Grieving Someone You Didn't Know (or Hardly Knew)

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Eleanor Haley

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Loss takes many shapes.

Sometimes loss takes the shape of someone we knew well. It's tangible and detailed and reflects many of the specific things we miss about that person, like the smell of their favorite detergent, the way they always sang slightly off key, and the corny jokes they couldn't help but tell. These are the intimate details we grieve when a familiar loved one who occupied a particular space in our life dies.

Other times, when a person mourns someone they didn't know as well, loss takes the shape of something a little more abstract and theoretical. They grieve for how the relationship could have been, should have been, or would have been had things been different. In these instances, the loss is very much real, though it may feel hard to define.

Grief over the loss of someone you didn't know, or hardly knew, can occur in a hundred different ways, but for our purposes, I think we can split it up into two main categories.

The first category is when someone grieves a person who they were aware of, but who they were not connected to in any way - such as when a celebrity dies. If this is the type of loss that brought you here, head over to this article for a more in-depth discussion.

For the purposes of this article, we want to focus on grief experienced over someone connected to you, usually by relation, who has been absent or who died before you had the chance to get to know them. Examples include individuals who died when you were very young, relatives who have always been out of the picture, and people who you have lost touch with for long periods.


Disenfranchised Grief:

One of the most important things to note about these types of losses is that they are at a higher risk of being disenfranchised. Disenfranchised grief happens when someone experiences a loss that those in their family, friend groups, community, or broader society are reluctant to validate or support.

Unfortunately, unless you've experienced grief over someone you hardly knew yourself, it can be challenging to understand because it's not immediately obvious what, specifically, there is to grieve. So people may make comments like, "Your mother left you, so why do you care about her?" or, "You didn't even know your uncle, why are you so sad he died?" Even those who are at least aware enough not to say hurtful things may still meet your loss with silence or indifference.

Heck, you may even experience self-stigma by saying similar things to yourself, denying yourself the right to grieve or the right to ask for support, or wondering, "Why am I struggling with grief over someone I didn't know?" or "Do I even have a right to grieve this loss?"

If you are grieving someone you hardly knew, or who you didn't know at all, you need to know that this is indeed a type of loss that can cause grief.  Now, this doesn't mean that a person is abnormal if they don't grieve a relation they never knew. It merely means that your response - grief or no grief - is normal either way.


Complicated Emotions:

Most people negotiate the ups and downs of interpersonal relationships daily. So we grow used to the idea of working through conflict with those we interact with. What we aren't used to is navigating complicated emotion felt towards people who are gone or who were, perhaps, never really present.

Generally speaking, grieving people feel things - good and bad - towards deceased people all the time. When a person dies, the relationship doesn't all of a sudden become one-dimensionally good. Nuanced thoughts and feelings remain, and the grieving person is left trying to figure out how to work through things like regret, anger, guilt, blame, and resentment even though the other person is physically gone.

The same goes for grieving someone who you didn't really know. You may feel abandoned or unloved by the person, regret not taking the time to get to know them better, cheated and resentful that death stole your opportunity to have a relationship with the person, and so on.

Coulda's, Woulda's, Shoulda's:

When someone you hardly knew dies, your grief may manifest around different types of thoughts, emotions, and secondary losses than it would if you had known the person well.  For instance, your grief may focus more on abstract losses, like what could have been or should have been.

For example, instead of mourning a specific role the person played in your life, you may grieve the role they should have played. Instead of mourning particular memories of the past, you may regret the fact that you never had the chance to make these memories. Perhaps you had held out hope of one day having a relationship with the person and now that they have died you're grieving the loss of that dream. 


Ongoing Grief:

Contrary to popular belief, grief does not follow a trajectory in which a person grapples with the pain, resolves their grief, and moves on. Can this happen? In certain instances, but more often, we find that bereaved individuals will continue to revisit their grief and their feelings about the absent or deceased person throughout their lifetime. Yes, this is true even if you didn't know the person at all or well.

Consider a son whose father died before he was born. It would not be at all surprising if the boy felt loss over and over again, each time his father wasn't there but should have been if only life had gone differently.  Soccer games, learning to drive, graduation, getting married, becoming a father himself - according to the concept of regrief - he may feel his loss anew at each of these milestones and, over time, come to understand his father, his grief, and the role it plays in his life in new and different ways.

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After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

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137 Comments on "Grieving Someone You Didn't Know (or Hardly Knew)"

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  1. Mel  May 14, 2023 at 8:52 am Reply

    Thank you so much to whoever wrote this article, it made me realise some stuff about myself and what i need to build on. I thank you so so so very much.

  2. Tammy  May 3, 2023 at 9:15 pm Reply

    My son in law took his life just 8 months ago at the age of 26 and just after the birth of their beautiful daughter. My granddaughter wasn’t 2 months old when he left us.
    I am looking for guidance in books on how to proceed moving forward, through the years. Things like bringing family photos in to share at daycare will lead to questions. How will answers be expected, how much detail is enough, what’s the right information to share?

    • Litsa  May 5, 2023 at 10:13 am Reply

      For children who won’t remember their parent, sharing memories, photos, and stories is so important! You may want to check out this article.

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  4. Lilly  November 27, 2022 at 10:54 am Reply

    I lost my mother a week ago. We were incredibly close, and reading these comments makes me feel incredibly grateful that we had 27 years of making wonderful memories together. I grieve for not only my immediate loss of her, but also that my future kids won’t know their grandma. I’ll do my absolute best to make sure they know *about* her, and to pass on the lessons and wisdom she taught me, but it’s not the same. I don’t know how we will help them with their grief, missing someone they never met. I guess only time will tell, and that we have to find some way to show them double the love in her honor.

  5. india  November 21, 2022 at 11:21 pm Reply

    my father had a strained relationship with his mother and eventually fell out of touch with her entirely unfortunately a few years before i was born.
    i never knew her or heard anyone talk about her and i always wondered why i didn’t have two sets of grandparents it was only in the past couple of years i got the bravery to ask my mum i was scared of my dads reaction.
    also i had been trying to trace her on ancestry but i didn’t even know her last name
    eventually i found her and her facebook page
    i even resembled her somewhat and she had an entire life a husband step grandkids my age
    she had hobby’s i had she traveled and i wanted to talk to her so badly
    and tell her despite her entire family hating her for the past that i didn’t and i would love to know her
    but i was to afraid i kept holding it of and then on facebook i saw she was diagnosed with cancer when i told my mum to tell my dad he was sounded happy at the mention of his mum thinking i had been in contact with her no i was to afraid and it got even worse how could i contact her now it might distress her dredge up the painful past or she might think i want her money or something
    and then she died 3 months after she got diagnosed and the pain and regret eat’s me up
    now because of my fear i won’t even get to let her know i was here and wanted to know her she is gone forever

  6. Turner  November 20, 2022 at 9:23 pm Reply

    I’m 39 years old and my father died in an automobile accident when I was 3 months old. So, I really didn’t know him unfortunately. However, growing up, I was aware of his death and the circumstances and always felt something akin to a void in my heart throughout my life. I’d have days where I was genuinely sad and mourned for his loss. I knew then and now that it was crazy to weep over someone who I barely knew, but that’s just how I felt.
    Fast forward to the present, I have my own family with 2 kids. I’m very blessed and I’m thankful for my blessings; however, I can’t help but feel sad and mournful when I think about my kids missing out on time with their grandfather. I always think that everything will get better but I still and always feel empty inside. Nothing seems to dull the pain or make it go away…

  7. Imogene H  September 13, 2022 at 10:17 pm Reply

    I just found out a member of my support group died while he was out of the country. He struggled with mental health much of his adult. Thankfully, it wasn’t suicide. He was in Mexico for a visit, caught a bug, but the hospital couldn’t save him.

    My heart has been heavy off and on for the last few days from missing my group member. He was finally getting his footing in life. It feels cruel that his life was cut short in this way.

    It feels unauthentic to cry over someone I didn’t interact with outside of group, especially knowing that he has close loved ones where it makes sense they would grieve. I was going to join a GriefShare group, but I didn’t have the money to get the workbook, but I did sign up for their daily emails.

    I wish my husband and maybe others to do more to help me process this latest death. I also lost a schoolmate and a cousin this year.

  8. Martin  August 5, 2022 at 5:02 pm Reply

    My father died of cancer when I was two years old, I have no memory of him. I thought I had a happy childhood. I am 54 now with two kids of my own, but it seems the older I get , the more painful his loss becomes. I guess I grieve all that we never had. I can imagine as he was suffering with cancer, how sad it must have been for him to know he would never know his son. Anytime I think about him, I could easily start to cry. It’s a pain that never goes away. I do my best not to think about it. My mom never really talked about it, I’m sure it was too painful. I like to think the relationship I have with my son would be like the one I was robbed of…

  9. MM  July 7, 2022 at 12:39 am Reply

    A coworker that I had just met a new job died a few weeks after I started. I could tell they cared about their job and clients. I was so excited to get to know them as we would be working together. I know I am grieving for the what should of, could of been. I am crying because I see others crying for this persons loss. I am an empathetic person and cry when I see others in pain and I can’t and shouldn’t take it away.

  10. Sherlock  April 17, 2022 at 11:46 pm Reply

    My great grandmother passed away almost a year ago due to heart failure. When my family told me this I didn’t know what to do in that moment. So I just stayed still, without crying or saying anything. I didn’t really knew her nor talked with her.
    I felt extremely sad because some weeks before I had the opportunity to go to the nursing home where she was and I didn’t.
    Every once in a while I start crying for hours and regret every single time I had the chance to spend time with her and wasted them.

  11. SD  March 6, 2022 at 10:10 am Reply

    Loss of my mother
    I’m now 41 years old. I don’t really remember my mom because I was so young (5 years old) when she died. Today (03/06/22) is now 36 years that she has been gone.
    I’m scared because my aunt (my mom’s sister) recently died and she was the one who would talk to me, and tell me stories about her memories of my mom. I’m afraid because when she died, another part of my mom died along with her.
    It’s hard because I don’t really remember much of anything about my mom. I don’t remember what she sounds like, and I don’t even really have any memories of her… and my family had a house fire and with that fire they lost a huge amount of family photos that included the photos/memories of my mom. I have 1 photo of my mom.
    I stuggle with having moments throughout my life when I suddenly think about my mom and I seem to grieve all over again during those moments. I don’t really remember the short time that we did have together, and I don’t even remember how I acted when she died.

