I’ll probably have like 2 more posts that relate to grief and loss but in this one specifically, I’d like to share some things that I felt changed within me after experiencing loss and grief.
Inability to empathize with the loss of others ( there’s probably a better way to phrase this but it will make sense as you read below )
It’s interesting that a lot of people assume that if you have experienced loss you’re probably the one better placed to condole with someone. Well, this isn’t true because of so many different things. First, people are different and thus would appreciate different gestures. Second grief can be all-consuming leaving no room for you to be sensitive to others’ grief.
Whenever others around me experience loss, for instance, I may feel sympathy for them but I’m unable to empathize. It’s almost like my own loss was just too much for me that I have now lost sensitivity to anyone else’s. I attended a funeral sometime early this year and to be honest, every moment I was there, I was just remembering my own loss. It was almost like I was mourning again, not for the person being buried, but mourning my own loss. I was there in person because I knew my friend would appreciate my presence, but emotionally I had checked out.
To date, I am still not one to attend a burial. I truly would rather not. I probably don’t even reach out directly to anyone mourning because I cannot create room even in the slightest for their grief. It’s like a nerve in me is always triggered every time I hear news surrounding loss around me. Even worse if the cause of death is the same as that of the person I lost.
So what I do is just support them as best I can, from a distance; through a financial contribution or a prayer for them and that’s really it.
Less focus on the future ( because I now see how short life can be )
In comparison to before, I focus less on the future nowadays. I don’t like planning too far ahead because it’s been so etched in my mind that anything could happen anytime and to anyone. In a way, I equate planning for the future with forsaking my present which might just be all that I have. So if I am in a position to do something for myself now, it’s highly likely that I won’t think twice about it. I will do it now because tomorrow may never come.
More thoughts about death
This relates to the previous point.
I really just keep thinking about death. Sometimes I wake up and I literally cannot believe I’m still alive, especially after a deep sleep. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this but sometimes I wake up and feel like I literally came from a whole different world and took this huge breath of life to come back to this reality. This is then accompanied by a fast heart rate.
A week doesn’t pass without me having actively thought about the possibility that I could be living in my last moments. What if this is the last time I’m meeting this person? What if I don’t make it back home after this trip? It can be a lot for sure but it is my reality.
And to be honest, I was not like this until grief came into my life.