To Grieve or To Mourn

migraineWith the sudden passing of one of the best friends two years ago, I have come to find that there is no right or wrong way to grieve or mourn. There is no appropriate set amount of time. There is no reason to tell anyone or to not tell everyone. How ever someone decides to cope with the sense of loss within their lives is entirely up to the individual. The thought of another anniversary of that day has brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind because even two years later, I still grieve and mourn for the loss of my friend.

While in the throes of my mourning, I started to contemplate what grieving versus mourning really meant. Obviously, loss, sadness, emotional and mental suffering with possible physical pain, but I started to think of their actual definition and wondered if there was a significant difference in the two. What do you know? There is.

Dictionary.com says, “Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one’s aspect: to grieve over the loss (or death) of a friend. Mourn usually refers to manifesting sorrow outwardly, either with or without sincerity: to mourn publicly and wear black.”

So, I did what made sense to me. I categorized myself into a group based on the way I deal with the loss of my friend. I believe there are three types of people when it comes to feelings of loss. These types are points on a line spectrum, so there are those who may lean a little from the main point, but I’m sure most can find themselves closer to one point than another.

Boisterous Wailers

These are people who weep loudly for all to hear. They don’t care who is around, or where they are. When the mood strikes them, they will belt out their frustration with whatever sorrow has found them and force whoever or whatever is around them to feel and look the same. They throw things. They scream and curse everyone. These are the types of people who refuse to go through their pain alone, so the world will hear them during their pain.

Silent Sufferers

We all know these types of people. They are the kind who refuse to let anyone in during a time of loss. They push everyone away and insist they are dealing with their suffering when in reality, it weighs on them every moment of every day as they make their way silently through their new world of loss. You may never see these people act out, let alone discuss it. They see the world as full of pain, so why would anyone want to hear about theirs.

Hybrid Comfort Finders

I like to think I have developed a sense of the middle ground between the two aforementioned types of individuals. There are days where I just try to make it through, and there are days where I need help. There are days where I hope the neighbors don’t come to check on me and days where I can smile regardless of my heart breaking. All the days in between, the ones where I don’t believe I lean from this center ground, I find comfort in the beauty of my life. I hug my husband and daughter a little tighter. I eat an extra piece of chocolate, or watch a favorite movie. I find the things that make me happy, and for those few moments, the pain isn’t so heavy, and the world isn’t as dark.

Grieving, mourning; it’s all the same sense of loss. It’s how you make it through the day that matters.

Growing Up Is Hard, But I Had You.

Growing up is hard. In elementary school, I had more friends than I knew what to do with. In middle school, I had a lot of friends and a group of people I considered best friends. As high school started, friends became acquaintances, and a few of those from the group of best friends shined greater than the rest. As you grow older, you lose friends. It’s a fact of life. But there are those that stick with you through it all.

Now into adulthood, three of those people from the best friend group of high school proved to be ride or die, loyal friends. They were there for me during times of loss, times of pain. They were there for me in times of joy and happiness. Hell, they were bridesmaids in my wedding. These three women have been part of my life for well over fifteen years and helped make me who I am today. Without them, growing up would have been even harder, but together, we made it through.

CMN and I met in elementary school. We clicked immediately in second grade which isn’t hard for seven years olds, and even through the hardships of growing up and finding ourselves, through times of fights and arguments, we have remained close. KMK and KAK are twins I met in middle school, and through the years, I was always close to both of them, but sometimes closer to one than the other. KMK was my maid of honor at my wedding, and was my best friend until a few years ago, but we still kept in touch. KAK and I got into mischief in high school, and over the past few years have remained in contact as much as possible. We grew up together, the four of us, and I couldn’t imagine life without any of them.

So when I got a phone call from CMN telling me that KAK passed away, I broke. I’m still broken. This girl that I spent my life with, going through boys, cars, and babies, is gone. This beautiful, amazingly talented, passionate woman will never again call or text me just to check-in. I literally feel as if part of my heart and soul has been severed.

How do you go from living with someone as part of your life to not? How do you turn the last fifteen plus years into a memory? I can’t imagine how to go through my day without thinking of checking in, just to say hey, with her. I can’t imagine not hearing about what color her hair is today or what new piercing she has. I can’t imagine not hearing her laugh, or growl, or some bodily function ever again. I just don’t know how to handle losing someone so tightly woven into my life that I wasn’t prepared to lose.

KAK is a year older than me. She is so full of life, light of any party or conversation. She literally could change anything negative into a giggle fest. She never knew exactly what to say which is why she always knew exactly what to say. She is a talented artist, an amazing listener, and a fantastic housekeeper. This woman is beautiful inside and out, and will forever live within my heart.

Rest easy, KAK. I love you always, my sister.