  12. JA  February 18, 2022 at 10:20 pm Reply

    My uncle unexpectedly passed after I had not seen him for about 12 years. He was my dad’s brother, and my dad’s family had a falling out with my mom and dad over some stupid stuff when I was a kid. As a result, they cut us out of their family and I didn’t have a connection with them for those 12 years. My uncle’s death was the only reason I saw them again. Seeing my uncle’s body in a casket was so heart breaking because I didn’t know that the last time I saw him 12 years ago would be the last time I would see him. At the time of his death, there was no relationship between us. What hurt me even more was that I felt so bad for my dad having lost a brother who he was not on speaking terms with. I find it hard not to hold some resentment towards the family for blocking me and my brother out for whatever the situation was between them and my parents. I was a kid, I had nothing to do with their problems, but I was punished. After my uncle’s passing, my dad’s family is making an effort to reconcile, but I am having a hard time reconnecting because of this resentment I have towards them. I know I shouldn’t feel this way because eventually another one of them will pass and I will have to go through these emotions again.

    • Carmen Silva  February 23, 2022 at 12:15 pm Reply

      Hi. My 6yr old sons paternal grandmother passed a yr ago but he never met her. When I told him she had passed he cried for her like he knew her which I cant understand. Does he have some emotional attachment cuz he knew that was his grandmother. Hes cried bout how he never met her, how he would like to see her if shes taken care of him how he loves her. Her birthday just passed & I told him & he cried that he couldn’t go visit her & again that he misses his grandmother. I’m jst trying to understand if its possible 4 him so much emotions for a grandmother he never met. Thank you.

      • dea  September 27, 2022 at 1:57 am

        I was around that age, maybe a little older, when my grandmother died and I went through what sounds like a similar phase. You’ve got to consider that even now, grandparents in all kids media are very glorified. Since I didn’t really remember her, that was all the more space for me to imagine what could have been. I passed through it pretty naturally as I got older and understood my grandmother as a person, rather than this magical figure I’d been robbed of.

    • dea  September 27, 2022 at 2:03 am Reply

      I’m in a similar situation. My mother’s youngest brother passed away today. I didn’t know him that well, and I feel like she’s a bit angry at me, for not being closer to her family. So I’m simultaneously grieving an uncle who I had met several times, but lived across the country and made no great effort to get to know me, either. And I feel like my mom doesn’t want to allow me that grief, she even outright said that she and my father can’t support me emotionally right now.

  13. Tori  January 30, 2022 at 3:30 pm Reply

    My grandfather recently passed away and I’m struggling to process it. We didn’t have a relationship because of the years of terrible family relations before me. He chose not to have anything to do with my immediate family and that’s all I’ve known. So, I was surprised by how hard this has been for me.

    My other grandparents passed away either when I was very young or before my birth. It always hurt to not have the chance to be close to my grandparents, but it also hurts to know that one that was alive for so long still chose not to be a part of my life and there was never any reconciliation between my grandfather and parent.

    In some ways, I feel that because I didn’t know him, I don’t have the right to be this upset. And the people that did know him, said he was very unpleasant to be around. But the thought of him no longer being alive and so many things being left unresolved still breaks my heart.

  14. Troy  October 12, 2021 at 8:06 pm Reply

    I was going to middle school for 2 years and a half years. About a year later I was sitting in a class they called an advisor class I believe it was for your attendance because after about 15-20 minutes everyone would leave the classroom and go to their regular class they normally attend everyday. One-day I was sitting at my desk and a girl that was in my Advisor class came up to me and introduced herself to me she shook my hand and I told her my name, I slowly started to develop a friendship with her after a few months of being around her in school she started saying she loved me. one day I was outside after everybody ate their lunch I was walking back to school just before lunchtime ended we had at least 20 minutes left before the bell rang she was standing on the grass as I was walking towards the school she called out to me and we stood there talking, there was another student there as well she told him that I love her and he asked me do you love her I said to him I don’t know! and she says yeah he loves me. There was silence for a few seconds I’m not sure if she said anything to me after that, it was time to go inside to the next class so here’s where my Grief starts I was 13 years old in 2000 it was close to a new year just after Christmas my Dad past away, school was still closed for another week during the Holidays. My family ended up moving the same day to a different city where I was originally born, a month later they enrolled me into a new school I was alone didn’t have any friends and I felt lost I wanted to go back to my old school. We end up living there for about a year before deciding to move back to our previous city, I was back in our hometown a year later 2002 by that time my old classmate had already graduated and I had graduated from the new school I was sent to I was just starting high school, I had forgotten all about the girl that had feelings for me in middle school in fact I didn’t miss her or thought about her until 22 years later a few days ago I started to think about her. I visited my old middle school on October 10th 2021 I felt like I went back in time to 1998 1999 & 2000 I was standing in the same spot where my old classmate said I loved her, it’s like I was 13 years old all over again and she was there with me. I’m currently griefing for her, I started thinking to myself why did my family had to move away, why didn’t she gave me her number. Cellphones weren’t common in 2000 none of us had a cellphone. I even say to myself what if I had never moved and I had graduated at my old middle school with her, she would be my first love and soulmate. To this day as I am typing this comment I want to find her it’s been 22 years I miss her a lot I thought about hiring an investigator to help me find her. My only concern is what if she changed, what if she forgot about me and if I were to see her again after 22 years she may already have kids and committed to someone else what if she has a career and a family of her own I would most likely be sad and hurt. They say everything happens for a reason, sometimes I have to tell myself maybe me and her wasn’t meant to be. I wonder if she ever visited her old middle school hoping she would find me there, but I wasn’t there. I just wanna talk to her after 22 long years, I wanna ask her how she’s been doing and if she ever missed me.

  15. Lisa H  September 22, 2021 at 8:49 pm Reply

    My baby brother recently died a few weeks ago. A brother I never got to know. Why? Because our biological parents couldn’t stay together..they not only walked away from their marriage, all five children were tossed to the curb. Three were adopted within the family, two went to foster homes. Hugh (baby brother) was raised in another state, while myself and my twin sister remained in NC..adopted by an aunt and was Hugh. He was about a year old at the time..we were 2 1/2. Through the years we had some sense of connection, only because our new parents kept in touch. Fast forward to the last 20 years, he remained a troubled soul. I only learned of his passing because two years ago I signed up to a service the state he lived in (the prison system) offered. It was a connection that inadvertently gave me the final movement of his life. He had recently been released from prison, but remained on probation. Probation would have ended October 16th (this year), sadly his body was found in his apartment. Still no closure because I don’t know any details. My other siblings have run an obit, ordered a headstone, and will soon get together and have a private gathering to say our goodbyes. I read here earlier tonight on this website exactly what I am going through. The would, could, should haves. What was taken away from us dealt a deafening blow. We were robbed f what could have been.mine thing I always remind myself is that the choices, decisions, amd actions others make do effect others down the line. Some go on in life and succeed to some degree, but many carry on that generational dysfunction. Both have happened among the surviving siblings. Be that as it may, I still feel a deep and sad loss. We can’t go back in time realistically, but we do keep wondering what if…This is where I am now. Life goes on, but time stands still for me now..trying to understand what happened during his life to cause him to spiral out of control. He died alone. He was only 57. A troubled soul indeed. Would he have ended up going down a brighter path had our lives remained the way they began? We will never know. Yet, I will keep asking this question forever.

  16. DANIELLE  September 1, 2021 at 1:09 pm Reply

    Tomorrow will be the 10 year anniversary of a friend’s death whom I didn’t get a chance to know for more then a month. I only have 2 memories with her, and her death was very traumatic. My therapist told me she wants me to celebrate her life tomorrow and not mourn, that I’ve mourned for long enough and she is right. It’s been 10 years. But I don’t know how to celebrate someone I didn’t know well? For her birthday this year I made her cupcakes and brought her balloons to her memorial and it helped but I felt I was doing that more for a comfort for myself in a way? I’ve always felt so alone in this because when her death first happened I was told by “friends” I didn’t know her long enough to be upset. I constantly think about the what if’s, if we would still be friends, etc. I want to celebrate her tomorrow I just honestly don’t know how.

    • Daniel  October 24, 2022 at 6:13 pm Reply

      Strange how ironically similar this message is to me. My name is Daniel and almost exactly the same thing as my story. I dated a woman who passed before I could take her out a third time. She was special, at least I think. I see her from time to time driving a car or walking laughing with a friend. Sometimes her hair is a different color. I have let her go but my subconscious still sees her full of life. It’s not pain that I feel but more of a loss of what may have been. Such a beautiful lady.

  17. Bea  August 10, 2021 at 8:24 pm Reply

    A few months ago a girl who I met once committed suicide. I pretended like we were really good friends, when in reality I knew her for a very short time. When we met, we spent the whole day together and we became instant best friends. But then we never spoke again. Now three years after not talking, I’m still crying myself to sleep every night wondering why I didn’t say something or tell her what an impact she had on my life. She was the only person I’ve ever had an instant connection with, so why didn’t we become best friends? I mean, she didn’t even go to my school. I had a dream that we spent the whole day together again and then she went home and I saw her die. The night before the day I found out about her was a really horrible night. I was at my ex-best friend’s house and I was taken advantage of and I had to pretend that I was ok with it for the next month before she ghosted me. My mum doesn’t understand why I’m so attached to this memory of my dead friend, but she doesn’t know about everything that happened that night. Yesterday was her birthday and I had to pretend like everything was fine when really I was heartbroken about the fact that she never got to turn 15. The whole situation has been really effecting my school work and teachers have started emailing my parents, but it’s not like I can say “oh I’m grieving sorry” because it’s already been months. I just feel really lonely.

  18. Swechchha  August 5, 2021 at 3:58 pm Reply

    I am grieving about the loss of one of my school mate, I never spoke to him. I got to know yesterday that he died of cancer.
    He was young, recently married with an year old daughter.
    He was my FB friend but we never messaged each other.

