Grief Sucks – But Here’s How to Deal with It

Getting a phone call and learning that a family member has passed away.  

Receiving an email from the president of the school saying that another student has died.  

There is so much devastation around us, and it is impossible to not think about it. It’s really hard to focus on other things, especially when it seems to consume you. As someone who has recently gone through a death in the family, I know what it’s like, and it’s really tough.  

Healing is a long process, and the road to it has so many bumps in it. It won’t be easy, but trust me, it will all be worth it.  

Being away from home and learning that someone you love has died is something I would never want to wish upon others. It leaves you with a heavy heart and feeling helpless. When my dad texted me saying my great-grandmother passed away, I froze. I thought back to the moments I shared with her and started to cry. I was so sad. It hurt that I wasn’t home to be with my family, so I dropped everything and got on a train. My 107-year-old great grandmother was the only thing that mattered in that moment.  

I wanted to be with my family, so I did what I had to do. Missing a few classes was worth being there for my family — all 95 of us. When I got home, I attended all the funeral services, and the sense of unity made me feel so much better. My great-grandmother’s death brought her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, and her great-great-grandchild all together, and it was beautiful. We all cried, laughed, and reminisced together. I felt so lucky to be with my entire family, and although I was sad, that feeling was eventually replaced by peace.  

Every email or phone call we receive is heartbreaking, and it’s hard. Like really hard. Sometimes it helps to lock yourself in your room and sleep. Other times it helps to cry and sob, and then cry some more. For me, I cried and surrounded myself with family. The people around you are so important and special, and cherishing them is so pivotal in hard times.  

It’s okay to show emotion, and it’s okay to feel sad. Here at TCNJ, there have been many deaths that have occurred just this school year, but it is important to shut off grief and instead remember and treasure each life we lose. I would love if everyone reading this would just take a moment to remember the beautiful people we have lost this year and all the ones before them.  

If you need help, seek it. If it starts to consume you, talk about it. There are more than enough resources that can aid you, especially at our school. Grief sucks, but it will get better. That, I can promise.