It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself,
but the most inconvenient one, too.
–H.W. Shaw via Amy (in China)
Grieving, as many of you know well, is very personal. We grieve losses in unique ways. On top of that, each loss—itself unique across a spectrum of not-so-important to how-can-I-go-on important—calls forth a very different (and personal) response. Amy (an American living in China) begins an April 2013 post about pre- and post- grieving (and why it matters) this way:
The two-sided coin for relationships when you live overseas is that you get to meet a lot of wonderful people but you find that they rotate in and out of your life more so than the average person living in America. For the most part I have been the one staying with others going. Years ago, I was preparing to return to the States for a three year stint. Coincidentally, my dear friends were doing the exact same thing, departing for three years. Having someone going down such a parallel path was a rarity and provided an interesting and unintended “emotional” laboratory as my friend Anne and I reacted so differently to the upcoming return to the US.
As the months went by and the move became more eminent I cried during some of our conversations while Anne never shed a tear (I’m not just being dramatic in my retelling, she literally never cried, in stark contrast to the Tissue Queen, aka me, so I noticed). Anne and her family were leaving a few days before I would and had invited a Chinese friend and me over for dinner the last night in their home. Xiao Wu, a guy in his mid-20’s, and I couldn’t stop the tears. I’m sure you’re getting the picture that this was a really fun meal, she commented sarcastically.
What struck me is that again, Anne didn’t cry. I knew she’d miss me. Well, I thought she’d miss me. I certainly hoped she’d missed me and that our friendship had impacted her in some way that would lead her to grieve that we wouldn’t be a part of one another’s daily lives for a while. Was it too much to ask for one, small tear? Just one?
Intrigued? Want to know how she and her friend, Anne, did? Want a little clue into your own (very personal) way of grieving and how it may intersect and interact with other (very personal) ways of grieving? Read Amy’s post: How to know if you are pre- or post-griever (and why it matters)