Monday, March 23, 2009
Posted by Monarchdancer
Last night I was reading an article on the funeral of Natasha Richardson in my local online newspaper. The newspaper allowed comments and I being the curious type decided the read what people were saying. To say I was taken back is an understatement. I expected a flood of comments expressing sadness, what I found instead were people "measuring" grief. Comments like (paraphrasing here)...."I found it odd that Liam wore no tie to the funeral", "Why do her sons always seem to be smirking", "I found it weird that Liam waved to the press, not once but twice", "Isn't it weird that Vanessa Redgrave wore white" and "If that was my daughter I would be hysterical and unable to function".
Reading all those judgmental comments got me thinking about some of the rules some of us have regarding grief. We must wear black, we must be crying all the time, smiles are completely out of the questions and men must wear ties, etc.. To do otherwise implies you can't be grieving or grieving hard enough. Who made up these rules? Does a grieving person who smiles, doesn't have a tie on or is wearing white.... have less pain or loves the deceased less than the griever who has followed all those unwritten rules? I don't think so.
There really is no right or wrong way to grieve. Some shut down completely and others put a brave face on and give the appearance of being a trouper. While grieving, it's still possible to smile, laugh, go to work, make dinner and dare I say....enjoy life just a little every now and then? Grief may be the teller at your local bank or the Mom that strolls her baby by your house every morning... it could be your doctor, your neighbor, your hairdresser and it may even be you. Grief has 1000 faces! It doesn't always have to be a face with tears and it doesn't mean they are hurting any less......