Grief, What’s It All About?

I lost my father, mother, and wife, all traumatic events. But, the grief was different in each case. Everyone grieves differently, for different reasons.

My different reactions to the three deaths:

My Dad’s death—I was fifteen years old. Of course I was shocked but I also felt abandoned. I needed my Dad at fifteen! I was angry that I had lost my adolescent guide. A selfish reaction of a kid!

My Mother’s death—I was thirty-two years old. I felt very sad that my mom was gone. I was now an orphan! But my mother was sick (diabetes complications), so it was merciful that she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

My Wife’s death—My wife was fifty-seven years old, so was I. She died of cancer and it took her quick. I felt it was so unfair because she was looking forward to retirement. I felt lots of anxiety about the future without my wife. Many things were left unsaid also. Guilt feelings overwhelmed me because I was still alive and she wasn’t.

But I did survive these sad times. Time is the healer!


One of the most interesting features of grief, which sets it off from other emotions, is that it’s not only appropriate but also obligatory!

It’s appropriate to grieve, in fact, if you lost someone close to you and didn’t grieve, people and yourself would wonder what’s wrong with you! It’s obligatory in the sense that it is something you ought to do, it is required by custom! You ought to feel the pain of the loss!

Anger and denial are also part of the grieving process. Emotions usually have to do with some sort of desire. But what is the desire in grief? What you want in grief is IMPOSSIBLE! It’s a strange emotion, this grief, because what you want is for the person who has died to come back!

Grief triggers off many thoughts, some pleasurable, such as thinking of you life with the deceased, some morbid!

Grief reminds us of our own mortality. This sparks off the fear of your own death. But the philosophers tell us, “Death is Nothing”. No pleasures and no experiences. These you had when you were alive.

So, it’s BIRTH—LIFE—DEATH. Enjoy and be creative and productive in between! So, we are NOT afraid of death, which is nothingness. We are afraid of the process of dying, which includes sickness, pain and degeneration. There is a social side to all of this also, you don’t want to leave family and friends.

But grief can have a joyful side too. It can be a celebration of the lost loved one, and also, a happiness at being ALIVE!

So, in the end, you do gain, in the sense that you appreciate the time you have been together and you appreciate what it is to be ALIVE!


7 thoughts on “Grief, What’s It All About?

  1. Now that I’m in my seventies, I finally appreciate my body even with all its old-age handicaps! I see too many friends suffering with dread diseases and getting death sentences from thier doctors. Seeing thier misery has made me accept my arthritis, my bad hearing, knees, hips, and tinnitis. And my skin cancers that chip away at my flesh. No, I’m here to complain about them and that is a gift.

  2. “A vale of tears” was my late father’s quote ….

    Lost him in ’79 ,found dead in his hotel …sadly,he never had time to visit our new home…Police officers knocked at the door ….

    He became v unbalanced after my mother’s death in ’74 …she was taken within a yr after a diagnosis of melanoma & a secondary on the brain…

    Almost lost a suicidal family member ….I found him in time after an overdose…

    At the time I was caring for my late husband { a victim of vascular dementia}

    Sink/swim ??

    Life has gone on for me ….{^_^}

  3. It’s brave of you to talk about your loss Dave. But for someone younger like me, you, Marla and the rest of the gang are an inspiration to the younger generations coming up. It’s passing the baton, infused with wisdom, kindness and compassion, not to mention the art crafted in your books.

    All of us have to die someday – but how many of us really live?

  4. What you wrote really rings true, Dave, in several categories. First, time is in fact the ultimate healer. Since the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s death on the seventh of June, it’s been easier to accept that he is gone and in a better place, and as a result, it’s been easier to accept certain circumstances following his early passing. This leads into the second, that grief certainly is an emotional process that’s analyzed by scientists and the common public alike. Third, death is not to be feared; I don’t fear it. However, how one comes to the end is an extremely frightening thing to consider because the possibilities are vast and unknown until the moment it happens. And fourth, which I believe is most important in grief, is that there is joy and life in death that needs to be recognized. My grandfather didn’t want a grand ceremony or gathering when he died; it wasn’t just because he wasn’t religious but because he didn’t want his loved ones to focus on the death. I know he was a man who wanted his family members to focus on his well lived life while meditating on their own. There are several other people I know who are like this, who want not a goodbye at the end but a hello and a grand party celebrating life; I am proud to say I’m one of those people.

  5. To Abby:
    Welcome to Writer Dave’s Blog. What a profound comment on grief. I can see you’re going to be a good reader for my thoughts and ideas. I have many articles and stories on the blog, just scroll down.
    Thank you, for your comment and I hope you remain loyal to my blog

  6. Thanks for sharing your views on grieve. When I have lost loved ones
    I realized that they were in a better place. As time passes on we have
    to believe they are looking down on you from heaven. I still communicate
    with them in heaven and my believe in god helps me to feel better.

  7. Death is the end. Life is the only part we have any control over. Your blog helps to sort out many thoughts and feelings. It gives an explanation of the unexplanable. You are a wise man David. Thank you for being you.

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