    I am evaluating how important he was to his wife and new born and hence I am praying to God that if they are planning to take someone’s life who is that important to their family …then take mine instead.

    I never had this feeling about the deaths in my relations bit I don’t know why for him.


    • Isabelle Siegel  August 6, 2021 at 9:29 am Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Sometimes the deaths that impact us the most are the ones we never expect would. I hope this article has communicated to you that grieving someone you hardly knew is very normal and valid. That said, if you feel as though you could use some extra support, we recommend looking for a counselor trained in grief and bereavement. You can start your search here: All the best!

  19. Hailz  June 26, 2021 at 2:21 pm Reply

    It is comforting to know that I am not the only one that is feeling like this at the moment. I dont feel like I am able to talk to my friends or family as I dont think they will understand.

    I have been thinking alot about a guy who commited suicide around 7 years ago.
    I went to school with him and he was in the year above, we briefly went out a few times and after school lost contact. Years later he added me to facebook and I wish I had had the courage to message him but I didnt and around 6 months later he then commited suicide. It was such a shock and I didnt go to the funeral as really i thought I had no place to be there.

    I guess I always thought that at some point we would bump into each other.
    I thought at the time he died that I dealt with it, however in the last couple of months I have thought a great deal about him. I feel completely lost, at a loose end and feel ashamed with myself for feeling like this.
    However reading this has made a slight difference in that I am not the only one out there to feel like this.

    • Jim  June 28, 2021 at 8:38 pm Reply

      I’m so glad I found this article and this reply as I try to process and understand what’s happening to me. I found out my first girlfriend from school took her own life and I’m completely devastated, despite not seeing her for over 20 years. We kept in contact now and again over Facebook and there were signs in her messages that she was struggling with work/family/kids like we all do, and feel immense guilt for not making more of an effort to see her. Her last message was to arrange camping with both of our families, I turned off Facebook around the same time and when I came back on a few years later she was gone. My wife doesn’t understand why it’s effecting me so much and I feel guilty for feeling this overwhelming grief that from the outside doesn’t seem logical, considering we naturally grew apart and took different paths over the years. I have not been able to sleep for 3 days and keep thinking I’ve been robbed of the chance to talk to and see her again.

  20. Brandi Mcvey  June 26, 2021 at 11:35 am Reply

    I was given up for adoption. I’m 45years old. About 7years ago I finally found my biological Father. We only got to spend a few days together because he passed away right after we met.. I’m full of so much pain and hurt and anger because I don’t understand at all why God would let us meet then take him away. I feel cheated. There was so many things I wanted to tell him. I’m left with nothing but darkness and sadness in my life and I can’t seem to climb out of the dark. Something just keeps me down

  21. DL  June 23, 2021 at 9:53 pm Reply

    A boy who went to my high school was killed in a car accident over the summer after our freshman year when we were both 15 years old. I never met him, but I knew of him, though I am not sure he knew who I was. This was the first experience I had with confronting the death of someone my age. I didn’t go to the funeral because I didn’t think it was my place since I didn’t actually know him (I was also 15 and didn’t have transportation), but I wish I had now in the hope that it might have given me some more closure. Our school never did much to acknowledge the loss other than giving a brief announcement and moment of silence the first day of school (I think the tennis court may have dedicated their new lights to him at some point later). I have thought about him and gotten very sad off and on over the years (it’s been 12 years now). For some reason, I have been thinking about him a lot more over the past year since the pandemic began and I moved in with my parents for a bit. I’ve gotten sad around his birthday and the anniversary of his death. I didn’t think about him as much during the majority of college and a couple years after that, but for some reason over the past year, I have felt a lot of pain over the fact that my classmates are growing up and becoming adults and having different achievements and lifestyles, and he will never be included in that. It feels wrong, like he’s being left behind. I have gotten sad when I don’t see people posting tributes on social media on the anniversary of his death or birthday anymore because I feel like he deserves to be remembered. I visited his grave for the first time in April 2020, but I feel like that didn’t really help me get closure. I think it’s hard because I seem to have projected a lot of my own hopes and dreams onto him. I wonder if we could have been friends or more than that if we had known each other, and how I would have longed for that when I was experiencing loneliness and being ignored by boys in high school. And I have heard from a lot of people about how he was such a great and caring person and a sincere Christian, and was friends with people even if they weren’t “cool”. It doesn’t seem fair at all that his life was so short. I struggle with judging myself by telling myself it doesn’t make sense to be thinking about him today and I feel like I don’t have the right to be this sad since I didn’t meet him ever. I remember that some people in my homeroom were judging the efforts of other students to remember him by selling memorial bracelets. They seemed to be saying that they thought people should just “get over it” if they didn’t know him well, like there wasn’t a reason to be sad about the loss. That line of thinking seemed to be pretty common among my classmates. I always thought my classmates struggled a lot with emotional incompetence- I think that was part of the reason why I struggled to make friends and connect with people there and didn’t often feel like what I had to offer was valued. I think our whole school devalued emotional intelligence and sensitivity. Our school counselors didn’t make any effort to tell us they were available to help us work through the loss. I want to feel like I can accept that I do feel grief over this person even though I technically “shouldn’t” according to many people. I want to acknowledge that this is real, and I’d love to just understand why this is happening more. And not feel such heavy sadness sometimes. Like I can remember and have peace with the way things are now, and believe he’s still loved and remembered without having to take a weight on myself. And keep living my life in the present. I have many questions, but I will keep moving forward.

  22. Jordan  June 22, 2021 at 10:53 am Reply

    This helped. It’s really weird how it works. I once knew a girl in middle school. She was really sweet, and though we were never close, I knew she was a kind soul.

    She hung herself in the 7th Grade.
    It was always sad, but I’m here at the age of 20, and suddenly, I can’t stop thinking about her, and how her life could have been.
    Thank you for helping me understand more about myself.

  23. Roxanne  June 19, 2021 at 2:42 pm Reply

    I’m now 27. I’ve never met my dad. I’ve always wanted to and tried but every time I tried it was a dead end and no one wanted to help me. Well some family were visiting a deceased dad and stumbled upon my dads grave. He died 2 years ago. He’s buried in the same town as me. A 10 min drive if that! I’ve never even seen a photo of him. I don’t know how he died. Who he was with. What he’d been up to the last 27 years and I doubt I’ll ever find out and I think that’s what I’m grieving. The memories we should’ve had. Why no one told me he’d died and why he never tried to find me. I found out nearly a week ago and had an ache in my tummy since that I can’t shake and a lump in my throat. I don’t know what I feel or what I’m supposed to do. I’ve never lost anyone close to me like that.

    • Brandi Mcvey  June 26, 2021 at 11:40 am Reply

      Hi there I’m kinda going through the same thing you are. I Was given up for adoption I finally found my biological Father about 7yrs ago We only got to spend a few together because he passed away. I need help really bad dealing with this. My life is filled with nothing but darkness and pain and I can’t seem to find the light.

  24. Maya  June 14, 2021 at 11:04 am Reply

    Well you see, my mother’s father (my grandfather) died when she was only 7. She told me all these stories about how he was such a kind hearted gentleman. I’m not sure why but it just happens..I cry. I cry about how I would of loved to meet him, how he would of been an amazing grandfather. But he passed…I just wonder what it would be like if he was currently alive.

  25. Rick  June 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm Reply

    About a month ago I was looking at a facebook post of my old high school and a list of those who have died in the history of the school.Obviously I only possibly knew people in maybe 6-7 years.I knew of some that had died like a guy I played little league with who died senior year but it wasnt a surprise to me.Then I saw the name of a girl who I had a crush on in high school,If I remember I only had one class with her so I never asked her out and probably only talked to her a few times.For a day or two I couldn’t get her out of my mind,she died at 23 and it has been 22 years since.All kinds of things were running through my mind like was it an accident or something preventable,what if I would have asked her out and maybe gotten married,would her outcome have been different.After some research I found out she did not graduate with us and apparently was out of school that year and graduated from a neighboring school the following year.I also found out she got married after high school had a child,got cancer and passed away at the young age of 23.I have to assume the year she missed of high school she may have gotten diagnosed and missed the year.Its really a tough situation all around and I still cant understand why I’m taking this so bad where I truly cant stop thinking about her,she was a beautiful girl and knowing she only lived to 23 is hard.Im trying to get her out of my mind and when I think of her I tell myself it’s pretty toxic to be obsessed with a girl who’s been dead for 22 years,I tell myself I cant just call her up and ask her out,if I would have asked her out and gotten to know her more and maybe gotten serious and married her I would have been destroyed,I mean in reality she was only a crush and I’m taking it this hard.Hopefully these feelings ease and I can go forward,but theres no chance I’ll truly forget her.

