I lost my aunt this past week from COVID-19 complications. And, I am trying to explore the process of grieving. Asking myself questions like, is it ok to cry? Should I celebrate the life and legacy or mourn the lost? And even a bigger question- Why her?
There are some things we can never really prepare for in life. Even though it is apart of the cycle of life. Maybe, it’s the suddenness that comes with death, or perhaps we just want to hold on to the people we love for a bit longer.
Now, I’ve seen death face-to-face in a clinical setting. A patient that passes away after you’ve provided care is always heartbreaking. I sympathize with the family and cherish the interactions I had during the course of their care. However, quickly moving forward to lend a helping hand to another patient.
I recall one instance during clinical rotations, I was coupled up with a dying patient, and each day I was required to round on this patient. She lacked the ability to speak and was coming to the end of life. At that time during my training, I thought, how can this be helpful? Why am I not seeing a patient that I can learn about medicine, instead of a dying patient? Later, I realize this experience was one of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt.
Silence is Key. I have applied the idea of staying silent in many aspects of my life. It is during this time of quietness, I can reflect on my thoughts, hardships, joy, laughter and grief.
Too often, we focus on actively going through the process. Claiming each stage- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We count down the stages of grief, hoping that it will resolve our pain.
Let me tell you the truth, the loved ones we have lost will forever be missed. Years later, you will find yourself telling stories about their character and laughing at their jokes. Maybe, even cry tears of sadness. In those moments, I encourage you to stand still.
Do not allow the pressures from others to dictate how you grieve!
Take time to reflect on how you are feeling. When it becomes overwhelming, reach out to others for help. A great resource is speaking to a therapist once you are ready.
I encourage everyone to take the time they need to recover from their loss.
Just let me grieve.