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I have been thinking about grief a lot lately.

At some point in our lives, we all experience grief. We grieve the loss of a loved one, a relationship (whether that is romantic or a friendship), opportunities that we miss, or even periods of our lives when things seemed so much easier. 

The way we deal with that grief is not a universal experience. While some people stay in bed and sob for days or weeks on end, others act out in anger, desperate to blame someone for this painful loss. If you’re like me, you bottle these painful feelings up, hoping to never face them.

We forget that grief is a haunting entity. It creeps up on us when we least expect it. We run from it, but we can only escape it for so long. When we can no longer run, grief is waiting for us.

So what do we do when grief demands to be felt?

According to Meredith Begley, author of “Coping With Grief: 7 Things to Remember When Dealing with Loss,” we must remember that it won’t always feel like this, and it is manageable (even when it feels like it isn’t). There will be good days and bad days and we need to be gentle with ourselves. These feelings are normal. Thus, we should think about the things in life that are important to us, and remember that we are not alone.

I know this sounds easier said than done, but hear me out.

This past summer, I lost my grandfather to a long-standing illness. Although his passing did not come as a shock, it still was rocking for myself and my family. In fact, I am ashamed to say that I dreaded going​​ to his funeral. Not because I did not want to go, but because I knew I would have to face these feelings of grief head on, and I did. 

Being surrounded by family and friends was comforting. Additionally, sharing fond memories with these people and hearing their stories was cathartic. Within this despair, I found joy. 

There still are days when I feel sad. Just this past week, an elderly man in Publix kindly asked about my day and a wave of loss passed over me, but that’s okay. 

Grief is an inescapable part of life. Learning to cope with it is hard, but necessary. If we spent more time dealing with it, rather than hiding from it, we might be surprised at the difference it makes in our lives. 

I’ll go first.


Hadley Hudson is a senior Psychology major and Medicine, Health and Culture minor at Furman University. She hopes to attend medical school after college. In addition to writing for HerCampus, she is involved in Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and Women's Club Soccer. She spends her free time reading, hanging with friends, and eating good food!
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