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The Communal Aspect of Grief

Grief is parasitic. It attaches to our sides and eats at us until we are empty, hollow, broken, and alone. Once grief finds its way to consume every corner of our bodies, we find yourself doing actions we would not typically find ourselves doing, lost and motionless in a pool of agony. We see pain and do not know what the “right thing” to do is, so we step back and hide, when we need to be stepping forward and reaching out. Without providing constant support and comfort, we will all eventually drown under the waves of grief.

Grief is lonely. When going through an immense morning, isolation is drowning. Community is a necessary tool for healing. We all need people to see our pain and to be enough of a person to help us through the disaster. We need someone estimable enough to hold our hands and tell us that everything will be okay.

Grief is confusing. We must start recognizing the true and harsh realities of mentality. We must start recognizing how much we need one another mentally. Without one another, we all collapse. But even with one another, we are still currently collapsing. We do not know the extent of our need for each other. We do not know how much we must help. We see somebody struggling and adapt to the idea that feeling empathy is enough. The truth is that empathy is not enough.

Grief is complicated. As a society, we often see someone in the grieving process and our first feeling is empathy. We feel so sorry for that person and we sometimes carry the same pain they do. Humanity has a mindset that if we feel sorry for them, we are somehow helping them carry grief. But the reality is that is not enough. Empathy is only a pointless segway to more pain. We all need to subside our needs to feel empathetic and instead confront the need to feel supportive, accessible, and benevolent.

Grief is passionate. Queen Elizabeth II once said, “Greif is the price we pay for love.” While we can not experience grief unless we first experience love, the connection between grief and love is not only painful and valueless, but can also be beautiful and rewarding. You need to love somebody to mourn somebody, but love can also be with you after you mourn. If you find a person, who loves you enough, and who you love enough, to pull you out of the endless cycle of grief, then you are coming out of mourning with the same love you came in with. Love, like everything, has consequences, but it is how we choose to deal with those consequences that dictate the love we can share in the future.

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