  26. Neil Ward  May 20, 2021 at 4:22 pm Reply

    I’m grieving a girl who died suddenly from epilepsy and who I hardly knew. We were colleagues a few years ago and people at work had been trying to match us because they knew we had a fair bit in common. She asked me out for a drink one night as we were leaving work. I accepted, and had a nice evening with her. We had both been to the same university, and we had both spent 5 years in Italy teaching English and learning Italian. She asked me back to her place, but although I didn’t find her unattractive, I didn’t know if there was enough chemistry there to sustain a relationship, and I felt if it went wrong, things could get messy at work. So I politely declined. We remained on good terms at work, but didn’t have much contact beyond working as colleagues when our departments had to collaborate. I wonder looking back on it, if I was a little cold towards her, so as not to lead her on. In any case, when she left the company to work in another company, I often thought about reaching out to her through our friendship on Facebook, as I thought that even if we didn’t work romantically, we could have shared a lot of our common interests- especially speaking Italian, discussing politics and so on. And perhaps I’m shallow and immature and some kind of romance could have blossomed. I’m not great at forming and maintaining friendships and I didn’t want to confuse her with mixed messages so in the end, I thought better of it and didn’t contact her. Shortly after, I left London. In one way or another I have always been pining for the days when I first went to Italy to teach English, and certain romantic opportunities that I didn’t take advantage of through inexperience and lack of self esteem. I suppose, I have always been chasing what seemed to have been within my grasp and yet somehow eluded me, and is intimately interwoven with that period of my life. But I also know from experience that going back to a place and trying to recapture a moment in time is misguided- the place is never what you remembered and the people have moved on. So I decide I needed to forge a new path, embark on a new adventure and make new memories. I moved to China, to teach English. During my time in China, the Pandemic happened and I was forced to return to the UK. To keep myself busy, I resolved to give Italy another try. I had lined up a job and was looking forward, with some mixture of trepidation and excitement, to seeing my old home from home. But, then the pandemic struck Italy too, and stayed in the UK where I have been until the time of writing with little to do beyond online teaching, and too much time to do it in. A few days ago, I was hit by one of those seas of troubles which Hamlet speaks of and which consume me from time to time and engender an unhealthy propensity towards probing old memories, and dwelling on past experiences, somehow trying find a way back to an ideal moment that perhaps never even really existed. To spur myself into some kind of action, I had contacted an old colleague to see if an opportunity in Italy might still present itself, but as I feared, Brexit seems to have put paid to that. So I was already feeling a sense of grieving for my time in Italy, and a sort of mourning for a period of life when I was young, full of hopes and dreams, exploring a new country and culture, with my whole life ahead of me- the double whammy of Brexit and the Pandemic seeming to have unceremoniously drawn a line under any hopes of reopening that chapter. Whilst looking up old acquaintances on FB, I came across the news the the girl I am grieving had died, unbeknownst to me, some two years ago, suddenly and unexpectedly. I haven’t been able to shake her from my mind. I spent hours looking through her posts and at old pictures of her in Italy, walking the same kinds of streets that I used to walk, in the same kind of photos, and cafes, and gelaterias. She was once, like me, a youthful wide eyes soul, venturing out into the world, full of hope. Somehow, in grieving the loss of her life, I feel like I am also grieving the loss of my own younger self. I feel I should have given her a chance. I missed the opportunity to connect with a really lovely person and in doing so, the chance to enrich both our lives with our shared experiences. I feel terribly for her parents. And I am plagued by the thought that she likely died alone.

  27. Lawrence  May 4, 2021 at 11:37 am Reply

    This essay/post has come closest to the grief I’ve been feeling, but I still can’t get a handle on it.

    I got a girl pregnant when I was younger, and she asked me not to be involved as she was marrying someone else. I agreed, as long as she agreed to tell our daughter when she was older, to give her the option to find me if she wanted to. I was waiting for the knock on the door ever since.

    Unfortunately, she was murdered in 2014 by her boyfriend, and I have been guiltily grieving ever since – it happened today in 2014. If I had been involved in her life, perhaps I could have been there for her when she needed someone, so I don’t feel I have the right to grieve for her.

    So I feel grief, then tell myself I don’t have the right to grieve for her.

    Don’t know why I’m sharing this, perhaps in the hope that writing it down for strangers will help me unpick the knots.

  28. Ken  April 16, 2021 at 5:08 pm Reply

    This was really validating… my would-be older sister died at birth, years before I was born. It never really bothered me as a kid, it was just kinda something I knew about… but lately I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s a little silly, but I played a video game recently that was about a boy mourning his own older sister, and it just kinda – hit me. That I also have a dead older sister. And all the happy, loving memories the boy had in the game, I never got to experience…Like I said, kinda silly. But you know, I’m almost 16 now, I’m looking into colleges and getting ready for graduation in the next few years… And my sister would already be in college by now if she was alive. Idk. We’ve been going through some tough stuff family-wise, always have, and recently I just can’t help but wonder if she could’ve helped if she was here. Like maybe things could’ve been better. And it’s especially weird to me how upset I’ve been getting because I’ve lost three people that I actually knew and cared for in the last two years, but I wasn’t hit nearly as hard by them…I’m just a little confused;; This was definitely helpful though!!

    • V  September 2, 2022 at 7:37 pm Reply

      A boy I had class with last Spring (college) passed away last month and I just can’t seem to let him go. The first day I seen him in class I found him on Instagram because I thought he was so cute. At the time he had a girlfriend so I never followed him. A few weeks passed and then suddenly he followed me on Instagram, single. We spent the semester never talking but liking each others post on multiple social media platforms because he followed me on all of them. The semester ended and summer began. I went away to summer camp (military stuff) and one night I was looking at his Instagram and I just thought to myself how much I wanted to talk to him but I just couldn’t make the first move. That very morning when I woke up he had added me on Snapchat and messaged me. Me and my friends called him my manifestation boy. We would talk about our goals and dreams. When I was allowed to be on my phone he was the first person I would message and he would ask about my days and tell me how amazing I was for going through all that training. We made so many plans for when I got home. I was home for a week when he went on vacation and drown. I found out at 5am after I had just gotten to work and seen his friend post. He went missing only a few min after I had last messaged him. He was alone all night in that water because they couldn’t find him in the dark. They said to prepare to go home without him because the great lakes are tricky when it comes to these situations.
      He did come home that next day, I laid in bed for three days
      I can’t let go on the idea of what we could have been. He was one of the kindest souls I have met and I don’t know how to move on from what we never got to have. Everytime I go anywhere we had planned to go to together, I feel guilty because he was supposed to be with me. And I just wish I didn’t spend so much time observing him from afar.
      Now I don’t know how I move on from this. I see him all the time in every boy I see on campus that even remotely shares a slight phisical resemblance to him.

      • Litsa  September 5, 2022 at 9:48 am

        I’m so sorry – please know that a month is not long. Though your relationship was mostly on social/text, that doesn’t change that it was meaningful and significant and that you are going to deeply grieve. Sometimes we actually grieve more for the “what could have been” when a relationship never makes it to the full scope of what it could have been, because we never got to see the worse side of someone. So we grieve and remember only the best version of them and the life we imagined having with them. I understand the deep survivors guilt for going places you planned to go together – that will probably always be there. But consider whether you may also be able to think of it as a way to honor him too. That can take time, but it often can come with time.

  29. Scarlett  March 28, 2021 at 6:23 pm Reply

    I was only four years old when my Grandfather passed away. The only memory I have of him is a hazy face leaning over my cot, ready to rescue me from the shadows of my bedroom. The next is sitting at a kitchen table shortly after his death, a cucumber lodged in my sobbing throat, questioning my Mother on his untimely death. “Why did he have to die?” I ask her. She looks back at me blankly, her own grief seeping, unable to provide an answer. Whenever I need advice on anything, the same mum comforts me with past stories about him. “You know, your grandfather had the same problem” According to my family, I’m just like him. Obsessed with all things historical, questioning everything and loving literature. This doesn’t make things any easier, of course. I wish he were here to discuss things such as this with.
    I critique myself often, noting that I love the idea of him and even idolise him. I struggle with feeling like I’m not allowed to feel sad about his death. Some part of me reckons I’ll see him again, I’ll turn around and catch his silhouette, or his face will appear from behind a door. I’ll be able to have a conversation with him, hear what he sounds like, question his choices in life. My brain refuses the fact this will never happen. All I have left of him is a poetry book given to him by Mum, which was never opened, and anecdotes told at family gatherings. An image of him and his brother, wandering about post-war Glasgow, telling jokes at pubs. Another memory of him as a frequent saviour to my Mum and my Uncle, in the face of psychotic bullies. His love of opera and classical music. I carry these things with me and think of him often.
    Now as I journey on to the next chapter of my life I’m told my Grandpa also went through indecision on what he wanted to do with his as well. I can’t help but feel more connected to him than ever right now. I’m scared of my Gran dying soon, too, because I love her of course, but also because when she dies, another part of him does too.

    Thanks for this article, it helped me a lot in feeling validated with my grief, and love to anyone reading this feeling the same way.

  30. Cindy  March 22, 2021 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I’m sorry for your discontent. I hope that you will somehow be able to resolve this so that you can go on with your life. Life is short and sweet and I don’t want you to miss out on it’s sweetness! I don’t know what the solution is but I do think that you will be able to solve this and be happy again🥰

  31. Isabelle Siegel  February 9, 2021 at 10:26 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I think it’s normal to feel connected to and grieve people from our pasts. It sounds as though you are not only coping with her death but also with the “what if’s” about your relationship.

  32. Allie  February 4, 2021 at 6:59 pm Reply

    I am grieving the loss of my grandma. She was my dad’s mom and I hardly knew her growing up because she lived in another country my whole life, but this one really hurts for some reason. She was my last surviving grandparent and while I only met her a few times and it’s been ten years since I’ve last seen her, I knew she cared about me. My mom recently sent me photos from when I was younger of us and I was just flooded with emotions and thoughts on how I really missed my chance at having a solid relationship with a grandparent. I don’t blame my parents at all for this since it was really hard for even them to talk to their parents, but part of me is just a tad bit angry that they didn’t try harder to help form that bond when I was younger. I missed out on a lot of those classic grandparent moments and now I won’t get a chance to achieve them. It’s a very confusing thing to process and has been difficult to explain to other people.

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 9, 2021 at 10:32 am Reply

      Allie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope this article has shown you how normal and valid it is to grieve someone you barely knew. The fact that you didn’t have a consistent relationship with your grandmother doesn’t make your grief any easier. I want you to know that it’s okay to feel angry with your parents while also loving them and respecting their perspectives. All the best to you.

