The Rules for Grieving

dooneydiva

Member
May 22, 2007
802
0
New Jersey
First, I'd like to say that I know there aren't any true "rules" for grieving; each person goes through the process in his own way. We experience a loss of a loved one or friend and must find healthy ways to ease the pain. Essentially, I'm writing because I'd like to know if it's possible to experience a sense of loss and go through a grieving process of my own if I really didn't even know the deceased on a personal level.

Through postings on my Facebook News Reel, I learned that a young man who was 3 yrs behind my high school class, was murdered last week. Initially, I couldn't place a face with the name but went to his profile and some memories of seeing him around school flooded back to me. I never spoke to him (from what I can recall), I certainly wasn't what most people would call a friend...I wasn't even an acquaintance. I just recall seeing his face around school, which wasn't strange since he was on our football team.

I find myself revisiting his Facebook profile so that I can read the many comments posted to his wall, read the stories people are sharing about what a kind man he was, what a good friend and loving son. I keep clicking back to older posts so that I can read status updates that he wrote on his own profile and I sit and stare at the final update he made before he was fatally wounded. I've paged through his photos and written my condolences to my friends that actually did have a close relationship with him.

I've sat at this computer, staring at the comments and thinking about how short life is. I've googled his name so that I could read our local paper discuss the timeline of events leading up to his tragic death...I go back to his pictures and grin at his huge smile, a smile that shows up in almost every photo that everyone took with him. I wish I knew him.

I just wonder if it's strange that I feel such a sense of loss...I think I feel it on a human level, that the life of a man approximately my age was cut so short...that it could happen to anyone. I feel angry that it could happen to someone so apparently kind and full of life. These are all of the same feelings I might have had if he had been a true friend. I've sat here feeling so disgusted and angry until I finally allowed myself to cry. I wish that his family and friends wouldn't have to go through the pain they must be in now.

I guess I'll just leave my rather long essay-like post at this...Thanks for reading.
 

Irishgal

I run with scissors
O.G.
Apr 22, 2006
15,404
3,002
Long and Low Farms
I don't think it is strange at all. Hearing things like this might bring up memories of losing someone, or may tug at your heartstrings because you are an empathic human being.

While some people will try to set "rules" about grieving, it is usually because the person with the rules is aggravated that the person grieving is taking care of themselves and not the "rule setter" if that makes sense.

I encourage you to experience your feelings. What happened is very tragic and horrible.
 

bagnshoofetish

Oh. Gee.
O.G.
Feb 12, 2006
33,579
3,053
earth
I just wonder if it's strange that I feel such a sense of loss...

its not strange at all. we are all tied together in some way as humans. remember when Princess Diana died? Many who never met her were devastated. My chest hurt and I cried on and off for a few days. Her funeral killed me. I have felt the same way after hearing about others, people I went to school with but never "knew" who had passed. Its your compassionate nature about caring for others that causes this. Its a good thing IMO and the thing that keeps us wanting to help others in disasters and such. You are a good normal person.
 

caitlin1214

tPF Bish
O.G.
Jul 7, 2006
29,122
776
41
Toronto
www.facebook.com
I was pretty shaken when Michael Jackson died. I essentially grew up with him.

In a really odd way, I almost felt like he was immortal, so to hear he died rocked me.

My dad told me and at one point I even said, "I don't believe you!" It didn't become real until I turned on a music channel and saw the video for Remember the Time with two dates on it.

Then it hit me and then I got upset.
 
Sep 14, 2007
1,391
0
Very sad. I don't think it's strange to feel a sense of loss at all. We are so desensitized sometimes to things that are on the news that when it's someone who is relatively close to us dies(in our hometown, attended school with us) it all becomes so real.
In a sick way it shows how alive we are. Sometimes you go through all the motions of life: wake up, go to work, work out, etc and then something happens that just snaps you out of your daily routine. It doesn't have to be someone who you were close with...a sense of loss isn't defined as "how big" or "how close".
I think losses like this make us realize that a. we aren't always in control b. life is such a gift and we have to make sure we take advantage of every day.
 

madamefifi

cat hoarder
O.G.
Aug 23, 2006
5,813
740
virginia
Not strange at all. A few years ago a nurse with whom I worked, but whom I didn't know very well, committed suicide. I was very depressed, even tearful at times, for several days afterwards. The thought of her having been so lonely and hopeless was very difficult to bear.
 
Nov 2, 2007
12,498
80
38
Florida
I was pretty shaken when Michael Jackson died. I essentially grew up with him.

In a really odd way, I almost felt like he was immortal, so to hear he died rocked me.

My dad told me and at one point I even said, "I don't believe you!" It didn't become real until I turned on a music channel and saw the video for Remember the Time with two dates on it.

Then it hit me and then I got upset.

