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  • Sarah Menzies

Hierarchy of Grief

The complete drudgery of Lockdown#3 has led to very little to write about. The return of homeschooling and home-workouts has lacked the novelty value of the first lockdown... and the sunshine. Mental health has plummeted with the temperatures, a feeling of tedium washing over the nation, as we politely cross the road to avoid passing people on footpaths and approach shops with trepidation.... remember when shopping was fun?


There had been very little creativity this time round,, there has been some baking but this has been a chore, something to fill the time more than actual fun. Picking up a book has been hard and writing almost possible. What can you write about in this drudgery.


At least Boris announcement gives some hope. Soon we may be able to walk different footpaths, instead of the same paths just altered by frost or mud.


The truth is that the lockdowns have not been all bad for us, as a family. We have been given a quite unique time to heal together, learning to cope with our new normal before we need to face a world full of gaiety and celebration. The rest of the world has instead learnt to be sombre and and to grieve. As a close friend said to me, "It feels like we lost Lauren and then the world stopped" We have survived a year and we can re-enter society feeling stronger from the knowledge that the resilience was possible.


As my days, and my mind, follow round and round the same paths I keep returning to a conversation I had regarding the concept of deserving to grieve. The theory that some of us deserve to be able to grieve while others should hide their grief because the loss does not warrant other peoples sympathy. Why can we not allow people to feel and hurt and acknowledge that, without quantifying it. Otherwise, if we deny people their grief because we feel it isn't warranted then we also deny them the chance to recover, and in doing so the chance for all of us to recover, because there will always be someone who has suffered more, apart from maybe some poor soul who has the worst experience of everyone. Everyone's grief is unique to them and cannot be compared to anyone else.


There can be no hierarchy of grief. No-ones pain should be denied and neither should people feel the need to constantly show their sorrow for it to be real.



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