Undo the Taboo: Erase 'Proper' Grief

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Proper Etiquette of Grief

I sat inside my mother’s dinning table less than a week after my dad’s passing. When i was sitting, determining his mail, anger was building and I had to release it somehow. Me punched down and a pen rolled a few inches away. “You're being childish,” she scolded.

Well, a child, plus an inner-child, did just lose her father.

I was in my late twenties, allowed to cry for my dad but otherwise likely to keep my body still. I had been to feign emotions. However in doing this, the multi-functioning systems within my entire makeup would know I was lying. I was depressed, stressed and frustrated. Feelings found an exit through me. Only at that degree of stress, my breathing was short, fast and unsteady. My head, inevitably, mirrored these actions.

Three months later I had moved into my first house. It had not been until that glass slipped from my hand within the 30-year-old sink which i realized three things. First, grief is not just about losing an individual but additionally about losing a place, or places. Second, grief over losing an individual manifests itself in unpredictable ways. And lastly, grief isn't perfect. The dropping from the glass was innocent but opened a portal to healing that I required to make extra space for.

Write Your Right Feelings

I'm normally familar with the idea of therapeutic writing but was long overdue to go to a clear page. After my incident at the sink, I knew it was time. The cup wanting out of my grasp symbolized which i needed to forget about my own grasp on grief. I possibly could only be in a lot control. I needed to produce the strain and frustration I felt between losing my father and leaving the house that was once his.

Around the same time frame, news broke how an orca was seen carrying the corpse of her newborn calf for several weeks. I noticed this mother was permitting me to undo the taboo on grief. I'd write about my honest, proper, improper, and illogical search for it. At my desk, I re-lived the way i spent my last days at my father's house. Behind the cleaning and emptying there, I cornered serious amounts of be around my emotions. It was proper but rawness also followed within my writing:

“My body traveled around rooms attempting to feel what he felt before leaving, imagine what he saw in his last glance in the bed. I studied the image holding itself in position between the mirror and also the dresser frame. It was a picture of me floating on a plastic orca within the pool. How ironic, now. What had the image of me growing up seen?”

I wrote, published, and read my first poem aloud before both life transitions. “Dream Catcher” was things i named it, after my father's tattoo. It describes the last physical interactions with my father's body. My warm cheek took comfort in the texture of his skin just as the whale took security in her calf's skin.

Rebel Against the Taboo

While reflecting, I realized that while giving myself space to grieve in the emptying house and seeking to understand everything, my emotions never exited through violence. I suppose in subconsciously feeling stuck and needing to be “proper” and just cry at certain times inside my mother's, that's where I felt the need to get out of my head: to slam or hit. I rebelled against pressure, but I'd prefer to rebel with words and tears.

While focusing on “Dream Catcher,” I kept hearing my mother's voice, my inner critic, say, “No, you won't want to write that. That's too morbid.”

Exactly! I thought. This is exactly what death is. That's why there can't be Proper Grief, a statue for a body! The body can't be banned or restricted to only showing ‘proper’ grief if this expresses itself in the way. Violence isn't the way to avoid it with grief, it's when grief is told to hide or perhaps be scheduled that violence strikes.

As strong as my belief in this was, hesitation still showed up before I performed “Dream Catcher” in an open mic night throughout the following season. Would the crowd see it as only “morbid” and “wrong,” too? But my fianc√© and finest friend were right there the entire time and were moved just as much as I was when i see clearly.

Luckily my support system demonstrated I had been being honest with my grief. A temper tantrum was not dragging me in the dinning table to the sink to the stage. I used to be giving space to my emotions and my body, as well as in being honest and open while sadness, compassion, and gratitude built up inside me.

Allow Yourself To Grieve Nevertheless, you Need To

Here, I'm handing you permission to express your grief. Write it, vocalize it nevertheless, you need to. And make certain to possess a support system with you as you do, whether it be a counselor, peer support, or else. Remember, violence isn't the way out so don't be in a place or situation that is not safe for you as well as your grief.