The effect loss has had on my psyche

. 2 min read

Having needlessly teased about this topic yesterday, I'm now ready to talk about this without feeling like I'm insulting the departed. (The movie. Just kidding.) So let's do it.

One thing I should mention is that until last year, I had only lost all my biological grandparents. (An important distinction, since my step-grandparents are both alive and well, and they'd better stay that way forever despite the fact that they never return my Christmas cards. Also my step-uncles died recently as well but I didn't really know them.) At the times of their deaths, they were all old enough to die of old age, so the news were neither shocking or unexpected.

But last year, almost exactly a year ago, a member of my family died - a member who was definitely not old enough to. 62 is not old enough. Not in this millennium, at least.

The illness that took her was only noticed when it was too late to stop it. Though I don't know if that was the case, really. But the day we were told of the situation, she had already succumbed to her fate. She wasn't interested in fighting it. She said she had lived a good life. (This is where I hear in my head, as recited by Michael Caine, do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light.)

So it was unexpected and over fast and I've seen no one shed a tear. Where's the grieving? Maybe it lives deep within and has yet to burst out.

That's why it's hard to grasp that it actually happened.

It could have been a dream.

Nothing in my everyday life has changed, except that now, there's a stone in the ground spelling her name, her birthday, and this random other date from 2021 that, at first glance, means nothing to me... because I'm still not entirely convinced that anything happened that day.

So if this is what grieving is like, it has been gentle with me, like her nonexistent final fight. It has had minimal effect on my psyche. Or maybe my psyche has distributed the mourning over such a long period of time that I don't really notice it.

I still have her number in my phone. It's almost as if I could just press a button and call her. So maybe I'm just still in denial?

Maybe this lack of massive grief is simply a coping mechanism.

...or maybe I'm not the right person to talk about grief.