The right to grieve.

I’ve been on an unintentional blog hiatus. My deepest apologies; I haven’t had too much to write about until recently, but due to being overloaded with work and emotional obligations I’ve been too busy to post.

The past week and a half I have been forced to realize just how short life is because of the untimely passing of someone who was too young. You constantly hear that children are “supposed to” bury their parents, that it’s the “natural order” of things. It’s not something you think you’ll be doing at the ripe age of 23, however.

One of my best friends had to say goodbye to her mother less than two weeks ago, something that shocked all of us closest to her. Your parents are people that are supposed to be around forever, people that will always be there to answer your questions when you need them or to help you out when you need it. Losing one is something that shouldn’t happen until you’re older and have had years to appreciate them and all that they have done for you.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. I can’t even imagine what my friend and her family are going through right now, which is why I have been challenged, emotionally-speaking, the last week and a half. I have been grieving in my own way, feeling a little out-of-balance and upset. At first I was really conflicted. I didn’t believe I had the right to grieve. She wasn’t a family member of mine, she wasn’t close to me; sure I had met her several times, and I have several fond memories of her, but she wasn’t mine to grieve.

I expressed these feelings to one of my friends, to which she replied: “Sometimes I think we feel guilty for grieving, but everyone has the right to grieve.”

That made me think a bit.

Not only was I grieving for my friend and her family, I was grieving for myself. And I had/have the right to. Sure, she wasn’t my family; but she’s someone that had been a part of my life, even if for a brief time. It’s never easy losing anyone, no matter how big or small a role they played in your life. The right to grieve for the loss of a person is something everyone has, and something that no one should ever feel guilty about.

My grandmother has always been an advocate of taking responsibility for and power over your own emotions, and not allowing anyone else to tell you otherwise. I guess this is an area in which her advice really applies, and I should’ve listened to her sooner.

So, as a conclusion; I will allow myself to feel these emotions without feeling guilty about it. After all, feelings and emotions are part of what make us human, right? So, as a basic human right, it is something I will take responsibility for and power over, and I will not feel guilty for doing so. Everyone handles things differently in life; it’s up to you to decide how you want to think about, feel about or react to those circumstances.

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