Grief looks different…

Where would I be if I did not begin this post with a scene straight out of Grey’s Anatomy?..

“Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.Mark: It isn’t just death we have to grieve. It’s life. It’s loss. It’s change.

Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.

Izzie: That’s how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can’t breathe, that’s how you survive.

Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won’t feel this way. It won’t hurt this much.

Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.

Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.

Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can’t control it.

Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.

Callie: And let it go when we can.

Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again.

Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.

Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.

Alex: Denial.

Derek: Anger.

Bailey: Bargaining.

Lexie: Depression.

Richard: Acceptance.”
Something happens to your body, to your mind, when you lose someone. It is something internal that nobody else can see, but the toll it takes on your mind and body is undeniable.

You begin to see things differently. You see people in a different light. Sunsets look different. Flowers smell different. Food tastes different. The warm breeze on your skin feels different. 

You do not know the feeling until you know the feeling.

That brings me to my next point. What does grief look like? The picture of grief in my mind is a weeping woman dressed head to toe in a draping black scarf and veil. She is in a dark room, hidden in the corner, wailing. 

But that is not grief. 

Grief is like a giant slash across your belly that can be hidden by a shirt. No one has to know that you are wounded; you are not dying, but it hurts like hell nonetheless. Oftentimes we hide it on purpose because we do not want anyone to see us bleed. 

Grief is weird. Really weird. 

Grief is being ok, actually ok, and seeing someone in the grocery store who mentions the name of a friend who has been gone for a year and suddenly your eyes well up with years on aisle five. Grief is opening up a Coffeeshop and seeing a coffee mug with a blue butterfly painted on it and suddenly your chest feels right and it hurts to breathe for a few seconds. Grief is walking down the renovated hallway of your old high school and suddenly your head starts to spin. 

That is how it looks for me at least. For others it does resemble the wailing woman. For others it is a gallon of icecream and a pizza. For others it is staying late at work. For some it is never leaving the house again. 

Grief looks different on everyone. 

DABDA: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The abbreviation makes it seem like it is something final, where Acceptance is the goal and life will be normal again. I do not believe it works that way. DABDA is a cycle, a lifelong cycle. 

Grief looks different for everyone. 

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