1: How do you explain grief?

Grief is the feeling of processing something surreal and gut wrenching.

Your emotional state becomes a complete physical feeling, like someone is pulling at me, tearing me apart from the inside.

All your muscles tense and there is this force pulling you away from yourself.

2: How do you live with that feeling?

One way is to try and ignore it, which prolongs the process.  But who even knows how long the process of grieving is, or if it is a process at all, maybe it’s just something we live with.

I have tried not thinking about it, by immersing myself in work, in normal life.  Other things happen in life and that pushes it down a bit.

You just become use to the feeling.

And then on the flip side, I have sat with grief; listened to songs that I knew were going to make me feel worse, kind of like a vehicle for it in a way.

3: What kind of animal would grief be?

A wolf.

It works in the darkness and howls when you least expect it. You feel it and then it goes away.

A wolf’s howls are startling but also beautiful.

4: If you could, what would you say to that wolf?

It’s okay. You don’t need to howl. You can live with me all of the time.

That feeling doesn’t need to burst out, it can be there. It’s living. It’s a part of what life is.

We are blessed to feel grief, even though it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.

It’s just a matter of acknowledging it and saying, ‘Hey, it’s okay.’

5: How does our society handle grief?

We’re always about reaching for what makes us feel good.

It’s so crazy, everyone just wants the unpleasantness out so we can get back to being happy.

It’s really f*cking sad.

We don’t acknowledge hurt and pain; the unpleasant feelings that make us what we are, which is human.

Loss is something that everybody goes through, yet people in our culture still feel that their grief is taboo, ‘time to move on,’ ‘time to get over it.’

Honestly, it’s institutional. We treat funerals and wakes as things to do so we can get back to being normal again.

But it’s not that easy. It’s a very complicated thing.

People feel like they have to hide it, which is sad because it’s 50% of what makes us human.

6: What has grief given you?

If I didn’t have grief in my life, I honestly don’t think I would have looked inside myself as much as I have, and I wouldn’t have developed as a person as much as I have.

We want to heal, we want to get better, but to do that we have to look at it directly, and that means within ourselves, and doing that makes us grow.

Without grief, without feeling that pain, that wouldn’t happen.

Grief has really made me grow as a person.

Grief has opened me up to people who are the same as me, which has given me more support for who I really am in life. Which has made me feel okay with who I really am.

Grief forces you to be okay with who you truly are.

It forces you to be human.  You are human.  Be okay with that.