Let me start by saying you have every right to grieve the loss of a loved one. Although that may seem like a no-brainer, so many of my close friends and family believe there is one specific way to grieve, or that they don’t deserve to since they haven’t interacted with the person who passed for some time.

I unfortunately learned this the hard way when my brother passed away in 2014 from a drug overdose. I felt I didn’t deserve to cry, to mourn, to grieve since I didn’t entirely understand what was happening in my mind.

I tried to run away from the mental strain by smiling away the pain, not giving myself any chance of respite to just…cry…or even think.

I consider this to be the biggest mistake of my entire life. It ended up de-railing my mental stability, leading to panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety.

If you think I’m talking nonsense, that’s OK. As long as you have your way of grieving that comforts your weary mind, then you’ll be in a much better position than I was ten years ago.

Because that’s what grieving is supposed to create, comfort. It may not feel like it, but down the road, you’ll be grateful you gave yourself time to remember and honor your memories with that person.

For me, I’m still grieving. I have traditions I follow during this time of year that help me come to terms with the loss of my brother. It genuinely helps through leaps and bounds.

Most importantly, if you feel like the loss of your loved one is affecting you mentally beyond measure, please consider seeking mental health professionals who help you process with these types of things.

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