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“Grief Requires Witnessing”

If it were not for grief, I may still be sleepwalking through life as a public school teacher, killing my own potential for growth. In such an environment, conformity is the main goal , not growth. I had a hard time honoring my grandparents at my job, although my grandfather died while I was at work 10/2/2020. COVID led to two very rushed funerals for them. Instead of compassion, coworkers would say they heard my tears from the restroom, or even worse – touch my mini urns and cremation jewels without second thought. It truly bothered me. In simplicity, I just wanted my grief to be understood without being asked to explain it (it’s like trying to explain the tech apocalypse to a toddler)

I have stepped away from trying to “save the world” for a bit, and the above quote really explains why. It is so important to witness the rituals of grief. Momo and I still pray together. We still talk. I mainly only cook the meals I so cherished from her, (I would drive 2 hours every Sunday for that Okra, in the name of Jesus!).

Rose and June 🙂

Papa still checks on me, in his own special way. Like, when he’d see a catastrophe on the news across the world and call me to make sure that my doors were locked, checking my tire pressure before I’d drive back to Houston, allowing me to make fun of his shaky Parkinson hands before I truly understood what it meant…

As our friends and family reckon with their grief, and some do so without important witnessing rituals such as funerals, which are part of our healing, it’s important to remind them that they are seen, loved, and not alone.



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4 responses to ““Grief Requires Witnessing””

  1. Hey Bri. this is a good piece. i still see my mom laying the casket during my day. i dont tell anyone because they wouldnt understand.

    1. T H I S. YES. I totally get you, happens to me during driving, random conversation. If I want to cry , I just cry because I can’t control it plus its moving me forward in healing. Anyone that doesn’t want to or try to understand those moments you have, don’t worry about them. FOCUS ON YOUR HEALING.

  2. I like how you still talk to your parents. i didnt get to have a funeral for my grnadpa.

    1. I am so sorry that you didn’t get to have that experience. Have you tried to witness your grief in another way? spread his ashes , visit his grave if he has one, watch one of his favorite shows. it helps, i know. God bless you.


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About The Author

Briana Derry, MBA is a passionate writer, researcher, and freelancer with a passion for learning and teaching others to take a BreeziDeezi approach to life, career, and their pursuit of the present.

Fluent in American Sign Language and constantly learning, Briana has served as an Academic Advisor, Public Educator, Digital Media Manager, and Mayor’s Intern. She loves to help people with their academic progress by assisting with writing. 

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