Unprocessed grief

trying to help my friend deal with loss and grief really made me realise that i never actually got to process my own losses of loved ones.

my grandmother died when i was just 7 and i don’t remember much of my childhood, so her death never quite affected me that much until much later, when i began to fully understand the concept of grief and death.

our beloved family dog died shortly after new years 2019. i grew up with him and i was shattered when he died. i didn’t want to go to school the next day, but i was forced to.

and then my grandfather passed away a few months later. i was with my dad when he got the call, i was doing an internship at his job at the time. and i remember how we both cried and i hugged him. but it didn’t last long. he insisted on getting back to work, probably to keep his mind busy. i understand t, but in hindsight it really messed with me.

i sat in my bed that evening and i cried. i cried so much and i told my mom i didn’t want to continue the internship. i wanted to stay home and just cry. but they didn’t let me. i had to go with my dad again the next day and pretend like i wasn’t about to break down completely.
i was 13. i didn’t need to pretend like nothing happened. i needed to cry and learn how to deal with grief. but i never got the chance to, because i was forced to keep going. so i just pushed it aside and never properly dealt with it. and it really messed me up.

tears are falling as i’m writing this, because now i’m realising how much i miss all of them. and i think my parents, in all their grief, forgot that i was still a kid. i’m not mad at them for it, they were grieving too. but i wish things would’ve went differently.


The inability to face and process grief is epidemic now, but it was even worse in previous generations. My grandparents lived when 12+ hour workdays were common, and a single day a week off was the most one could hope for. For so many, there was literally no time for grieving, and if a person expressed a need to grieve, it was thought of as an attempt to avoid work.

That was one aspect of the horrible darkness of emotional suppression that existed with every breath taken in the not so distant past.

It’s terribly unhealthy to suppress grief. When it’s denied, there is great risk of debilitating emotional problems.

That you’ve become aware of your need to grieve, will save you emotionally. Let the tears flow when it’s possible. Sometimes it is necessary to postpone grief processing, but do it when you can. You may as well think of whenever you have the time and place available to grieve as your chance to make up for times when you couldn’t do it.

At times of crisis, it’s often necessary to postpone grief processing. You simply have to face the imminent issues, and assure yourself that later, you’ll have time to grieve. Sometimes memories will manifest years after trauma. I found myself having to grieve childhood trauma when I was in my thirties. Sometimes grief needs to be processed more than once.

Grief teaches empathy, compassion and understanding. That’s why so many are thought of as “wounded healers.” Emotional scars become bridges of connection, even if those involved rarely discuss them.

You’re among friends here who can relate to your experience, and are willing to listen whenever you feel like expressing your feelings.

Thanks for sharing.


From: ManekiNeko

that’s so hard. Grief is such a personal journey. Everyone handles grief differently, even people we are closest to. It sounds like maybe your parents were trying to keep busy and not sit in that sadness. Some people can’t handle that very well.

now you’ve been able to come into your own thoughts and express your own feelings on how you grieve and maybe it’s something you could sit down with your parents and explain. You’re very much allowed to find grief heavy and need some time to cry and get it all out. One thing I found very helpful was talking to a grief counsellor. It was a year or two after my grandfather had passed, but the fact was I didn’t have time to really express how I was feeling because I didn’t know. I had a job to do which was look after my family and organise things for them. I needed that in the moment, and then I needed to let out my thoughts later. And I only needed to do it once. One of my cousins feels deeply the pain of grief and it still affects her, and that’s okay too.
Whether it’s at the time you need to get it out or if it’s later, that’s okay. Whether you need to get it all out once to feel better or if it’s something that slowly eases over time, that’s okay! Allow yourself that time to express yourself. Let your thoughts be heard. We are here for you x


Hi Friend,
thank you for sharing that. grief is always hard to process, and for everyone of us we are dealing differently.
all of us will get confronted with a loss of a loved one, sooner or later in life. when you grow up, sometimes you
do not understand the process of loss or grieving, and your parents are from another generation.
they did not mean it bad for you. we all process it, like we learned it. my parents never learnt how to talk about
feelings. and in this age, we have so many influences at a young age that life is so different.
it is ok to talk about that now. talk with your parents about that.
distraction is sometimes a big thing when you have to face an emotional stage of your life. i did that too.
you are aware of all of that, that is really strong. to cry afterwards, it totally ok, because it is human. when i think
about my granddad, i still cry, even after, this year he is 10 years gone. i miss him.
to deal and understand grief is so difficult. there are so many stages. and so many things that come with it.
it is ok to cry, it is ok to still think of it. you do great my friend. we are always here for you. like your family and your
loved ones. you matter most and you are loved :purple_heart: feel hugged even more today. i would like to hug you real right now.


