There Is No Right Way To Grieve

Hello friends, family and strangers of the internet,

What you’re about to read is entirely unfiltered and unedited, so I thank you ahead of time for not pointing out any grammatical errors or typos that are found throughout the feature. Think of this post as a view inside my mind – completely raw and incredibly vulnerable.

If you don’t know by now, my father passed away on June 1st unexpectedly and for the last two months I lived in a weird haze between reality and this fucked up dream, only to discover rather abruptly this afternoon that my reality was the fucked up dream.

Before I dive deeper into the last two months, let me tell you about the relationship I had with my dad and how he was much, much more than the man who helped conceive me. For my entire life, he was my best friend. My father coached me throughout all my sports, raised me right and served as a confidante – to the point that at the age of 25 I still called him everyday to discuss my days, problems and seek advice. He honestly probably knew more about my life than best friends do, because he created a space where I could come to him without judgement, a space where I knew I would always be met with love and support even if he didn’t fully understand what I was doing or why. He was a huge part of my world and my god am I grateful for the memories we have, because there are a lot.

But fuck if I am not at a total loss without him..

For the first two weeks, I operated in a state of shock – just trying to power through the funeral, arranging the estate and trying to be strong for my family. For these first two weeks, I never sat down with my own feelings. I sort of just went through the motions.

On the third week, I drove across the country with my twin and I think we were both caught off guard by the intensity of the silence, that never seemed to bother us (at least me) before became deafening. We ended up driving 21-hours in a day just to get home to LA.

Then, in the fourth week, I was alone, away from my immediate family for the first time. I didn’t have the energy to do much except lay around and binge watch Friends and play Homescapes on my iPhone. So much of the life I had started to create for myself in Los Angeles just felt unimportant, and this was the week I realized I lost my motivation to do a lot of things. That’s been a hard pill to swallow, because I don’t know how long this feeling will last… how long will it take me to return to these phenomenal passion projects I created with the same fire? How long will it take me to return to being a writer – something that brought me an insane amount of joy? Another question, does any of it even matter anymore, or am I forever changed?

Somehow, in the 5th week, the universe gave me a glimpse of hope as I met with one of the most inspiring women to be an editorial assistant 12 hours a week. Then again last week, when my always amazing cousins offered the position of personal assistant – which is exactly what I need right now.

Really, I’m still just going through the motions, trying to catch my breath and figure out how to be human again.

I’m also figuring how to grieve and how to deal with the emotions, and lack of control of said emotions, that I have because as shitty as it is, this is what it is. There are no magic words to take away the pain, or to make sense of the loss. There is no set agenda that says, by week 47 you will be good to go. There’s nothing but just going through the motions and allowing yourself to feel everything as it comes.

This is where I truly struggle – because I am awful at opening up to people about the inner workings of my mind, and now more than ever, I need to open up about it. I need to rid myself of this notion that I am a burden to those who love me, and instead taken them at their word, when they say they’re here for whatever I need.

Grief is chronic – it’s something I, as well as my family, will deal with for the rest of our lives. That sucks – to be quite frank. It sucks that for the rest of my life, this person who played such a vital role, is not going to be there… to see me grow into the woman I’ve always wanted to become… to walk me down the aisle… to read my first published book. There are all these moments in my life where my heart will feel heavy at first.

But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be present for all of the moments, because he will very much be on my mind and in my heart for all of it.

Because you see, in grief, you don’t really move on ever, at least that’s what I’m told. You just move forward.

You also cry randomly over the littlest of things, like seeing the fruit snacks you ate as a child at the park in the grocery store, or hearing a song that transports you back to a certain memory.

That’s just the way that it is, but I’ve learned through friends and family who have experienced something similar that I just need to allow myself to grieve the way that I need to, and to take as much time as I need to. There is no right way to grieve.

Thank you for reading my random rant. I appreciate you.

Casha DoemlandComment