What is this site about? What is grief?
This is what I believe and what I want to talk about:
There are so many different kinds of grief. Until I became aware of this myself, I just assumed that grief was what you felt when somebody you loved died. It is, of course, but I have learned that death is only one route to grief, and there are many, many others.
It is these other routes which I want to explore in this blog. It isn’t really about death, in the traditional sense of the word. There are already many wonderful resources for those grieving following the death of a loved one, so I’m not going to follow that path. If you are interested in grief blogs which deal with death, try some of these:
Confessions of a funeral director https://www.calebwilde.com/
Child loss grief https://stillstandingmag.com/
Diary of a widower https://diaryofawidower.com/
Friend loss grief http://www.friendgrief.com/
Losing your parents http://www.losingyourparents.org/
Suicide and widowerhood http://justcarryonbreathing.blogspot.com/
However grief comes, whether it is a death or a loss of some other kind, I think the status is the same – it is a loss. The strength of feeling and the impact on your life can be the same, regardless of the nature of the loss. Each individual’s grief experience is unique and cannot be compared with others’ experiences. Grief cannot be measured or predicted. It has no prescribed phases, no end date, and no rules. It is simply a life-changing, identity-changing experience that is as inevitable as death itself. Nobody can avoid grief, and no-one is immune from it – it will come to us all. The only thing we can control is how we live with our grief.
The focus of this blog is on those ‘other’ kinds of grief that perhaps don’t get as much airtime as the grief that follows a death. I’m talking about invisible, intangible, and disenfranchised forms of grief (such as childlessness, extinction and climate breakdown grief, life-changing illness or injury, loss of one’s country, loss of culture or language, loss of home, loss of hopes and dreams). I believe that many of us are struggling with feelings of grief that we either don’t have words for or know how to share with those closest to us. There are few sources of support for these types of grief and I think that the more we bring them out into the open, and normalise them, the healthier we will be. Then it will be easier to understand our feelings and work our way through until we know how live with them – after all, grief is a life altering thing, so it takes a lot of work and time for us to adjust to our new selves and our new lives. These kinds of losses are often also losses of identity, so learning how to be a different person is part of the daunting work faced by grievers.
So, that’s what I’m going to talk about – some of this is quite personal to me and speaks from my own life experience. Some of it is observed and researched in order to bring it to light. I’d like to ponder what grief brings with it, as well as what may bring comfort and solace to those who are grieving.