From: Manni XP - Snow Edition

I want you to know that it’s never too late to process such things. For all sorts of reasons, lots of people put off processing grief, trauma, and other events. It can definitely feel like people place a finite timer on it, but you can take as long as you need, when you need. Sometimes, life doesn’t let us deal with things when we want, but we definitely have opportunities to later on - like you’re starting to!

1 Like

From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, I am saddened by your post, I am so sorry that you are having this realisation now that you have not been able to process the grief of the loss of your loved ones over the years, they are indeed the hardest times of your life and everyone deals with it differently (there is no right or wrong) however when we are young I guess we dont really have much say in how we handle it and that is indeed very sad. I would hasten to add that as you said and I agree, I dont think that your parents meant you any harm at all, trying to manage your own grief is hard enough but to have to think of how you are meant to cope with a childs also must be so painful. I was thinking if you would consider grief therapy now?? I know its been a while but it doesnt matter, you could still go through the process and come to terms with it. I think it would do you good. I hope its something that you would be able to do. You are loved. Lisa. x


From: Microsmos

Dear friend. Thank you so much for posting.

Grief is such a long and painful process, and you were so young when you’ve experienced your first losses. It really makes sense that, at the time, you were not ready to process the way it was making you feel, or understand the full spectrum of emotions that grief brings. Even adults have a hard time with it. It’s a natural reaction, a human reaction, to keep on going with life at first.

When I was around 13 yrs old, my mom attempted suicide, and even though everyone in the family knew the reality of what happened, there was absolutely no space to talk about it. My dad described it as a “mistake” that our mom made, and we all had to process this on our own, my dad, my siblings, my grandma and I. I remember being at school the next Monday, saying to my friends “my mom attempted suicide” and being unable to cry. Then the rest of the day, I would just go to different classes and play with my friends. It only started to hit me more deeply when I was grown teenager, and started to feel very hurt also by the lack of support and honest communicatoin at the time in my family. Being 29 now, I am at peace with what happened, and the way it was dealth with. My parents were not equipped to deal with the situation, so instead of trying to find the right words, they buried the situation. They tried, they also failed, but now I know that I had to process at my own time too – which took years. A couple of years ago, losing my brother has also brought up a litteral storm of avoided grief regarding my family and the environment I grew up in.

It’s hard to understand sometimes how the mind works, but really there is never any wrong timing. Your time to process is the right one, and I’m personally proud of you today for having such perspective over how things affected – and still affects you. I hope with all my heart that somehow your parents and you would be able to heal together regarding how this grief has been handled for you. They certainly had the best intentions in mind at the time. Unfortunately, sometimes having the best intention doesn’t mean we make the right decisions.

I believe you’ve been through all of this the way you could. Now that you feel this door opening a little bit more, your heart may be ready to process, seek closure and find a peace that you didn’t have before. It’s a different chapter on the same journey. Be patient with yourself through it all, as much as possible. <3


From: eloquentpetrichor

Hey there, friend. I’m so sorry for your losses and that you have never learned how to properly process your grief. It can be really difficult to understand how to process it for adults and children and it can be even more difficult to teach young people how to process it while dealing with the grief yourself. A lot of people seem to process it by trying to keep busy but that isn’t what’s best for everyone for sure.

Have you tried to approach your parents and tell them directly what you have told us? That you feel like you do not know how to process it correctly and ask them for some help learning? Grief therapy is also sometimes a great way to learn your way of processing it and coping with the emotions. Even though these losses were a long time ago it is never too late to seek out some help and a friendly ear.

Grief is just such a struggle. I know from first hand experience. And I don’t want you to think that your parents’ method was necessarily a bad path; maybe there is no correct path. My parents never shied away from death and grief when I was a child. We’ve had pets my whole life that would die. It was always so difficult and my parents tried to teach us to let ourselves cry and mourn however we needed to. But even though they didn’t try to ignore what was happening and teach us to grieve I also struggle to process grief myself. So I know can relate to you some. I feel like I have never really gotten through all five stages of grief to reach acceptance. That sounds like what you may be dealing with as well.
What has helped me is trying to research grief and different methods online that can help you process that grief. And categorizing how to feel about each loss individually, because every loss is different and every loss is new. Also, when you start to think about a lost loved one, don’t push it away. Let yourself remember them and cry if that is what feels right.

I hope this helps some and I wish you luck in discussing this with someone and finding the closure you need in your grieving processes. You are valid and so is your grief :hrtlegolove: