Somebody once said something along the lines of, “It is better to have loved and lost, rather have never loved”. I believe strongly in this statement, as we would never have realised how much someone or something meant to us until it is gone. This post will examine a few different aspects of the subject of grief.
I still remember the first time I experienced grief and loss. I was in the week before my final exams in my last year of high school and I was just about to attend a maths tutorial class when I got the phone call. My mother had found my dog, ‘Coffee’ lying on the ground and vomiting in the morning. They rushed to take him to the emergency vet and hopefully they would be able to save him. A few hours later, after the class had finished, I received a text message…Coffee had to be put down, the snail poison he had accidentally ingested had gone throughout his whole body, and there was nothing they could do about it. I took the bus home, and while walking towards my home…the reality became clearer and clearer…he was gone…he really was gone… There would be no one waiting for me when I get home…no one to accompany me on my walks around the neighbourhood…no one to hug and talk to. As I walked into the backyard where his body lay in a box, I broke down in tears and overwhelming sadness washed over me. I didn’t know what true grief was until that day…so many feelings washed over me…Regret. Why hadn’t I gone with them to the vet? I could have caught a taxi…who cares about how much it costs? Money cannot turn back time. Why did I care so much about attending some stupid course that probably won’t be beneficial at all…especially since all I could think of was of Coffee during that time. I questioned myself, did I ever get to say ” I love you” to my dog and appreciate him for all he did for me? All the times we spent together…my first-ever best-friend.
In saying that, after the passing of my beloved dog, who had been part of my family for over a decade of my life…I did fall into some sort of depression, (not that I knew what that was back then)…I did not feel like studying, could not concentrate on whatever I did, and I would tear up when the feelings of grief became so strong that it overwhelmed me. Even now, writing this blog makes me relive those feelings of sadness to me. Grief makes you afraid to love again, because the fear of losing a loved one again is one that is hard to forget, no matter how hard you try.
Grief is a powerful and overwhelming feeling, it is not pleasant, but it is somehow necessary to teach us to appreciate what we have. It is an inevitable part of life, unfortunately. However, prolonged grief can, unfortunately, lead to mental illnesses like depression.
Can you remember the first time you felt grief?