What Does Grief Look Like?

My daughter posted this on her Facebook yesterday:

Grief looks like… not wanting to change your Facebook profile picture, because you feel guilty for wanting to put up something different. Grief looks like… being sad every time your toddler asks to see GiGi, but dreading the day he no longer does because it will mean he forgot her.

It spawned a few comments and got me thinking about what grief looks like is very individual and unique for each of us. We also may have some ways in which it looks the same.

So this is what grief has looked like so far for me:

  • Like my daughter, guilt for changing my Facebook profile photo from one of me and mom to one of just me.
  • Anxiety when going to the mailbox because seeing things in it for her is painful, but knowing one day all those things will stop and it will be sad because that will mean the rest of the world has forgotten her.
  • Guilt for removing her from your phone including the last texts because they are just too hard to see and weren’t sentimental or anything, just caused pain.
  • Asking my niece to remove her from the Diva Dens Life360 because when we would pull it up it says Mom is at home. But of course she is not 😦
  • In the beginning going for days without any desire to eat, in fact completely forgetting too. No appetite and no hunger but having to force yourself to eat something so you don’t drop over.
  • Guilt for packing up her things to be donated to charity, or stored if it was photos or other sentimental items rather than leaving her closet, dresser and desk just as it was before she died because that is not a benefit to anyone to leave it like a shrine. She wouldn’t want that either.
  • Sadness over the cards and notes that come at first, then sadness when they stop because others have moved on and you are still trying to figure out life without her.
  • Having something happen and wanting to share it with mom only to remember she isn’t there anymore and you have no one to share the thought with now because only she’d really appreciate the value.
  • The first time you are able to walk into the bathroom past the spot she died…and you realize later you didn’t think “this is where mom died” like you have every other time, so you feel guilty that you forgot to have that thought.
  • Avoiding the grocery store because that was where you were when you learned EMS was in route to your apartment because she collapsed and wasn’t breathing and you knew in your soul she was gone and wouldn’t “be right here” when you got back as she had said she would.
  • Finding yourself eating when you aren’t hungry now just for the comfort of chewing something because it means you are alive.
  • Freaking out because for a moment you cannot remember the sound of her voice.
  • Realizing you just drove through a red light or stop sign because you are on auto pilot in a numb funk where your heart is protected and you don’t think much so that you don’t go down memory lane.
  • Requesting and listening to the 911 call your niece made when she found mom, because you needed to know every detail available in order to start healing.
  • Reading the same page in a book 10 times and not getting a single thing to process in your brain.
  • Staring at the rug or wall for a solid hour and not even realizing it.

These are just a few of the ways grief has been visible in my life the past 4 weeks.

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