Grief · 21 May 2016

Grief is a funny thing. Not funny, ha ha. But funny, strange. The strangest thing about grief is that it is different for everybody.

I wonder a lot about the grieving process. I know that somebody really just observed enough people to see that the steps through the process are really the same for everybody. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance are all part of what everybody goes through. Some people take longer to get through each step than others and may go through them at different times, but they usually go through each of them. Even so, I wonder about where the crying fits in.

When Dad died, I was not finished crying, but I thought I was not crying enough. My earthly father had just died and I felt like the world had come crashing down around me, but I never really sobbed uncontrollably or for long periods of time. True, I had been crying for months before it happened. Not truly knowing that the end was near but fearing for the worst. Now, I tear up when I see pictures of my dad. But still, I wondered and still wonder why I have not cried more. I will never forget my dad and I hope to keep the values he helped instill in me, but I wonder if I have moved on too quickly in my grieving process.

Mom wonders the opposite. She wonders when she will stop crying. When the hurt will subside. She said that the pain and emptiness will never truly go away, but she wonders why she is still crying. Sobbing because she misses the love of her life. All of us kids tell her it is okay. That the pain is a sign of life. That the empty feeling will subside even if it never goes away. And we tell her that we are still here. We need her and we love her. We know we cannot replace our dad, but we know we can love our mom and help her to heal. Help her through the painful grieving process.

The more I think about the process and the crying, I realize that I have gone through much of the process already. I do not like the fact that my dad is not here to give me a hug or advice or just a listening ear. I do not like that we do not get to spend time together anymore. At least not on this earth. But I realize that I might not be crying so much because I know my mom is crying so much. I can cry with her but I can also be strong for her. It is not a conscious thing. I am not stifling my tears. Mine are just fewer than hers.

When it comes right down to it, I know that I need not feel guilty that I am not shedding more tears. Nor should my mom feel silly thinking she has shed too many. We will always miss Dad, and the tears will come unbidden. That is just the way it is. Grief is just funny that way.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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