  33. sana  February 1, 2021 at 8:33 pm Reply

    I´m currently grieving my grandpa, who I hardly knew. He died 14years ago, when I was still young. He had cancer, so even when I visited my grandma, he was always in his room because they always told us he was sick. The thing is I have questions for him, but he´s not here anymore to answer them. His son is my father, and I always felt that their relationship wasn´t good, I can´t ask dad about him. But I always wanted to know him, because he was there, unlike the father of my mother who I actually knew so well, I couldn´t get to know him because they didn´t let us enter his room. How sad that you couldn´t even talk to your grandpa when you actually wanted to so hard. And now that he´s gone, it feels like he´s totally gone, nobody talk about him, nobody bring him in conversations. The only memory that I have of him, is when i broke a glass of water and ruin the dinner and my dad screamed at me and he actually protected me and told them that It was okay and everybody ended up only eating desserts but he smiled at me even when I ruined his dinner. That was the only moment I had with him his entire life. He died when I was seven years old, back then they knew he was dying, my parents hide it from me and my siblings and they went to visit him, he was living in another city, and they didn´t come back only after days without calling , after he died. I could seen him before he died, I remember crying in my room hiding from others because I was scared that when someone sees me crying and would tell me why would I cry and I dindn´t even knew him that much. I heard back then my aunt talking to her daughter( they were staying with us because my parents weren´t home) about that my grandpa is going to die. It was that night when I cried the whole night I still remember it, but I was scared to call mom and ask her about it. The next day mom called and told us that grandpa died. Then I waited and I waited for dad, I was so sad for him just the thought that a son lost his dad was so scary back then for me. I thought that i would see my dad crying and that he won´t handle it. My parents came back and I was so nervous how I will react in front of my dad , but it ended up that my dad was totally fine, he looked normal like nothing happened. So the Grandpa thing was never discussed. And I felt that I had no right to show any grieve, even if I felt it because even his son looked just fine.

    • Isabelle Siegel  February 2, 2021 at 8:56 am Reply

      Sana, I’m so very sorry for your loss and that you felt you didn’t have the right to grieve. Please know this: Your grief is valid, regardless of how your father felt/feels.

  34. AMV  January 26, 2021 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I am currently grieving someone I met briefly over thirty years ago at a friends wedding. We connected right away and spent the entire night talking, dancing and kissing but he lived 5 hours away and I didn’t think that would work. I felt a very special connection with him even though it was for just a day. I would hear about him from his cousin and every time I wanted to ask about him and make a connection something always stopped me. Years later after a divorce she married again and at that wedding he asked about me again and why I wasn’t there. I guess he was still thinking about me too even though it was years later. Over the years I would still think about him on and off and wonder about what it could have been like if I had just said something or been at the second wedding or called or hundred different scenarios. I had too many regrets over him in my life. I did have relationships in my life but they were unsuccessful, not because of him but they just didn’t work. Recently, I started to think about him again and wondered how his life turned out. I hoped it was happy but I started to search for him online. I thought people do it all the time and maybe we could connect now. I did find him but found out he died when he was 45 never having married. This made me feel awful. It’s been a long time since he passed but for me it was just a couple of days ago. I felt weird that I would feel that way not having spent time with him. It seemed like to strong of an emotion which brought me back to the internet where I found this site. I felt much better after reading “Coulda’s, Woulda’s, Shoulda’s”. It explained exactly what I was feeling. I’m so glad I found it. My grief is explained and OK that I feel it for him. I too never married so I still wonder what if…

    • Isabelle Siegel  January 27, 2021 at 1:50 pm Reply

      AMV, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I hope this article has shown you how normal it is to grieve someone you hardly knew… It sounds like you had a special connection with this man, so it’s only reasonable that you would be affected by his passing. I’m glad that our site has been helpful for you. It’s completely normal to ponder the “what if’s,” but don’t let them consume you. All the best.

      • AMV  January 27, 2021 at 5:41 pm

        Isabelle, thank you for your kind words. My reaction didn’t feel normal and family told me it wasn’t normal so you and your site validated my feelings which I needed. I do grieve his passing and will let it out so I can then move on. I think it’s hard too since I had finally decided to contact him and would have preferred what stopped me this time was to find him married and happy instead.

    • AMV  February 9, 2021 at 8:39 pm Reply

      Your story was a lot like mine and I hope telling it helped. I also hope you are right that if you manifest your thoughts and throw it out to the universe they wil find the person even if they are in heaven because I can’t stop thinking about him and hoping his life was good even though it was short. Even though it didn’t include me.

  35. Athena Coleman  October 19, 2020 at 9:55 pm Reply

    I have noticed that most of the posts are about celebrity grief and grief of family and friends, maybe acquaintances from school passing on. With all of the grief it does take time. Sometimes it will get worse before it gets better, but you have to keep living for the person you are grieving, your own family, friends, acquaintances. We can’t give up! All of the young ones are looking at us.. If we give up, they will. The older ones are waiting for us to become older so we can be their strength!! But my post is about grieving someone I hardly knew! Wanted to though..oh so much. Most of the time U see ppl maybe once or twice after you part at the store, etc. and then sometimes you never see them again. Recently I lost my majorette co-captain at school (I was captain) and my best girlfriend at home (we used to walk to the store (5 times a day for our mothers) during summer. i felt very alone and pondered a few things. I understand why we all just cannot stay under friends, parents etc. They have gone on now and don’t need anything else but I am still here needing everything Earth still offers. Water,food, shelter, clothes, a job.. even mundane things… a bed, my drivers license, insurance cards. We have to let go in order to take care of ourselves. But getting back to (wanted to oh so much).. I have seen this person about 12 times since we went are separate ways and were never together but there was chemistry and compatibility. We looked into each other’s eyes!!! I say today October 19, we both passed out!! I was calling and so was he…AND every time I see him, it can be North, south, east or west weekend or weekday our paths just keep crossing, but I grieve…, am grieving, have good and bad days… Happy when it rains, sad when it rains, sad on sunny days, etc, I go through the 4 of the 5 stages of grief every time……. and the article is correct it has no trajectory. It Follows. “It seems to HANG on”– Ashford and Simpson (recording artists).

  36. Catrina McLymond  October 18, 2020 at 4:50 pm Reply

    God sure Does answer us in mysterious ways. I came across this article by complete accident as I was searching for whom my grandmother was that died in house fire when my real mother was very small. Yet, I feel like this article was written just for me and presented at the best time that it could have in my life.
    Im 36 years old and I just lost my 55 year old biological mother at the same time my adopted mother is on hospice stage 4 as well. I grew up with my biological mother in-and-out of my life as she gave me a way to her Foster mother. Her Foster mother make cinderellas stepmom look like an angel. Yet thankful for taking me in. I was always search for something more and I never knew when it was Exactly that I was looking for until July 21st 2020 when she left mefor the last time. for the chance to have a shot at what I thought should have been and always wanted with my real mother we were cut from the same cloth she’d leave I never knew when she be back, left always wondering but she was so lost to drugs alcohol that i wonder if I ever crossed her mind. I was 1 of 4 .she would us she loved us and wished it was different Then that voice over OM in a ghost from many many years. I thought when my adopted mother had passed that her and I would have the opportunity to really figure us out, for me to get answers. The figure out what was the purpose between her and I. Instead she left me one last time this July and didn’t understand why She left me for good. why did I get I not get answers why couldn’t it have been different. Sense this has happened I keep repeating to myself how can I miss someone that i never had? and how do you say good bye to somebody you never got the chance to say hello to. So to the author of this article thank you from the bottom my heart for giving me a sense of peace.

    • IsabelleS  October 19, 2020 at 11:12 am Reply

      Catrina, I am so glad to hear that this article brought you comfort and peace. Thank you for taking the time to comment. All the best to you!

      • Gemma Bennett  January 30, 2021 at 7:50 am

        Hi Catrina,
        Very sorry to hear of your pain and difficult times. There is a word in Welsh that was recently referred to in a post by someone, it is the Welsh word Hiraeth. I’m no expert in translations, but it apparently means something along the lines of feeling a longing for home or even for something that did not exist. An Australian writer Clementine Ford recently wrote a post on FB re: longings regarding painful family relationships and such, and though it was one of her followers who referred to this hiraeth word in a comment, apparently there is also a French word. Just putting it out there in case looking these things up may help in your search for understanding, validating and coping with your feelings about something so difficult. Sincere wishes.

  37. Crystal  October 15, 2020 at 8:51 am Reply

    Thank you for this validating article. I only wish it could tell me how to cope with the constant regrief or how to honour the deceased appropriately.
    From the pictures, my mom was young, vibrant and full of hopes and dreams. She had me at 17, and after a downward spiral with drugs and depression she took her life at only 21. Ive gone through cycles of grief, trying to understand it. I was angry and resented her for a while, but now i realize there was nothing to forgive and she deserves to be at peace.
    I came here hoping to find a way to memorialize her, but as i was only 4 when she passed and in my dad’s custody for almost a year, i have no actual memories of her. It would be unfair to memorialize her suicide, as she was (and could have been) far more than that…

    Grieve on everyone, i wish you all find peace with your losses. *love*

  38. K  August 29, 2020 at 10:26 pm Reply

    I just found out my birth father died. This man left my life when I was 4 years old. I don’t remember anything about him. My mom told me I would watch Lion King over and over and cry ‘Where’s my daddy’. He never tried to be in my life. I was 11 or 12 when I saw the Fresh Prince of Bel Air re-run when Will’s father leaves. The line “How come he don’t want me, man?” broke me apart. How come my father didn’t want me? I thought I was over caring about this man not being in my life. He friended next on fb a couple years ago. I was angry. Im angry now. I just rewatched that episode. I’m angry that I’m shedding tears for this man. I had to google why am I grieving someone I didn’t know. But now I know I’m grieving what could/should have been. This sucks

  39. A  August 29, 2020 at 5:42 am Reply

    I’m glad this article exists. Earlier tonight, I was told my uncle died and then I was immediately hit by the news about the Black Panther actor dying.

    Everyone in my family had mixed opinions about the guy, but it’s still sad to hear that he passed. And I felt a bit guilty. I would refer to him as “my aunt’s husband” as opposed to “my uncle” because I always thought that I wasn’t close enough to call him uncle. But that’s not the case. The dude was my uncle. My uncle died.

