Tragic events lead to a quest for normalcy – The Denver Post


Dear Amy: I have recently experienced much tragedy in my life. Our family is reeling.

I had some very close family move away and have been mourning that; I very suddenly lost my uncle; my sister lost her baby at six weeks. I am walking an intense line between mourning and living my life.

I am young and tempted to just stay home and take care of my parents in their heartache, yet I am going crazy not going out and living my life, even if it’s just sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m deeply hurting, too.

Do you have any advice for elegantly walking the line between grieving and living one’s life?

— Tightropes

Dear Tightropes: Little about grieving is “elegant.” In my experience, grieving involves ugly-crying in the supermarket, rages that come out of nowhere, and always losing my keys.

No two people should be expected to grieve alike.

If you accept your role in the family as being younger and perhaps a little more resilient right now than other family members, then yes — if you also allow yourself some healing (or even simply normal) experiences, you might actually be of greater service to them, while also renewing your own strength.

Furthermore, I think it might be good for your sister, especially (if she is local), if you bring her a cup of coffee from the coffee shop, ask her to take a walk with you, and simply let her be however she needs to be in that moment.

Sometimes people who are grieving need to express their grief. Sometimes they need a few moments of “normal.”


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