Grief. It's ugly, it's messy, and its damn near unavoidable in this tangled web of life. I'm thankful my periods of grief have been short lived, but recently a friend of mine has been tip-toeing through a forest of nasty grief I hope to never experience.
My friend lost her daughter to an 18-month battle of life. See, my friend's little girl was born with down-syndrome, plus a host of other complications that required her to have numerous surgeries. While I can imagine my friend and her husband made preparations in case their little girl didn't make it, I don't think there's any amount of preparing a person could do before losing a child.
Regardless of this little girl's health, she was still their baby. Each simple milestone she accomplished in her short 18 months was nothing short of a miracle. Every. Single. Time.
And though her last breath on earth was only about a month ago, my friend is still treading two feet below the surface in an ocean of grief...and that's ok.
At times I envy how freely she shares her grief and sorrow; to the point where I've busted myself questioning her...but who in the hell am I to question something I've never experienced (thank god). Although, one comment that keeps being repeated is "other people don't understand." This is in response to her feeling of people "expecting her to go back to normal." I imagine this is the furthest thing from the truth; let's think about that. "Normal" is such an ambiguous word....and it wouldn't be fair of ANYONE to expect her to act or feel happy. She lost her baby; it's a pain that's so wretched nobody can even pretend like they know what she's going though (unless they, themselves have lost a child).
I think what's happening is, because people can't relate or empathize, they feel like it would be most helpful if THEY pretended like nothing was wrong; like the death of her baby isn't a huge elephant in the room. Sure, in writing that sounds a bit ignorant and silly; but how else can a person who hasn't experienced the same grief really act? I'm sad that her family is experiencing such a horrible loss, and I'm also hopeful that, even in the wake of her criticisms, the people who are surrounding her don't abandon her because she's annoyed and/or feels like everyone should expect her to act "normal." She will need each and every person more than ever....even if it's just to sit there while she cries.