Grief Sucks Because Everyone Thinks They Know Exactly How You Feel

Updated on March 4, 2017
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Trust Yourself

It took me six months to start thinking about grieving the loss of my mother, who passed from breast cancer six days after my oldest daughter was born.

I thought, "I've got to keep things spinning." It was the thought of a woman crazed on post-pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep. It was the thought of a woman who wanted to be needed, to feel like she was doing the right thing, because she didn't know what the hell else to do.

It took me until Christmas, while I was feeding said firstborn daughter, before it broke—and left me with sore eyes, a broken heart, and a headache from the tears. Nothing in particular had triggered the moment; no particular thought had overtaken me while I sat in the basement of my parents' home during the first Christmas we were going to end up spending without her.

Yet, I was sitting there with my daughter cradled in my lap, stroking her soft hair as I fed her, and tears were rolling down my face.

It was a moment I couldn't possibly have understood then. I've tried to understand it since, now that time and distance from that memory have lessened its impact somewhat. I've tried to connect to the experiences others have had with the loss of a parent, and the one thing I've learned about everyone's experiences with a parent's death is that it is fundamentally one of the most epic losses you can go through beyond the loss of a child.

When my father died nine years later, it was hard, but different, as I didn't have the close relationship with him that I felt I'd had with my mother. It was a sudden passing, though not entirely unexpected, as he had effectively allowed alcohol to take over his life, to the point where he was very ill and in denial about just how ill he'd become. I'd only just spoken to him two days previous, and when I received the call from his sister telling me he'd passed, I stupidly asked, "Are you sure?"

The next few days passed in a blur, and to this day, while I still feel a dull pang whenever I think of both my parents being gone, the pain is still more tangible for the loss of my mother than for my father. Even within myself, I was torn, wondering if I was disloyal for feeling this way, or whether I was simply not "grieving properly."

You have to trust that your experience is right for you. The loss needs to be acknowledged and dealt with, and only you know what that best way is. It's okay to have conversations with your friends about what they've dealt with in that regard; if they're willing to speak about their dealings with grief, you can learn a hell of a lot from such conversations.


The people who tell you that you should be feeling better, or that you shouldn't feel sad after a couple of weeks or months, or that you shouldn't still have pictures of the person around the house need a swift kick. No one should be able to tell you how to grieve or whether or not the process that you're going through is the right one.

Convoluted, But It Will Be YOUR Path.


Your Way Is OK

Ultimately, it's only you who will be able to decide whether what you're doing is the right or wrong thing as you grieve. So long as you're not "stuck" in your grief for months or years—that's when the therapists and psychologists start probing into things like "complicated grief"—you should be able to navigate the grief you're feeling and be able to move forward with your life.

  • Draw on the support you need.
  • Take and give hugs, when you want.
  • Take time for yourself, if at all possible.
  • Exercise.
  • Do things you enjoy to recharge.
  • Rest.

There are a ton of things that you will ultimately decide is right for you to do in the wake of your grief. That may include chocolate, baking, writing...or it may not, and that's perfectly okay.

Just do it your way. No one else's.

TEAR Model of Grief


You Can Learn From Grief, Too

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)