    • Jay P  April 13, 2021 at 6:06 pm Reply


      I am going through something like this. I have had a very horrible day. The day started with the awful news of my cousin sister passing away the night before due to Covid ( She also had a kidney issue since a few years) She was younger than me at 36 years of age. My first reaction was that of absolute shock. I was then slowly overwhelmed with old memories and a lot of guilt. A lot of regret about how I never tried to connect with her all these years. I was close to her when we were very young kids. My mother had left my father’s house with me in tow due to family issues and we were taken in by my aunt and her husband. She was my aunt’s daughter. We lived with them for close to 2 years. She was my younger sister and she really loved me and looked up to me. Soon after my father came back and took us back home. Thereafter I was not much in touch with her or her family. Over the years I never even thought about them. I came to know about what was going through their lives through my mother and other people. She was a go getter and a very good, very warm and caring person. She lost her sister and father about 15 years ago, so it was just her and my aunt. Living alone. They didn’t have much money. She worked hard. Studied well and got herself a good job. I met her once 10+ years ago and spoke a bit. That was my last interaction with her. Today morning when I heard the news I felt very sad. Very guilty for not keeping in touch. Very aggrieved at her passing away at such a young age. A bit angry at myself for not being in touch and hence not being able to help her through her life and tough times. After all I was her elder brother. I cried almost the whole day remembering how she hugged me when she was scared. How she loved me and respected me. She often asked about me and remembered me but I never did for some reason. The day has been very overwhelming. I asked for her forgiveness. I spoke to my aunt and promised to help her however I can. I feel a big loss even though I was not in touch with her at all. I feel very sad. I feel guilty. I feel regretful. I feel it was very unfair and she didn’t deserve this fate. My wife has been very supportive. I am an emotional man and I do feel pain, suffering and hurt more than others usually. But this was like a bolt from the blue. I am still distraught. She will always remain in my memory and heart. God bless her soul. I will always carry the regret and guilt my whole life I feel. She went too soon. I never got to know her. I feel very sad.

  40. Nathan shelby  August 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm Reply

    My grandmother died the year before I was born so I know the feeling very well

  41. KB  August 19, 2020 at 12:08 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this post, now I understand my feelings a lot better. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 4 years old. I’m 20 years old now. It’s hard because I don’t really remember anything about him – I don’t remember what he sounds like, I don’t even have any foggy memories of him… and back then, people didn’t really take videoes. I’m thankful that I do have photos of him.

    What I’ve been struggling with is having moments throughout my life when I suddenly think about him and grieve all over again. During these times, I would cry for hours but I would then be like, why am I still grieving? I don’t remember anything about him, I don’t remember our times together, I don’t remember if I grieved when he passed away, what am I crying about? I’ve felt very alone and I haven’t been able to tell anyone because I thought it was strange, in a way, that I was still grieving for someone I didn’t really know so long after the death.

    Reading your post really helped, it made me realise I’m grieving about what my life could have been like if my dad was still here. Reading other people’s comments sharing their experiences has really helped me feel like I’m not alone and that what I’m feeling is okay. I will be bookmarking this and coming back when I have one of my grieving periods again. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

  42. Stacy  August 12, 2020 at 11:54 am Reply

    This is also true of being childless not by choice. You grieve the loss of motherhood, the loss of the children you never had. For some it’s grief of babies lost in miscarriages or even stillbirth. So many do not understand this grief.

  43. Danielle Parker  June 29, 2020 at 3:46 am Reply

    My 11 year old daughter’s father took his own life 2 months ago. To say they had a complicated relationship is an understatement. He spent the first 2 years of her life in prison, when he did get out, he only made it a year before he was arrested on NEW charges that he then had to serve 6 years in prison for. He was again released after serving his time in Nov. 2018, only to be arrested in March of 2019, on you guessed it NEW charges, 18 felony counts this time! He had been in prison for almost a year exactly to the day when he took his own life in his prison cell. While over the years she had contact with him through phone calls, letters and visits, this last year she was so angry at him, rightfully so, she did not speak to him, write him or visit at all. It was only a few months before he passed that she even started talking to him again and even those phone calls were very short and almost like he was bothering her. She still had a lot of feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness that was noticeable present. She had/has every right to feel what she is feeling. As if this little girl hadn’t been through enough in her 11 short years, then we get the call about him taking his own life. She has so many mixed emotions about all of it. It just absolutely breaks my heart. By the grace of God, we have an amazingly strong family support system on both sides of her family. Which I know is one of the main reasons she has made it this far, an honor roll student, so smart, beautiful, kind hearted and compassionate to others. I am so proud of her, and her resilient core. I hope and pray every night that we will continue to get our grief out, expressing it in healthy ways, especially with her teen years rapidly approaching. I have faith in myself as her mother and in her as my daughter. We will get through this together babygirl. I love you.

  44. Diana Alarcon  June 29, 2020 at 1:22 am Reply

    My family is very broken. There are people in my family I’ve never met and people I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I’m in my 50’s now. So, I have lots of severed relationships with my family, people I saw when I was little, then never saw again. It’s actually a huge theme in my life. I have an Uncle who died about 10 years ago. He was 10 years older than me, so I only ever knew him as someone a lot older than me. He was a smart guy who became a lawyer, but his mother had drug and alcohol problems and he inherited them. He died of liver cancer and I find it absolutely heartbreaking. I keep thinking about what he must have felt like when he found out he was going to die. I know he had to have been scared and it bothers me to think of him being that scared. He had 3 sons and I know it had to have been so hard for him to leave them when they were still children and it makes me cry to think how sad he must have been. At one time, he had been a wealthy guy but he died a pauper, some nuns paid of him to be buried because he didn’t even have enough money to be buried. He lived in New Jersey but wanted to be buried in Illinois by his dad and it makes me sad to think that he probably was afraid and wanted his dad. Sometimes I feel like he’s haunting me and I’m feeling his pain, if that makes any sense, it’s like I can feel what he was feeling. I don’t need anyone to tell me how he felt, I just know. I can’t find it anymore, but not long after he died, I found something that he wrote online and it was so good , he was a good writer, and he had so much personality and it just shone through his writing, just he was just like I remembered him being the little bit I was around him. I wish I could find it again. Anyway, I’m glad I read this article because I feel silly to be so upset about someone I barely knew, and hadn’t seen for over 40 years, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who experiences this.

  45. Sevda  June 22, 2020 at 4:50 am Reply

    i’ve hear that Paul walker died in a car accident and i did pray for his soul but it was okay back then , i didn’t know him so it didn’t hurt .
    until last week i decided to watch The Fast And The Furious from the start . so from the first moment i saw the movie i was like “did he knew he’s gonna die 12 years later ?”and in every part i asked myself the same question . he has a daughter , i wonder when i feel this terrible about his dead , his daughter how should be feeling. I’ve been crying and mourning for the last for the last 8 days for someone i didn’t even met or talked . and it gave me the feeling that i’m too sentimental and blamed myself for it. every time i think about him smiling or laughing , makes me cry a river . i think about how amazing movies he could play or he could live with his daughter and could laugh more …
    R.I.P Paul Walker.
    thanks for the article.

  46. Angeline  June 22, 2020 at 12:53 am Reply

    My dad passed away in 2018. I’m the oldest and he wasn’t really in our life, I hadn’t seen him in fourteen years. I graduated college four months prior and he begged my younger brother and mom to give him my number. I refused. My little brother sent him my whole graduation and he told my brother to tell me how proud I was. I ignored this. On April 7, 2018 I was working graveyard at the hospital and my little brother called me at 1 am to tell me our dad was dead, he overdosed. Being the oldest, I had to call my grandparents in Alaska and his sisters. I also had to arrange his cremation and my name is on his death certificate. I took care of everything down to talking to Social Workers and the police. Even though he passed two years ago, it’s Fathers Day today and I was hit with overwhelming grief. I keep thinking “maybe if I would’ve talked to him, he would still be here.”

  47. Rose  June 20, 2020 at 1:35 am Reply

    a girl who was in a couple of my classes at school has recently passed away. I had never really spoken to her but I just get so sad when I think of her and what she could of been. I feel in denial that she’s passed and not going to sit at the table across the room with her friends like usual and I keep thinking of her slowly dying in the hospital. She was very popular and had lots of friends so when they found out everyone was in hysterics. She was amazing at sport and I’m not sure how good she was at school but she was always hard at work and was actively engaged in class. Just thinking about having to sit through a memorial makes me tear up. She was such a beautiful soul and taken to soon. I always have believed that everything happens for a reason but this makes no sense. I am no longer believing that now I think it’s dumb. After reading this I found its ok to mourn her loss. It really helped me think that I am normal for feeling this way. I am afraid at school nothing will ever be the same and I know it won’t be. I have at least one of her friends in all of my classes. Thinking about what she was looking forward to and how she didn’t want to die makes me so sad. She was a bright and happy girl. I feel like a mess and that I don’t deserve to mourn her because I never knew her. Thinking now I can’t believe that she is gone. Rest easy you were a beautiful girl and deserved more than what you have got. Even though I never knew you you always cheered me up and treated everyone with kindness. I wish I could sy that others are making this about themselves and you don’t deserve that. I will miss you xx

    • Isaac  February 19, 2021 at 9:27 pm Reply

      Even after the reading this website and how it says its ok to grieve a friend i hadnt spoken too in such a long time. I still felt guilty but you writing your post has made me realise our stories are similar, apart from the fact that I met the friend from primary school 2 times after school and i interacted with him a little, the first time i shook his hand and greeted him and i wasnt sure if he recognised me cuz its been a few years. Then at the store a few weeks after, he was on the phone but i still had an urge to say hi and so i did and he met again and he gave me the brightest smile but i never knew if he recognised me from when we were friends at primary and i guess we will never know because he was murdered exactly a year ago today. I am doing exactly what you are doing, still thinking this could have happened, we could have been better friends, i should have kept in touch but the fact of the matter is, it wasnt destiny. What was written to happen has happened but now we must try to move on and deal with it whilst remembering them but not too often. He had a lot of people who knew him it was the last funeral prayer i went to before corona with soo many people showing it up, it was inctedible we were lucky to be able to go because since then no more funeral prayers can take place with such big gatherings because of corona. Anyway i’d just thought id share, you are not alone. Take care and stay safe!

  48. ABC  June 19, 2020 at 11:01 am Reply

    I came across this website because someone whom I didn’t really know died a few days back. It’s after his death that I realized how good this person was. He was the best at everything and by everything, I mean literary everything. I don’t know why but, I feel awkward. I am starting to compare his life with mine and if I were at his position would I do the same things that he did. I feel this weird similarly between our thinking that I am unable to explain. A part of my heart thinks that he is alive and he can’t die whereas another part of mine can’t stop grieving, I just can’t stop myself from thinking about him the whole day. Sometimes I am just starring at his photographs. I am crying and laughing as well by going through his videos. I want to forget him and at the same time want to keep him alive in my memories. This is making me crazy.

