I published my second piece on The Fix last week about something that has always baffled me — this notion that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to grieve. Grief is such a personal journey, so why do people think it’s OK to tell others how to do it? These are the words I wish someone would have said to me 16 years ago.
As I’ve mentioned countless times on this very blog, I never understood this whole idea of grief-shaming until my father died. While his death was traumatic, hearing people tell me how I should grieve was just as traumatic. Please, please, don’t be that person!
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I also talked to a therapist who specializes in grief to get an expert’s take and advice…
I learned pretty quickly that talking about death on places like Facebook makes some people uncomfortable. We may be a society that lives our life online, but for all the sharing we do on social media, there’s still this stigma associated with posting about our grief and the loved ones we’ve lost. It feels like an unspoken rule of sorts: grieve in silence. Don’t talk about it.
But here’s the thing about grieving: You’re never going to please everyone. You’re never going to grieve the “right” way because there is no right way to grieve. That’s something that took me a while to learn and understand. At first, I was afraid of what people would think or how they would view my grieving process, which included writing about my father’s suicide regularly on my blog. I even began to feel as though I needed to hold myself back and not talk about it, but you know what? That wasn’t good for me. In fact, it stalled my grieving process, and that wasn’t healthy.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo