As a 16-year-old journalist living in suburban Chicago, I’ve always sought to reach a wide...
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Grief is not a new concept to the world, but for something so ancient there is little known about it. Generally, grief is connected with a loss. A child grieves over a lost doll; a mother grieves when her child moves to a dorm. Then there are those few, such as myself, who grieve over the loss of a parent; a father, a mother. We parental grievers, as I call us, tend to migrate together like birds. We sit at our small, circular tables, eating and pretending to understand what the other is going through.
All the while screaming on the inside, “You haven’t the slightest idea of how I feel!”
We sit there telling everyone who asks that unavoidable question that we are “OK.” God that question! That horribly mundane, insincere, god awful question of, “how are you?” Could they have asked anything more open ended? What other answer besides “OK” are we to give them? No one wants to hear the truth. No one wants to hear that it feels like we are drowning, suffocating in a sea of darkness.
The truth scares those outside of the parental grievers circle. To be frank, the truth scares us too. We are too afraid to admit to ourselves that we are not “OK.” And so even though we are far from “OK,” even though we are angry and scared; we answer with: “I’m fine.” However, we were not always such liars … I wasn’t always a liar. No, I was once just as innocent and naive as a young child should be. For you see, this is what loss does; it takes away the innocence.