  49. Tripsi  June 17, 2020 at 11:48 am Reply

    So one actor died by suicide, and i never knew about his personality cause I always used to kind of avoid his interviews and everything. I was jealous when he was with his gf and then used to curse him when I believes he dumped his gf for his successful career(I always had this fear that my bf can leave me which he did ultimately after a relationship of 10 years)I just once watched his movie in theaters with the frame of mind that I can’t like him cause he dumped someone and how could he be so successful despite that, he was a wonderful actor, I used to like his charming smile and acting but part of me never used to acknowledge this, a week before his death, this thought came to my mind that he falling in love with me and I brushed it off saying not at all, enough of daydreaming already and he is dating such a beautiful and young girl, there was an article about him by a papparazi and I didn’t even read it stating who cares. Now that he isn’t alive, I have been reading stuff about him and his videos and thinking why I had all those thoughts about him just before his death, my sister also committed suicide and before her death I told this to my friend that she should die because of the shame she has brought to the family, is it a mere coincidence or what I don’t know but making me cry could be possible. And last week I searched for my friend with whom I am not in contact with suddenly found out she is in pain as she has lost her brother an year back. Is universe trying to tell me something. when I heard about my fathers heart attack I packed a suit which is suitable for death, my father returned home hale and hearty and died after 10 days. Does universe gives me sign which I don’t pay attention to.

  50. Johnny Luck  June 5, 2020 at 3:03 am Reply

    I watched a documentary about a 8 year old boy who was abducted by his own mother and her boyfriend, they tortured him for four months before finally beating him to death in a fit of rage. He was only eight, the look in his eyes was screaming for help. The picture is haunting me. My heart hurts every night I lay down and it’s difficult to sleep. I hold my kids closely every night and wonder how a parent could do this to their own child. I did not know him, but I think I will always hurt for him. I’m glad I’m not alone and thankful I found this article.

  51. Sarah  May 25, 2020 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Ive been intensely grieving the death of my grandfather who died at a young age. He died when my mother was one and he was in his early twenties. I don’t know why I’m grieving so hard and having such a difficult time all of a sudden. I’m seeking to understand it better and hoping that contact relatives who knew him to talk to me about him would help me cope with it better. It’s an incredibly emotional subject for my family even today and it hurts to not have someone be talked about at all. I wish he could have seen my mom or his grandchildren. I get told I look like him a lot and while comforting it’s also too sad for me to accept. I’ll be working on getting a better idea of who he was as a person from relatives that knew him although it’s probably gonna be a hard subject. Wish me luck!

  52. Safron  May 16, 2020 at 4:44 am Reply

    I really do feel like both Mike Thalassitis and Archie are my guardian angels and are both looking down on me and protecting me always.

  53. Safron  May 15, 2020 at 7:01 pm Reply

    I found this website just now, ever since I found out the tragic news that the ex Love Island star and Celebs Go Dating star and celebrity Mike ‪Thalassitis passed away ‬on March 15th 2019, I’ve felt this overwhelming grieve over his death; even though I didn’t know him personally. I feel so heartbroken over the fact that I didn’t know he even existed before he tragically passed away. But I feel this deep connection with him for some reason. Then for the past two days, I’ve experienced grief over this boy who I discovered on Instagram called Archie, who tragically passed away in March 2020. The thing is, I never knew Archie personally as well nor did I know he even existed before he tragically passed away like Mike Thalassitis. It really hurts to know that I never had a chance to get know them whilst they were both alive. And that I didn’t know that either of them existed until I heard the heartbreaking news of their deaths. I feel this deep connection with Archie now. I really wish that they both were still here and alive today. I deeply regret the fact that I didn’t know anything about them or the fact that they both existed whilst they were both alive. I really wish that I had gotten the opportunity to have met Archie and got to know him in real life. He seemed like a really sweet boy. Mike seemed like a really sweet man too. Both of them were taken so soon and they both had their whole lives ahead of them. May both of their beautiful souls forever rest in heaven. And both of their memories will never be forgotten and will live on forever. They are both my beautiful angels and always will be, forever and ever.

    • Tom  April 30, 2022 at 1:16 pm Reply

      I’m going through the same think about Johnny Crawford. We’re not crazy people. The storm of grief that overtook me was a blessing from God, this I know. I’ve been through this before, but never this intense. I strongly urge you to go to: “Glorifying God In Unshakeable Grief” by Pastor John Piper. I know it should bring you comort and consolation!

  54. Merin  May 14, 2020 at 2:34 am Reply

    well…I’m a girl who lost my mom the same day i was born. Right after I was born she died an hour later and we didn’t get to see eachother even once. My parents and siblings didn’t inform me till i found out a strange pic of my dad getting married to someone i didn’t know at the age of maybe 6 or 7 and since i was small to understand the actual definition of death they always told me she went to a beautiful place and is always watching me….it was till i became a little older i understood i lost her….and though i didn’t have much memories or a relationship with her like a normal mother-daughter……i was really upset that i won’t get to see her and have fun with her like my siblings did and they always told me what she was like through pictures they hid from me…..and now i’m 15 and I still cry everytime i see my friends have fun with their mothers reminding me i lost that chance before i could even try but I have a beautiful step-mother who can’t bear child so she looks after me like her own and i’m happy she’s with me…..but the fact I lost my real mother just hurts to the core and evrytime someone tells me to let her go i feel guilty that if i do she’ll think i don’t care about her anymore…..but i’m glad i came across this website which made me understand that it’s totally fine and normal of me to do so…..

  55. Mpho  May 13, 2020 at 7:11 pm Reply

    I watched a documentary of a boy named junior who died due to gang violence in New York
    I live all the way in South Africa and I did not know him at all but after seeing the documentary for some reason his death is just messing with my emotions i grieve for those close to him I can’t stop thinking about his death but this article helped me understand that’s its normal

    • Martin  August 5, 2022 at 4:34 pm Reply

      My father died of cancer when I was two years old, I have no memory of him. I thought I had a happy childhood. I am 54 now with two kids of my own, but it seems the older I get , the more painful his loss becomes. I guess I grieve all that we never had. I can imagine as he was suffering with cancer, how sad it must have been for him to know he would never know his son. Anytime I think about him, I could easily start to cry. It’s a pain that never goes away. I do my best not to think about it. My mom never really talked about it, I’m sure it was too painful. I like to think the relationship I have with my son would be like the one I was robbed of…

  56. Angela  May 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm Reply

    I understand you completely. I too have gone through the emotions after learning his story as well as many other children in his situation but something about this boy hurt my heart and weighs heavily. I feel like I need closure because he needed closure. I don’t know. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so sensitive towards these things but if I could have held his hand or showed him love it could of been different. Should of could of … i often wonder why the universe makes people so evil and why be this way to a child?!

  57. honey Milano  May 8, 2020 at 2:44 pm Reply

    I came here because a friend of mine that I knew through out high school Died I hung out with her once and she was technically my distant family. She was sweet and the one time we hung out she put money in my gas tank and offered to feed me on may 1st I found out she died in a high speed chase she left behind two kids and a lot of people that loved her idk her like that at all to be completely honest but it hurts and I’m mourning her pretty badly watching her family lay her to rest and do all these beautiful going home ceremonies ? thought it was extra weird I felt this way but it didn’t feel right to be okay right after I found out that information it was a dark cloud a sad one ?

  58. DLM1780  May 5, 2020 at 11:57 pm Reply

    I’m so glad I came across this site. I currently live in Roswell, NM. I had a friend who I lived with in the city’s Men’s Shelter, a really good guy. Someone I knew had people’s backs. He talked about being able to go back home to Pennsylvania. Today, I found out he finally did what he set out to do. But on his way to Pennsylvania (long trip, for sure), he was killed in a car accident. And I am feeling so many emotions right now for someone I hardly knew (but well enough to know what kind of person he was).

    The truth is that I have this image of him lying dead…. and it is haunting me beyond words. I saw him just about a week ago, and it absolutely crushes my heart when I realize he couldn’t make it back, thanks to life’s bitter reality taking hold. I know, like many others, we don’t often think about how quickly and unexpectedly it can all be over.

    I hope we can all find a way to hold on to what we have right now. And I am grateful to have sites like this to connect to others. So, if you’re reading this, thank you.

  59. Marc  May 1, 2020 at 4:35 am Reply

    I just learned this week that a nephew of mine passed away after finding my sister’s Facebook page. I had not seen him or my sister since 2003 and learned that he died back in 2009.

    Right now I’m going through all kinds of emotions, lost sleep and have got drunk most nights. While I never really knew him and had only met him a handful of times in his life, he was still my nephew and not only do I regret the lack of contact I had with him, I also feel betrayed by my sister. She was the one who stopped all contact, but hand on heart I never did anything wrong. I now want to contact my sister to have it out with her but I need to get my own thoughts together before I do anything.

    So yes I can relate to what this article is saying and that it is OK for me to grieve over a relative I barely knew.

  60. William  March 8, 2020 at 6:46 am Reply

    The stories are all different , but are similar in nature. I am sometimes consumed with empathy over a story of a murdered person or child. I like to think I am somehow spiritually connected, and am helping to share their pain. Or possibly my mind is stepped into a relentless sea of agony. An endless continuation of possibilities of how to help or prevent such a tragedy. Or even what that person was feeling. It’s hard to decipher wether I’m helping the healing or others , or just getting lost in my own emotions.

    Thanks for reading.

  61. Itzel  March 6, 2020 at 2:23 pm Reply

    I’m here after watching Gabriel Fernandez trial. I can’t stop thinking about how I wish I was there to stand up and fight for his voice not heard. It hurts so much I can’t stop crying. I can’t stop seeing his sweet innocent smile and wish I was there to protect him. This article helped put things into perspective I had to reach out of this was normal. It feels like I lost a child of my own.

