I feel like there’s this idea that, once a funeral is over, once you’ve taken your bereavement days from work (provided you even get those), that the grieving process is over. Nobody talks about the person anymore. Nobody asks after their loved ones. You’re supposed to just move on and act like this hole in your life doesn’t exist.
I mean, I can see people’s eyes rolling into the backs of their heads when I mention how difficult it still is to visit the West Side Market. And you know, I get it. After almost a year, it gets repetitive.
There are days at work where I stare wistfully into what was my previous attorney’s office. Recent changes at work have had me wishing I could tell her so we could laugh about it. I hate that I’ll never laugh with her again.
But like so much in life, I think we need balance here. We need to acknowledge that grieving takes time. And it’s not a day. It’s not a week. It may not even be a year. My grandmother died almost five years ago and when Abuela dies in In The Heights, or the grandma dies in Moana, I’m still a mess.
I’m getting defensive. Probably more than I need to be.
But the older I get, the more people I’ve lost. And the more I realize the importance of being gentle with people, especially yourself. Because memories hit at weird times. Awkward times. Times you don’t expect. And it’s okay to take a minute and just be sad.
I know that doesn’t sound deep, but it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with. Mostly because there are very few people who I will let see me cry.
But do it.
Take your time.
Take your moment when you need it.
It’s okay to cry. I don’t care how long it’s been.