How I learned to embrace sitting in my sadness as a step to grieve.
Everyone handles grieving differently and there is no way to tell someone how to sort out their feelings. But something I learned and want to share is that it’s okay to cry.
On Sunday, I received news that my grandpa passed away. We were very close and he helped take care of me when I was little. He was battling prostate cancer and to be 87 years old. Though his passing was to be expected and is for the best because he was in so much pain, it still sucks. It sucks knowing that I couldn’t see him one last time, even though I was planning to go home in a couple of weeks. It sucks knowing that I couldn’t properly say goodbye. But, that’s life.
Death is inevitably part of life and you can’t teach anyone the “right way” to grieve. I thought I had done my grieving on Sunday when I heard the news—it turns out I was wrong. I went to work and did not realize how many little things would affect me. I ended up breaking down and crying at work, and crying in public is something I hate doing. So I went home early to take time for myself. I sat in my sadness and allowed myself to cry freely. I texted my cousins and they were not as distraught as I was. I called my mom, who has been taking care of him this entire time, and she was working today. It made me think, “Am I too sensitive? Is there something wrong with me? Why am I not as strong as everyone else?”
What I learned is that everyone grieves differently. This is the second grandparent in my life that has passed away, and I had no idea how I’d deal with it this time around. I was 13 when my grandmother on my dad’s side passed away and leaned on my parents for emotional comfort. Now that I’m further away from home and living on my own, it was a test for me. And you know what I learned? It’s okay to cry.
Some people want to talk about their grief, some people don’t. Some people cry, some people bottle it up. Death is not easy to deal with, and all we can ever do is lean on people who offer their love and support and take it day by day. It’s okay to cry.