I’m going through an extremely difficult time right now. My grandfather, who practically raised me, passed away unexpectedly at the start of the semester and the loss is just now beginning to hit me. I didn’t feel much grief or a sense of mourning when it happened, but now, months later, I find myself constantly missing him and wanting to stay inside by myself to cry or sleep my pain away. Unfortunately, I have so many final projects to complete before the year ends, but I just can’t get past my emotions. Why did it take so long for these feelings to come and what can I do to manage them while doing my schoolwork?
Grieving in Chicago
Dear Grieving in Chicago,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. From your letter, it sounds like it took some time for you to feel the weight of your grandfather’s passing. Processing the loss of a loved one is not an easy feat by any means and the process can bring forth a plethora of various emotions. Please note that there is no “right way” to grieve. Everyone experiences grief and loss differently. Please remember to be kind to yourself throughout your journey and acknowledge that your feelings are valid and natural.
Given your pressing school assignments, it seems that you would benefit from some type of assistance to help you in processing your feelings. Perhaps you can create some sort of personal ritual to honor your grandfather’s existence. Consider writing him a letter, visiting his grave, participating in an activity the two of you used to enjoy or gathering friends and loved ones to join you in celebrating his life. Should you find that your grief is still severely interfering with your functioning, it may be beneficial to consider engaging in grief counseling where you can take advantage of a safe space to discuss your emotions. Attached is an article on grief and loss that might provide you with more information.