Ditto
 

ShimmaPuff

Sentient IMBUSILE
Oct 12, 2006
9,752
2
Earth
...I just wonder if it's strange that I feel such a sense of loss..
Yes.

Most people do not have such kind and noble hearts that they can feel that sense of loss even in the absence of the direct and personal impact that a benefit we had previously received from the deceased, like their company, or they way they loved us, will no longer be present.

So you are a strange person. For reasons unknowable, you have been singled out to be blessed with a very pure and precious strangeness, which will at once set you apart from your fellow earth residents even as it bestows upon your spirit the power to be closer to theirs in ways that neither you nor they will ever understand, but for which they will be very grateful.

Every life you touch will be strangely better for your having touched it.

...I wish I knew him...
You do know him, now. In the way that really counts. And he can't avoid knowing you, since he's right there in your heart!

...my rather long essay-like post...
Oh, dear child, you have not even gotten inside the gates of the long essay-like post galaxy.
But don't give up. Just keep on typing, and maybe one day... ;)
 

Speedster70

Fluevog-A-Holic
O.G.
Feb 17, 2009
280
11
Phoenix
It is not strange at all and the other posters are right in what they have said. Grief at a senseless loss of a life stolen before it's time is natural regardless of how close your personal connection was. Compassion and sadness for such a terrible event shows a kind and caring heart.

It seems like this is the first time you have suffered an event like this so close to you and your curiosity and feelings with regard to your former schoolmate are completely normal.

At the age of 20 my first good friend died drunk driving and in the 20 years since almost two dozen more have followed in various ways. I have lost friends I grew up with back home that my close friends in AZ never met but they cried and mourned with me because my loss touched them too even though they didn't know these people, they had seen pictures, heard stories etc.

Things like this just don't make sense and it's heartbreaking and frustrating and the roads your mind takes dealing with something like this can make you nuts. I teared up just reading your post because I know how you feel and what your friends and this young man's family are going through first hand and it always hurts me to think of anybody having to go through this. So please don't think you are strange, you are a compassionate caring soul trying to make sense out of senseless tragedy that has turned a world upside down.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and this boy's community of family and friends.
 

dooneydiva

Member
May 22, 2007
802
0
New Jersey
Last week, I sent a message to his girlfriend (and mother of his unborn daughter, no less)via Facebook. I told her that I'm sure it seemed weird to get a message from someone that she didn't know but I wanted her to know that I'm praying for her and her family. I hope that it helped her in some way, although I'm sure it hurts just to be reminded. I keep reading her posts on his Wall, how she keeps saying that she wished she had said, "I love you" more often...I wonder if she understands that she's helping me, reminding me how to behave with the ones I love. I only stopped reading to hug my fiance.
 

bagaholic85

Member
Sep 14, 2007
6,481
4
i <3 ny
Last week, I sent a message to his girlfriend (and mother of his unborn daughter, no less)via Facebook. I told her that I'm sure it seemed weird to get a message from someone that she didn't know but I wanted her to know that I'm praying for her and her family. I hope that it helped her in some way, although I'm sure it hurts just to be reminded. I keep reading her posts on his Wall, how she keeps saying that she wished she had said, "I love you" more often...I wonder if she understands that she's helping me, reminding me how to behave with the ones I love. I only stopped reading to hug my fiance.

im sure your message helped her. i wouldnt worry that it hurt her to be reminded. she hasnt forgotten. at this point, it is all she can think about. i can promise you that.

your a good person dooney
 

bfali

O.G.
Oct 24, 2008
3,861
2
It's not strange at all. Like you said, there are no rules for grieving. If we didn't think about loss, we wouldn't be human. According to a great psychiatrist I know, people who are artistic by nature also tend to grieve more often for people they don't even know. I am an artist and there are times that I will watch the news and hear a story and become depressed over it. I will literally put myself in the person's shoes, even though I have never met the person or know nothing else about them besides what is portrayed on through the media... I could never have a career as a doctor or therapist, because I wouldn't be able to separate my work from myself.
 

sunshine16

Member
Jan 2, 2009
86
1
Not strange at all. In fact just reading this post made me cry.
The loss of human life is something that while inevitable, is awful. Particularly young people. It hits people close to home, often people think 'what if that had been my brother, boyfriend, best mate etc'.
In many cases, death pulls people together. A teacher at my high school passed away during surgery, I remember hugging and crying my eyes out with a girl who was meant to be my enemy. At that point our little high school tiff was completely irrelevant. Was quite incredible really, social barriers were completely broken down. I will never forget one of the most 'popular' girls at school going up to the girl who had no friends, and asking her to come sit with her and her friends because she was crying alone on the floor in the library. Moments like that give me faith in humanity.

Sorry, kind of of topic. I just find the topic of death pulling strangers together really touching. Just wanted to share :smile:

My thoughts and love are with you and your hometown OP.