Try not to tear up when reading this interview with Joe and Jane Clementi in People magazine. The parents of the New Jersey teen—who killed himself earlier this year after his roommate broadcast him and a partner having sex in their dorm room over the internet—are finally speaking out, and it’s heartbreaking.
His father says that he finds solace in a Facebook page dedicated to his son’s memory. “I’ll read a few things until I get choked up—then I’ll stop,” he says. OK, now I’mabout to cry. His mother says this time of year is especially hard for her, her husband, and her two living sons. “It’s especially hard right now because this was his favorite time of year. So we’re trying to find a new way to celebrate Christmas. I’m sad—and trying to get through it.” OK, now I am crying. Powerful stuff. Everyone go home and call your parents or hug your children or something. Then cry alone in your room. That is the dignified thing to do.
Grief is your emotional reaction to a significant loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Whether you lose a beloved person, animal, place, or object, or a valued way of life (such as your job, marriage, or good health), some level of grief will naturally follow.
Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in advance of an impending loss. You may feel anticipatory grief for a loved one who is sick and dying. Similarly, both children and adults often feel the pain of losses brought on by an upcoming move or divorce. This anticipatory grief helps us prepare for such losses.
What is grieving?
Grieving is the process of emotional and life adjustment you go through after a loss. Grieving after a loved one’s death is also known as bereavement.
Grieving is a personal experience. Depending on who you are and the nature of your loss, your process of grieving will be different from another person’s experience. There is no “normal and expected” period of time for grieving. Some people adjust to a new life within several weeks or months. Others take a year or more, particularly when their daily life has been radically changed or their loss was traumatic and unexpected.