If you keep your grief bottled up, there are repercussions. You may become irritable, or explode at some nice serviceperson when they’re trying to be friendly. Down the road, your health may begin to suffer. Gone are the days when you were just supposed to “buck up” or “get over it.” People who tell you this are ignorant and insensitive, to say the least. And these people may be the exact reason you are not expressing your grief in a healthy and positive way.
Who can you trust to validate all the complex feelings you are experiencing during bereavement? The need for compassion, understanding, and validation is essential for healthy healing through the grieving process. A child who skins her knee looks to her parent to “see” her pain. Do we not look to see how many Likes we receive on Facebook posts?
Be sure to watch an excellent TEDx regarding this subject called “Against Grieving in Silence” by Rachel Stephenson. Her mom died when she was five. No family member knew how to comfort her or help her deal with her loss because they, too, were deep in grief. This impacted her entire life.
I encourage finding a form of expression—joining a support group or speaking to a good grief counselor who can walk alongside you on your journey without trying to “fix” you. Find that one friend who can give you the time to express your pain with empathy and without judgment.
Your grief must be expressed and validated.