I was recently watching one of the million shows about murder. It was stated that one of the reasons the mother was found guilty of murdering her son was due to how she grieved. This is not first time I have heard that statement. When I was younger I might have judged someone based on how they grieved.  Then I experienced grief.  Grief is one of the most unexplained emotions.


   This particular show stated that because this mother laughed and sprayed silly string at her son’s grave she must have killed him. Silly string? It is confusing that the use of silly string is frowned upon. Somewhere along the way grief has become a spectator sport of sorts.  Grief is personal and society does not seem to want to except that. I have lost several people important people in my life and the grief from each time was completely different.


   Every community has its own tradition for the death of a loved one. These traditions are not for the dead. I have also learned that for some of the living they offer no comfort. People’s intentions are pure, loving and meant to be helpful. However, they rarely accomplish the act of comforting.  In the area I live in KFC is a tradition in the grieving process. There will never been less than three buckets of fried chicken brought over to the home. Food, lots of visitors and being asked a million times, ” how are you?”


   “Fucking miserable” apparently is not the answer they want to hear. It is the truth. So the answer is, ” I am making it.” There is also these horrible thing people say. They hug you and say, ” You will get through this.” Nope, nope nope. This is not a tunnel with a beginning and an end. It is a change in your life. The next thing that these huggers say is, ” You will get over this.”” Fuck off. Seriously. Get over the death of someone.  How do you get over not having something in your life?  For future reference simply tell the person you are sorry and/or care.


   Back to the grieving, there are many ways to grieve. Grieving has no time limit. Everyone is going to grieve differently. There are several stages of grieving. The thing most people do not get is that these stages repeat and are not just a check list. As I mentioned before I have lost many loved ones and have dealt with all of their loses differently.   I can not say that I would not spray silly string at the graveside of a friend. I may not understand the choice of others in their grief, but I do not expect anyone to understand mine.


   One of my losses was the death of my brother. I got to spend 18 years with him and then it was over.  A few years after he passed I was sitting next to a friend who lost his brother. He asked me if it gets better. I could not lie. I told him it does not get better, but you come to slowly except the change in your life.  The only way I have been able to explain to anyone who has not lost a sibling is 1+1= 1.   Confusing. Yep, it still confuses me that I have/had a sibling.


   I have started and restarted this rant several times. I was not sure what message I wanted to get out there. I am still not. Maybe it is because I get to re grieve often.  I am a very vocal person.  I am a passionate person and will make my opinion known. For some reason being vocal is always proceeded with the following statement, ” I can tell you are an only child. Your parents gave you all the attention.” Why yes they did and no I was not an only child.  Then when in general conversation someone ask if you have any siblings, 99% of the time I say no. If I say yes then I have to explain and then I get looks and sorry hugs and blah blah blah. The worst is running into people he went to high school or college with that did not know he passed. They ask how he is doing and I get to say that he passed away. Barf. Yes, I barf a little and my heart hurts all over again.


   Buckets of chicken are always welcome. Support the idea of tattoos. Hug your friend. Sit on the couch with the person and look through old photos. DO NOT TELL anyone how to grieve. Remember that even though years may go by that if the right song comes on the radio or they see something that jogs a memory they will grieve again.  Grief is very personal, it should be that way. Grief should not be someone’s identity. There is life going on still. Loss of loved ones is a hard thing to process. One has to completely change how they live because someone is no longer there. However , I guess my point is functioning as an adult is hard enough just waking up and being productive every day. There is no need for us as humans to make anyone else life harder. Love your friends. Love your family. If someone is not a positive addition to your life let them go. Take charge of your life and make the most of it.


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