What is Grief?

Grief- deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death

I was blessed enough to grow up with every single one of my family members being happy, healthy, and all just a short walk away. Every one of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins live in the same neighborhood as me. The only time I ever had to visit the hospital was when my grandmother got knee replacement surgery. Even then she quickly recovered and was better than before.

I never knew I was so lucky until I heard friends in school talking about visiting their sick grandparents in the hospital or losing close relatives. When friends would lose a family member I didn’t always know what to say. I could listen and respond, but I had no way of relating or knowing what to do to make them feel better. I’ve watched friends cry as they describe their evening spent in a hospital room the night before, listening to a heart rate monitor beep while praying it wouldn’t stop. I felt bad not being able to help my friends, but I couldn’t grasp what that grief would feel like.

In December of the year 2015, I discovered I was expecting a child with my boyfriend of three years. At first, I was terrified. I was just a senior in high school, I couldn’t except I was going to be a mother. My boyfriend was equally worried. It was a mistake, but there was nothing we could do about it. After talking with the amazing women at Planned Parenthood, we both began to relax a little. My boyfriend and I both had good paying jobs, and families that would continue to love and support us, so I knew everything would turn out okay. We had decided together to wait to tell our parents, but we did share the pregnancy with a few close friends and siblings. Things were quickly beginning to feel exciting. We were talking about baby names and what sport he would play. (I wasn’t far enough along to know the gender, but I just knew he was a boy.) Even though things weren’t planned, it seemed like everything was going to work out perfectly. 
On February 8th, 2016, we lost him. I remember every single thing about that day. What I was wearing, what the weather was like outside. I will never forget it. I could never have guessed losing someone could hurt so bad. It was like nothing I had ever felt in my life. The first months were the worst. I began to distance myself from everyone I loved because I didn’t want to laugh or feel happy. I ended up losing 50 pounds rapidly because food just didn’t taste good to me. Life didn’t feel worth living.

I now know what grief feels like. Grief is crying yourself to sleep every night. Grief is your favorite food never tasting the same. Grief is waking up from a dream where you have him and realizing all over again that he’s gone. Grief is pulling over on the highway because you can’t see through your tears. Grief is unending.

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