myself. Goodbye. Angry? FOR. SURE. I don’t understand why I have to go this job every single day. Don’t they understand that I just want to sit on my couch in a ball and cry? I don’t know why I’m here in the first fucking place. All of ya’ll are incompetent anyway. Anxious? Without a doubt. What if I forget his face, the way he laughed, or any of our numerous interactions together? I don’t want to forget those things. I can’t forget those things. Lord please don’t let me fucking forget him.
Don’t even get me started on the way that I’ve caught myself on the border of committing irrational behavior. Just the other day, I caught myself googling tattoo parlors and artists. I had to cut off the iPad before I grabbed my purse and walked out the door. For the past month, I’ve considered a bag of Pop Secret’s Homestyle Popcorn as my dinner. I didn’t have an appetite, but at least I ate something, right? Clothes are piled up on my floor, and I was in down to the period panties in my drawer. Yes, I had even used up all of the granny panties. I wasn’t prepared to deal with this! Nobody told me that grief will make you feel like you’re an ant in molasses.
Every step seems to take more energy than you really have, and though you know that you have a million things that you need to be doing, it’s really hard to force yourself to do them. You see, I’ve been learning how to grieve as I currently grieve, and as an A-Type, logical person, that shit does not compute for me. I need the instructions! But you see, there are no instructions. It’s one of those fucked up things that you learn through experience of the worst kind.
Everyone grieves in their own way, and over the last few weeks, I’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You just have to let your mind and soul do its own damn thing, and you have to monitor yourself to make sure that you’re not spiraling too far down. So, keeping all of those things in mind, I’ve recently started allowing myself to fully feel every emotion that comes with grief. Before, when my chest would tighten or my eyes would start to water, I would quickly shake my head in a ‘get yourself together, bitch’ motion. Now, I just let it to come over me. Sometimes it’s only for a few seconds, and sometimes it’s a few hours. We’re just gon’ be feeling up in this bitch!
I’ve also come to several realizations: First, and most importantly, I can’t change the past, no matter how many different scenarios I play out in my head while I lay awake in bed at night. What has happened, has happened. There’s nothing that I, or anyone else, could have done about it. Secondly, grief takes time. One of the hardest things I’ve had to struggle with is the fact that the emptiness I feel or any of my friend’s feel won’t go away overnight. It takes time, and that’s frustrating as shit. It would be so much easier if it was something that we could rush through in an effort to feel whole again. That’s not how it works. We have to feel, no matter how much we may not want to sometimes.
Third, it’s okay to brush off platitudes of “God has a bigger plan for this person” or “This was God’s will.” Honestly, folks can keep that shit to themselves, and it’s okay to politely tell them so, especially if it does not help with your healing. Fourth, talking is key. Yes, I’m speaking with someone professional about my feelings, but it’s important to talk to others about my friend.
We have to celebrate them for who they were when they were alive. That’s how we keep their memory alive, right?