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Why It's Important to Talk About Grief

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C.S. Lewis once wrote, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” Having lost my dad when I was 15, I know Lewis has a point. Grief is scary; it can feel like it’s controlling our whole existence. It can be all-consuming, and it certainly doesn’t discriminate.

I find it somewhat perplexing that everyone we love and care about shows up to the funeral to honor the memory of our loved ones, yet too often only a select few are with us throughout the moments and days afterward. It seems to me that people rarely like to talk about grief. Too often, it feels like ripping a Band-Aid off a fresh wound. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if by talking about grief, others can feel a sense of togetherness and assurance that their emotions are just as valid as everyone else’s?

That’s why it’s important to talk about grief, as it is something everyone must endure and go through at some point throughout life. Speaking from experience, I felt a sense of numbness after my dad’s loss, followed by a sense of stinging remorse. All sorts of questions popped into my head, mostly dealing with how I spent my time with him and what I could have done differently. After a while, though, I realized I wanted to stop asking questions and start accepting. It might sounds strange, but after awhile, I finally figured out that nothing I could do or say would bring my dad back from the grave. He’s gone now, and that’s just reality. What matters, I’ve realized, is how effectively I use my time and live my life.

Every morning before I go to school, I stare into a picture of my dad smiling and look him in the eyes. I smile, too, now. I fondly remember the good times and choose to live my life to the fullest despite his absence. Some days that simply isn’t possible, but more often than not, I find myself smiling instead of crying, remembering instead of regretting, and loving instead of loathing. And isn’t that what’s important? Isn’t that what my dad would want? To not let his loss define me, but shape me into something greater?

There are days when I cry, but when I do, I reflect on the good memories and choose to be thankful for the time we had together.

Grief is scary, but like almost anything, it can be better when you have someone by your side.

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Thinkstock image by Qnita

Originally published: September 18, 2017
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