It’s dark. It can be lonely. It’s wide open space that seems non-navigable. We can continue to break this down, and I will, but first I want to introduce myself. I am a person in grief, and I always will be. This is important to note because this is a point I really want to drive home throughout this blog. People in grief will ALWAYS be in grief. They may find ways to live, to cope and to navigate their life without their loved one, but their grief will always be a piece of them, and that’s ok. I have been through multiple losses throughout my life. The losses that weighed most heavily on me came in all different forms and they all happened within eight years of one another during a very formative time in my life. These losses were difficult for me to process; I didn’t have the words and I didn’t have the coping skills to navigate these losses in a healthy way. I found myself in a constant place of darkness, searching for light but unable to find it.
My grandfather completed a suicide attempt while battling depression and grief of his own. A family friend that was like a second mother to me lost her life in a car accident. My very best friend throughout high school passed from a rare form of kidney disease and my older brother passed after battling leukemia. There were other losses during this time, but these were the losses that really affected and challenged me the most. Throughout the time I was experiencing my grief in relation to these losses, I was unaware how they were changing me. I resided in a very dark, very cold place; a galaxy of my own full of desperation and pain.
It’s taken me nine years since my brother’s passing to get up the courage to start this blog. It took me that long to process what I needed to in order to jump into this. I’m still doing the work and I think this is one of the biggest tricks to navigating grief is to continue learning from and understanding that our grief is always changing as we grow and evolve as individuals.
So grief is like a galaxy, but how? A galaxy is held together by gravity, gravity is one of the only constants we have in this life, much like loss. We cannot avoid loss. We will all experience loss at some point in our lives; some of us more and some of us less, some of us sooner and some of us later- but no matter what, it’s unavoidable. Unfortunately, many of us have difficulty with this. Being faced with not only our own mortality but the mortality of the ones we love. So it gets lonely, we don’t always know how to support those in grief and we move away instead of moving in, pushing those in grief further into outer space.
Grief is made up of many different components, just like a galaxy is made up of gas, dust and billions of stars, grief is similar in its complexity. When we think of grief or experience grief it can be overwhelming being hit with so many different emotions and challenges all at once. We have to learn how to navigate this complex space and identify the different components that are affecting us over time. The space of grief is massive and the journey through it is never ending, which is why the importance of recognizing where we are in the galaxy can be so significant. In addition to the complexities of a galaxy, they also come in all different shapes and sizes, but are difficult to compare because they are all so individual and different from the last one. This is another very important point I want to address; grief if so different in its size and form for each individual. It is so important that we don’t compare our grief or our process to anyone else’s. They are different and challenging in their own ways but they are all meaningful and worthy of validation.
Lastly, let’s talk about dark matter. Dark matter is the part of a galaxy that can’t be detected which, in my own opinion is so relatable to grief. There are so many moving parts and pieces to grief that some of it gets lost in the shuffle, invisible and undetectable not only to the people experiencing their grief but to those around them as well. This is such a big piece of the difficulty of processing grief, the things we can’t see and in turn are unable to feel or cope with. Although dark matter looks like there’s nothing there, scientists have found that dark matter contains things that just can’t be seen through traditional ways of looking at things in space, which is so similar to grief it’s scary. Sometimes we have to change the way we are looking at and interpreting our grief to see the things that are hidden. Dark matter is one of the biggest mysteries of science, and while we know a lot about grief there is still so much more to explore and learn. This blog will be a safe space for us all to explore and delve into the different spaces of grief to learn more about it and ourselves as we travel through our grief galaxy.
Thanks for joining me on my journey through my own galaxy, please subscribe or check back in for more!