Grief is indiscriminate of categories as to how life ends, our race, religion, gender, or any other box asking to be checked off for validation. Grief counterparts like denial, guilt, rage, craziness, plus so many other bright colored ones, will at some point fit perfectly into a box on what I call The Human Application. The most appropriate box name for this human commonality should be Griever.
Imagine being able to check this box off. It would tell the world that you were in need of a time out. It would tell the world you were in need of additional financial help because of this time out. It would tell the world you needed mental health or spiritual care.
This box would tell the world you needed more today than ever before. A check in this box would also tell the world that at some point each and every person taking up space on this planet would need the same things with plus or minus variations. Our grief would at least be heard in ink at a basic human level.
What I heard after the two-and-a-half month time out after my son’s sudden-out-of-nowhere suicide…. was silence. My ears could only hear my amplified shallow heart beat. My eyes recorded a world that had moved on without me and with great ease. With my ears and eyes in conflict with each other, my only reliable sense was my internal hard drive.
It fought to keep me safe from watching laughter leave the mouths of humans that stood in front of me in line at the grocery store. When their heads flew back, forcing more of this horrid sound out, my internal hard drive directed me to abandon my shopping cart and head towards the exit of the store and into my car.
I found my own voice once inside. I screamed! It was my job to buy food for my family, and I was returning home empty handed. Grief’s counterpart — shock — had just worn off without warning. Where was the application? I needed someone in the parking lot to know I had checked off the Griever box and needed help right now.
My grief was invisible. My internal hard drive got me home without harm. Home is where I stayed for another time out.
As you can see, grief did not discriminate in my case. Grief is goal oriented. Grief is not interested in demographics or economic structure; it’s got one magnificent agenda and that is teaching us to accept death.
Monique Antoinette 2011