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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus. 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter. 

Please consult a medical expert for actions regarding grief, your personal grief, and coping methods.

This article discusses grief: if you are currently in a poor mental state, please read with caution.  

Grief is a very touchy subject. People deal with grief in many ways. There are five to seven commonly known stages of grief (depending on who you ask); shock/denial, pain, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. But how often do you think you have accepted the loss of something when in reality you are still experiencing “stage one” emotions? In the following article, I am going to explain my own experiences with grief and hopefully, you can find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. First, I would like to add I am not a psychology major nor am I an expert in this department so if you are one, please do not judge me too harshly.  

You can experience grief and loss for many various reasons; not getting that job you so desperately wanted, one of your goals did not work out, the loss of a loved one, a hard breakup/friendship ending, or maybe you are a little like me and facing a few of them at once. I am currently coping with my grief while also trying to pass all my first semester of college courses. Sadly, grief and loss do not care who you are or what you are doing. My grief is caused by the loss of my grandmother earlier this year, the loss of the future I wanted desperately just over a year ago, and the loss of my grandfather almost three years ago. Grief and loss are difficult processes to get through. I personally struggle with going from thinking I have accepted the fate of these situations then the next day I will be crying and trying to bargain the situations to become undone. I still am not through my grief journey, but some things make treading through it easier.  

Loss Of a Loved One 

When it comes to the loss of my grandparents, I am coping with both differently. For instance, with my grandmother, I recognized that she is done suffering from health issues and is in a better place now. However, when I think of my grandfather passing away, I am still upset by it. However the same argument could be made since he also had health issues. When you view a grandparent as a sort of “superhero” or believe they will live forever, grief becomes harder to process. I viewed my grandfather as a superhero, he was going to be here through everything in my life. In reality, that does not happen. My first struggle was to accept the harsh reality of mortality, nobody lives forever. The times when it is harder to cope are holidays, his birthday, and when I am going through a tough time. He was someone I always went to about life. I asked him for advice, ranted about my problems, and went to see him when something exciting was happening. That man was my first best friend, and it is hard to let go of that.  

I believe that understanding why it is so hard to “let go” is one of the first battles. The next, remembering that even though you have come to terms with their passing, does not mean you did not love them/do not love them anymore. I have also found that it is nice to have a friend or family member to talk about how you are feeling, it feels better when you can find comfort in hugging someone you love. I also find comfort in remembering days that I had with my lost loved ones and finding out information I had never known. On the days I miss them the most, I scroll through old text messages and photographs/videos on my phone. While going through this remember it is normal to repeat stages, skip stages, and not experience it like the people surrounding you.  

Loss Of Future Plans 

My experience with this was becoming injured during basic military training during the last weeks. I had completed everything except a fitness test; I had a suspicion that I was injured but did not go to the doctor immediately. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture and I was placed on crutches and sent to a recovery unit. I watched the people I trained with for nine weeks move on and graduate without me. In my opinion, this was one of the hardest things I have done. It felt like getting to a finish line and there was a barricade that you could not cross while you were watching your closest friends cross it with ease. After a few months, I was sent home without graduating. 

Although I was excited to go home after five months of being away from family and friends that I barely got to talk to except for writing letters, I was sad. I felt like a massive failure and was upset with myself. I thought I would be over it within a year; well here I am sitting here writing this one year and seven days later. I am not fully through the grief process yet, but I can admit that it got better. For me, I skipped the denial stage at first, I was ready to leave and felt this was a fresh start. Everything happens for a reason and the military was not where I was meant to be at that moment. The part that I am still having a hard time with is when I believe I have accepted this fate then the next moment I am bargaining again and angry. I become angry at myself thinking, “why couldn’t I push through during the run…” – well Jos, you were injured – “even though I was injured I should be able to pass a 1.5 run.” I have realized that thinking like this does not help with coping and getting through the grief process. This attitude hinders more than helps. 

A few things that are currently helping me are: talking about it with friends and family, acknowledging that this happened & time travel does not exist to change the outcome, looking at the positives of the situation (for example: knowing that I can go back to the military if I so choose, realizing I would have never met the amazing people in my life now & would have probably never had the in-person college experience), talk to friends going through the same situation, and smile often even when my mind wants to try and tell me that this grief should outweigh the good. 

Try to enjoy each day and remember you are never alone on this journey! <3 

Joslyn Stauffer

Bowling Green '27

Hello! I'm Joslyn! I'm a first year student at Bowling Green State University, studying Criminal Justice with a specialization in forensic investigation. Another organization that I am a part of is Forensics Speech & Debate Team! I love the ocean, sunsets, playing sports, spending time with friends and family, making new friends, and so much more!