Grief. It’s a funny word. Not “haha” funny, more weird funny, ironic funny, sad funny, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, painful, awful, not-really-funny-at-all funny.

Grief is something many people avoid talking about. But, sadly, grief is something that will eventually hit us all.

Grief is different for everyone and trying to define it in one way would not do it justice. However, when it comes to grief there is one fact, one thing that we should all agree on, and that is that people grieve in different ways. There is not one correct way to grieve.

Some people are very public and vocal with their grief. Recently, celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen suffered a great loss in the form of a a stillborn birth. Teigen shared her grief on social media with the following photos:

Whilst some showed sympathy, others took to social media to complain about these photos, questioning why Teigen felt the need to post about it. Well, why not? Why can’t she share her feelings on this devastating loss?

Other people choose to grieve in silence.

I think I’m at a(n) (un)happy medium between the two.

Some people choose to lead with sadness whilst others let anger dictate their actions. Some people choose to move on with life and try to live as happily as possible, whilst others feel guilty being happy. Some people seem to bounce back and get on with life in no time at all, whilst for others it can take years to get back on their feet. And still others grieve in a multitude of different ways. We all do our best to deal the cards we have been given. We grieve the only way we can.

But no one should dictate or criticise how another person grieves.

No one should criticise people for sharing their grief, nor should they criticise people for holding their emotions within them. No one should dictate or criticise how someone carries on after losing a loved one.

I know that a lot of the time it comes from a place of love. But the best way to show love to someone who is grieving is by simply being there for them. Listen, without offering opinions. Just sit with them in silence if that is what they need. That’s the best way to help, trust me.

So the next time you look at photos like that of Chrissy Teigen’s and roll your eyes. Stop. The next time you see someone grieving and think “when are they going to get over it?” Don’t. And the next time you see someone getting on with life shortly after losing a loved one and feel judgement coming on. Silence it.

Show love. Be kind. Don’t judge. You never know the battles a person is facing.

With Love, Abi X

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