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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 Northeastern chapter.

Death is a terribly awkward thing. While that may be the bleakest start to an article in Her Campus history, this idea has been running through my mind over the last couple of days as I learn to navigate the discomfort surrounding mortality.

Last week, I received notice that my grandfather passed away. My family all lives abroad in Brazil, and I had plans to visit him right after the end of the spring semester. This made the timing feel incredibly personal despite all the logic challenging this feeling. 

As I write this article, I understand that my words don’t adequately express how I will feel next week, month or year. As someone who has never undergone the grieving process, I did not quite understand why they call it a process.

Now, the answer has become significantly more apparent. It’s a process because I lost someone whom I loved and continue to love with my whole heart, and yet I can write this article right now with dry eyes. However, earlier today, I did find myself crying after passing a man wearing a baseball cap in my grandpa’s favorite shade of green. In my opinion, that is what makes grieving so hard: the fact that it comes in waves. 

Then comes the million-dollar question: for all of us terrible metaphorical swimmers, how can we jump over these waves? When is grieving fully complete?

These questions, alas, do not have answers (trust me, I checked). What I have learned over the past week is that it is okay for grief to take multiple forms. It is okay to dance, laugh and feel joy one hour and be heartbroken the next. It is okay to feel sad as well as angry. It is okay not to be able to identify how you feel at all. 

Dealing with death is hard already, but dealing with death at college is an entirely different ballpark. Being away from home and family during these times is trying at best and inhumane at worst, but I am here to tell you that it is possible.

My roommate, who has hugged me every morning since the news broke, has made it possible. The professors who gave me leniency when I needed to be a human before being a student made it possible. The people who sit next to me in my classes, the dining hall staff who smile at me and the random Paws sightings on campus have all made an incredibly difficult time just a tad bit easier; together, these acts have accumulated to make grief endurable. 

My advice to those mourning is not to distract yourself per se, but rather to ground yourself in the points of stability in your life, the consistent and joyful moments, even on a small scale. It is these small joys that build up to create a big difference in how ostracizing it can feel to navigate grief and the loss of a loved one. 

Amanda Gomes

Northeastern '27

Amanda (she/her) is a first-year Political Science and International Affairs combined major with a minor in Spanish. Her passions include reading classic literature, listening to music, and watching nostalgic disney movies.