There is no right or wrong way to grieve, as long as you actually grieve. This last week plus since my stepfather Jack passed away, I have been noticing how people grieve, from myself to my children, from my mother, to friends and neighbors. Everyone has their “thing.” People have been asking how my kids are doing and I will tell you that they are thankfully doing ok. It was amazing to watch how they processed the news of Grandpa’s death differently. My oldest son is a well of emotion, and he’s not afraid to show it or share it. My middle son is the stoic one, offering a calm yet strong, broad shoulder to rest on. My youngest boy finds comfort in sharing and couldn’t wait to get to school the day after the funeral to tell everyone what had happened. I am finding comfort in writing, of course, but I also find it in tangible items. My stepdad hadn’t been moving around too well in the months before he passed, so a big, beautiful lounger had been purchased so he could sit comfortably or recline if necessary. When I would stop by for a visit, Jack, was in that chair. It was a reflex to look for Jack in the chair whenever I walked passed the library. Last week, I climbed in to that chair because it helped me feel close to him. It was big and soft and enveloping, and it made me feel sad yet safe all at the same time. However, others were not comforted by Jack’s chair, in fact, just the opposite. My mom, along with urging from many others, couldn’t wait to remove it because it served as too painful a memory. I understand that, and it’s a perfect example of how we all grieve differently. That chair will find a new home in my home, and in the process will help me grieve my way, and my mom, grieve her way.
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