My fraternal grandmother is running out of time. She’s been dealing with a myriad of serious health conditions for well over a year now. She’s been incredibly strong, but there’s just no denying it at this point; she doesn’t have a lot of time left. If I’m very honest, it feels like nothing I say or do will ever be enough. But as painful as this all is, it isn’t my first time going through this kind of grief.
So much has been said and written about grief. There are people far more experienced than I am who have talked about it. There are hundreds of licensed psychologists who have written about it.
Yet since I have experienced it a few times more than most 20-somethings, processing grief has become something I’ve gotten a little bit better at. I’ve gone through six major losses where I significantly grieved and many more for family friends who I didn’t know well. It’s certainly not the most major losses, but each one is its own battle to endure the grief that comes with it.
Every time I’ve grieved, even when I’ve researched grief, I didn’t feel very comforted by the things I found.
They were factually useful, but when you’re deep in those early stages like denial, isolation, and bargaining, it’s hard to find comfort in logical, useful facts. Even when advice is actionable and useful, it takes a lot of mental effort when you’re lost in that despair to start acting.
That feeling is more or less what brought me to my computer to write about this. I don’t know if my experiences can help anyone else, but I feel like the personal essay is a place to discuss things like this. There are so many incredible therapists out there who can help with grief processing and the cognitive reconditioning that can go with overcoming a terrible depression brought on by grief. When grief is particularly bad, that is certainly the best route. But sometimes, we need a push to know why and when we need help.