My grieving process

This has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I always wish I could talk about it, but whenever I do nothing comes up. This leads to guilt and shame which then causes me to not want to mention it again. I am choosing to write about this because it is time to not fear what I am feeling or not feeling.

My grandpa passed away this past June. I was one week into residential.

I knew, leaving for treatment, that this would be a possibility. My grandpa was sick for a long while. He nearly died from pneumonia 3 years ago, went to a rehab unit in a nursing home, then lived in senior apartments for just about 2 years. We were lucky to have that extra time with him. He started getting sicker in 2017 and ended up moving into the nursing home then. In some ways, I think he gave up hope once his independence was gone. I visited him at least once a week, even when I was in school. I remember hating it sometimes. I just wanted to relax, not spend 2 hours at his apartment or the nursing home watching him sleep. Now, I’m glad I had that time.

I was in session with my therapist when the house manager knocked on the door. She went outside to talk to her. I didn’t even have to hear the words “That was your dad. Your grandpa passed away this morning” to know what happened. I broke down and cried for a while. The girls and staff all were wonderful and took care of me that week. Every single staff member was made aware so that I was met with constant support. I needed that. God knew exactly where I should be when it happened. I was unable to fly home for the funeral, and I’m not (completely) ashamed to say that was the best decision too. Instead, my dad skyped me so I could watch it. He started the video when he was in a room with all of my family, which was harder to watch than the actual funeral. I was allowed a little bit of time after it ended. I cried for a bit, but then went back to the group, where I received more support.

I still have some guilt and shame from wanting to be away from my family, but now even my parents agree it was for the best. When I heard my mom say that, I was so thankful. It was like she released this cloud hanging over me.

Ever since then, the guilt and shame have multiplied. Unlike my mom, I don’t think about him all of the time. We have his cat living with us now and I don’t even correlate him with my grandpa. It doesn’t feel like he died, just that he’s completely gone. My mom has reacted much differently than me. She cries all of the time. The holidays were extremely different without him there. Almost every day he is brought up. It is her dad, so that makes more sense. She’s also been one to show her emotions relatively strongly. Sometimes I get so annoyed. I just want her to stop. I want a break from hearing about it. Does this make me a terrible person?

I have not cried at all since the funeral. I am void of feelings. There is just nothing when someone brings him up. I feel numb. It’s like he didn’t exist. Nothing phases me. It’s actually made it hard to even support my mom. 

I don’t get it. Why don’t I feel something, anything? Am I just abnormal? Cold? Wrong? I know that grieving is different for everyone with multiple stages, I just have a hard time accepting where I’m at. 

I’m not sure where to go from here. Should I work through my non-feelings? That seems almost ridiculous and definitely unnecessary. I do need to come out of this shame train (residential term). I know it only feeds into the eating disorder and depression. 

It feels good to put this out there. Talking about it means that I can (hopefully) make some change soon. It’s a step to being ready for that. 

8 thoughts on “My grieving process

  1. I have almost always reacted to death the same way that you are. While I occasionally feel some shame about it, I’ve given it quite a bit of thought and come to the conclusion that it has a lot to do with how I conceive of death. I think of death more as a natural consequence of life than a tragedy, and carrying on is a natural process that happens after someone has died. Or maybe I’m just a cold-hearted awful bitch. Regardless, I think there really shouldn’t be a “right” way to grieve, because we all cope in whatever way fits for us.

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  2. There’s no such thing as a “right” way to grieve. It just doesn’t exist. I’m glad you feel comfortable talking about it here and hopefully it will help work through some of your questions. It’s easier said than done, but I hope you don’t feel ashamed of your grievance process for too long or question it. Two minds aren’t alike 💜

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  3. i relate to this so so much. my grandmother passed away when i was in the hospital getting stabilized due to my eating disorder, and i carried so much of that shame too. my mum reacted much as yours did, and i reacted much as you did. and even though i beat myself up just as you are, questioning if i was some kind of unempathetic and stoney empty vessel, but i just want to reiterate what “braving mental illness” said. that we all grieve differently. and we all grieve in our own time. we are not wrong, we are just different. and we will come through in our own time. 💙

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