Hey Kiddo!

Grief sucks and it is a thing I wish none of us have to go through.  Throughout the years I have gotten to know Death and Grieving like an old family acquaintance and these are 10 things I wish someone told me about grief and grieving.

1) It was okay that when I was talking about the person that died that I could talk about the things I hated about them just as much as the things I loved about them. That talking about the things I hated or were pet peeves was me remembering the whole person and was valid. I didn’t love them any less for remembering an annoying habit or a fight we had.

2) Grief is really complicated. Really, Really stupidly complicated. Just like living is really really complicated and being a person and loving someone. – I wish someone told me that it was okay to not know how I was feeling, or that I was okay one minute and not the next. Or I could be both angry and sad at the same time.

3) You will still miss them. Always. 5, 10, 50 years from now. Something might remind you of that person and they will still pop into your head.  A road trip you always talked about, graduation, a wedding, someone else’s death. It is also okay if you don’t.

4) Death and grief aren’t something we can solve or fix. A part of you might want to fix it and make the hurt go away and not feel it at all, it isn’t something that we can put a bandaid over. Grief, like love, is something that demands to be felt. Because we ultimately do love that person. It is an experience I wish that we would never have to go through, but we do, unfortunately.

5) You are a unique person and the relationship with your person is unique and different. You are going to grieve differently than a sibling, a cousin, a friend, a spouse. What made that person special to you is different from what made that person special to someone else and the way you express your pain and grief is valid.

6) You don’t need to walk on eggshells. Don’t squash your grief down because you think someone else’s grief is different than yours.

7) Sometimes the big people in our lives don’t tell us things because they want to keep our innocence about certain topics, death is one of them. It is okay to ask questions, it is okay to ask for the truth, but it also needs to be known that sometimes you might only get little grains of it. The truth may set you free and help with the process of healing, but it also may open doors that you aren’t ready to find out what is in them.

8) I have another blog where I remind widows that is it okay that we don’t know what we are doing and to ask for help, I wish someone told me the same thing when I was going through the process as a kid. Apart of me wanted to fix it, fix the giant hole in my heart and keep it under wraps under a smile that I hope showed that I was okay. Ask for help, talk to an adult you trust who will be able to get you the help that you need to heal: for some of you this means a parent, for some kids out there it means a trusted big person: a friend’s parent, an aunt, grandparent, foster parent, teacher, doctor, trusted person in your church. ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED!

9)  I lost my parents over 15 years ago and every so often mom will pop into my head “I would really want to talk to mom right now” or “mom will know what to say” and when that happens I do what I need to and talk. Don’t be afraid to have these conversations with your Significant Person the conversation might be one-sided, but you still might get the answers you need.

10) There is no right or wrong way to grieve –  There are healthy ways to grieve and that is what we want to achieve. Your Very Significant Person still loves you and doesn’t want you to be sick with grief. So, let’ strive for healthy.

**BONUS REMINDER** – YOU ARE LOVED BY A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT **

About 

Donna (they/them) is originally from Ontario Canada but now resides in Nova Scotia Canada. Donna met their husband David when they were 14. Literal best friends and completely inseparable, then that trope happened in rom-coms when they realized there was something more. Together Donna and David navigated life, love, and all the weirdness that comes with it (including a cat). They stumbled through, poverty, unemployment, interracial relationships, and Donna's queerness (and how that redefined things or did it?) and a mental health journey that always seemed ever-changing with nerdy humor that was unique and all them. In August 2018 Donna found David passed away in their bed early one morning, later they found out that there was no cause of death. Now Donna is still trying to navigate life, love, and weirdness all on their own with a little help from their friends, and a whole lot of coffee.