Grieving the loss of a loved one in law school

It was one year ago today — August 15th. I remember the call around 2:30 a.m. from my mom. My first day of law school and the worst day of my life. I cried. Long and hard. So hard that I was gagging. I didn’t sleep that night. I was a zombie in school that day. I couldn’t stop crying. I cried before class, held back tears during class, and bawled after class. And when I got home I cried some more. Nonstop for a month.

It never hurts any less, it just hurts less often.

Please know that everyone grieves differently, but this is how I’ve coped with the loss of my grandfather:

Take all the time you need
It’s okay to not be okay. Don’t allow people to put a timeline on your grieving. It sucks because the world around you keeps going but you feel like your world stopped. But it’s okay because grieving is completely normal and it will take time to process your feelings.

Remember the good times
Be thankful for all of the time you did get to spend with them. Cherish those moments.

Talk to someone
I didn’t want to talk to anyone, not even my closest friends. It hurt too bad and I couldn’t fathom the thought. I didn’t think anyone could understand my pain or what I was going through. But people do, and it’s not healthy to harbor those feelings. Try a counselor, I wish I did.

Stay busy
School will inevitably keep you busy. It will help you continue going through the motions of life and get back into the swing of things.

Know that they wouldn’t want you to be sad
My grandaddy was always saying something to make people smile. And I know that’s what he would try to do if he was here. They wouldn’t want to see you hurting.

It’s still SO hard for me. I miss his sweet soul every single day. But I can finally accept the fact that he is no longer in pain. The last thing I said to my grandad was “I’ll see you later, okay? I’ll be home in a couple of weeks. I love you, grandpa.” That was my last phone call with him the night before he passed. I said “I love you” so many times and I’m so thankful for that.

For those dealing with the loss of a loved one during such an overwhelming time and transition, I totally and completely empathize. I haven’t really been myself since my grandfather passed. If you need anyone to talk to I am here. There are really no words to make things better, but I know that a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear can make a difference.

Tell your family and friends that you love them and tell them often. You never know when it may be the last time.

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