  62. Hali  March 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm Reply

    I am grieving my sister’s SO’s little brother. I never met him, but I heard about him. I am trying to be there for my sister and her SO, but I am really struggling myself. I feel so bad, because they have to be hurting more, and I should be helping them, but I can’t.

  63. Ashlee  March 4, 2020 at 8:47 am Reply

    I know i am among millions right now grieving the loss of poor Gabriel Fernandez who died at the hands of his mother and her bf in 2013 at just 8 years old. I never got the chance to meet him but him and my 6 year old son (who was born about 2 weeks after Gabriel’s death) share so many similarities in looks. To know what happened and the fact that I cannot physically hug him and tell him how good of a boy he was is killing me inside. I am glad I came across this article and now know that the grieving i am going through is common. I have cried everyday and every night thinking about this poor boy and what I would have done to save him if i could go back in time knowing what i know now.

  64. Ron  February 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm Reply

    I attended the funeral of my 83 year old uncle this past week and found myself crying (almost uncontrollably) as the service started. I had not seen this uncle in some six or seven years – just because life took him one way and me another. I am a 66 year old man myself and certainly have had my share of losses over the years. I was surprised and shocked at the depth of the emotion I felt and still feel. Clearly, judging from the words that were said at the funeral, my uncle was a great guy. But we were never close. He always lived at least an hour away from me and in my youth, my family may have seen him and his family three or four times a year and then after I went my own separate way, I did not see him more than once every three or four years (and some stretches were extremely longer). So what causes this depth of emotion – this level of grief – in this situation. I found this article and it helps to know that I am not just whacked out. But the questions still remain. I will say this – and this may be a big part of how I feel – he was one of those guys who could make you feel more important than you ever deserved to feel. And I begin to tear up all over again as I post this.

  65. ushi  February 26, 2020 at 8:46 am Reply

    Hello family, i am am 26yrs old and am married but no kids yet. i have been searching through the internet where i can just share my grieve and i came across this site. i have lived all my life not knowing who my father is. i remember when i was in kindergarten we were told to bring the copy of our father’s national identification card, i remember going home and telling my mom what was required of me at school, and i remembered how she snapped at me telling me when i go back to school the next day i let my teacher know that my father is dead…IT REALLY BROKE ME INSIDE. I am feeling really sad as i write this, i can’t even ask my mom about the where about of my father, my family is too conserved i have never dared to even ask about him, am really thankful for my mom caz she raised me single handedly and gave me education, dressed me and fed me she has always been there for me. BUT I REALLY DO MISS MY DAD…I WISH I COULD KNOW WHO HE IS. am not even sure if he is still alive or dead, and if he is alive if he even thinks of me or remember if he has a daughter somewhere. i wish i could talk to someone, the feeling is really eating me from within. *CRYING*

  66. DJAB  February 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm Reply

    I grew up not knowing my father, so I have my mother’s last name. I grew up being told hat my dad was just a crack attic and didn’t want anything to do with me (while some of that might be true, no one knew for certain that he didn’t want anything to do with me) but my mother heard it from someone else. As I got older I told my family I wanted to meet him while he was living but no one got me in contact with him. No one made any real effort to find him or get me in touch with him and it made me resent both my parents for allowing it to come to this. Year later, he died and I found out weeks after that he was cremated. I still mourned for him although I never knew him or seen the man since I was a two year old boy. Now, I’m about to have a son, I just got married and I’ve been contemplating on changing my last name or adding my father’s last name. On the one hand he doesn’t deserve that honor, then on the other hand it’s like a part of me is still missing; and I don’t know what to do or how to deal with all of this. I’m perplexed at the thought of having a son and not knowing what to tell him about his late grandfather because I don’t even know myself (in a sense). It saddens me because my wife brings it up sometimes and asks if I would take on my father’s last name, as well as her mother. It’s a southern tradition for father’s to carry on their father’s name but I have my mother’s last name. When she was married some years ago, she took on her husband’s last name but after about 8 years they divorced and she got it changed back. I’m at a lost and in a few weeks my son will be here, I just pray I do the right thing.

  67. a  January 29, 2020 at 8:45 pm Reply

    the mortal coil finds us all, but i am here unhanded by life’s frivolity.

  68. International Flights  January 27, 2020 at 10:33 pm Reply

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  69. Madeleine  January 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm Reply

    This makes sense to me now. I am was not sure why I was so upset about someone I knew in high school passing recently. We weren’t close friends in HS but did hang out and I considered her a friend. We’ve been Facebook friends for 7 years now and commented here and there on posts and liked pictures. I seen her a few times recently at my sons school but didn’t say hi or how are you since I’m not a really out going person and wasn’t sure if it would be awkward. Also I feel ashamed because I have gained a lot of weight since HS. The last time I saw her I was just about to tell her how amazing she looked pregnant and what a wonderful thing she is doing being a surrogate mom. But then my best friend pulled up and I started talking to her instead. I thought I will see her again and tell her and we can reconnect. I found out she died having the bay due to complications and I was in shock. Now I can’t stop thinking about it. What if she thought I was rude and ignoring her. Also, she leaves behind a husband and kids of her own so the whole situation just breaks my heart. I am so sad we never got the chance to be better friends since our daughters are the same age and I never stepped out of my comfort Zone to say Hi remember me you are doing something amazing. This isn’t fair she did not deserve to die so young giving another family a baby.

  70. Khaviya  January 17, 2020 at 1:12 pm Reply

    I grief for my boyfriend’s ex girlfriend..she passed away after knowing that me and my bf were tgt.. everyone says it wasn’t my fault but somehow Everytime I look at her picture I feel this hole in my chest and at the same time I also feel heavy hearted.

  71. TD  January 16, 2020 at 6:08 pm Reply

    I just found out someone I went to middle school and high school with just died 5 months ago. I don’t know him personally and never really talked to him before. But I don’t know why I feel so sad and in a state of shock when I found out about his death. I think about the amazing things he could’ve done in the future if he had continued to live on. I remember he was a smart kid, very quiet and lonely with not much friends. I’m glad I’m not the only person who feels that way over someone who I don’t know personally.

  72. Georgia Zois  January 7, 2020 at 6:51 am Reply

    I’m grieving the death of Leandro Felix Guzman known as junior from the Bronx butchered by a gang outside a bodega June 20 th 2018 .I am absolutely traumatized depressed and have developed ptsd
    I did t know junior but his murder was publisized on Instagram for the whole world to see .He resembled my older son born in November and being same age .He was only 15 and was mistaken for another opposing gang member.I can never forget this sweet angel taken sooo brutally he will forever be in my heart I can never forget him.May he rest I. Peace always I. My thoughts and my prayers.

  73. French Fox  January 5, 2020 at 9:10 am Reply

    My mom was born in 1939 and was given to a Lutheran family. I am 54 and I found out the truth about what my granddad did in Germany to save and protect my mom. He was a publisher and my mom does not understand the truth. My dad was USA military and he planned her escape.
    About 6 years ago I started painting and doing research for history of USA. two authors are writing books on my findings. I got super strong urges to find out about my grandad. Which uncovered many good things for my mom. But my family is super angry and they still believe the lies told to my mom at birth. My family twisted things of what if found. To create anger and discredit the proof I found. I found From a distant relative I found in Germany. It separated me from family. I feel they have lied to me, then curse at me and twist truth to hurt and discredit what I found. My grandad was wealthy and left my moms guardians money and land to care for my mom. But also left many things solely for my mom. It seems my mom was part of Bavarian royalty. My findings seem to show she was also Jewish blood. I don’t care about the money. I have strong urge to know his writings and I feel many paintings are stored away. I am seeking my culture. It seems my mom raised us in a Jewish culture. But never allowed us to go to church. It’s like she’s keeping it secret. I believe my grandads mom and sister went to this same family. That raised my mom with the Lutheran family. Now it seems I must find out more and planning to take a few months off work to travel and find out things and uncover more of the things I feel I must uncover…l.l

  74. Tausha  December 29, 2019 at 9:10 am Reply

    I feel what CS from 10/3 is talking about above. I just found out that my father passed away; his funeral was yesterday. I didn’t find out in time to go; although I am not entirely sure I would have gone, but, I never knew him. The one time I tried to go meet him he wasn’t in town and his Mom (my grandmother) called him so that I could talk to him. He promised to call me when he got back to town but he never did and I let it go.

    Now he’s gone. And strangely, I feel all these emotions but I wasn’t sure what I should be feeling so I started googling. I am sad at what could have been, but angry at what SHOULD have been. Reading his obituary made me feel really bad cause, oh course, there was no mention of me but I still feel a way about it. It’s weird…and you can get lost in it. I have spent a lot of time in my adult life uncovering patterns, etc that are in me because my father wasn’t there, and his passing is bringing a lot of things to light about the reason I am doing certain things in my current relationship; so I feel there is more emotional work to do (fun). This article helped a lot. It’s good to know that I am not alone. And I am praying that each and every one of us grieves healthily, and finds peace. Bless you all!

  75. Howdy Buster  December 28, 2019 at 3:32 am Reply

    My Grandfather passed away a short time before I was born. He left my family at a young age, but he was a nice man, and never rejected any of his kids coming to meet him. My mother never held a grudge to him, I cannot say the same for my uncle. I don’t know why, but ever so recently I’ve been thinking of him, and how I wish I could’ve met him. I saw a photo of him, and I noticed him and I share a similar hair colour, and my mother described him to me one day, and we have a few things in common. I’m not sure why it is, but sometimes I cry when I think about him.. he’s been all around the country, defended people for their beliefs and such, and even if he left a few families, he still seems like a nice man, and I do wish I could have met him

  76. JoJo  December 26, 2019 at 7:57 am Reply

    I came across this article by chance and it blew me away. A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I remembered a man that I had met through my job over 45 years ago. We knew each other casually and I had a small crush on him. I knew he felt the same way about me, but he was 20 years older than me and neither one of us followed through on our feelings. We flirted but that was it. Now after these so many years his memory has flooded my mind and it won’t go away. I learned that he passed away in 2003. I believe that the people we meet in our lifetime have a definite connection to our souls. I also believe that those connections may last years or may be with only someone you meet once on an airplane or bus for 10 minutes. The grief I feel today is that I didn’t pursue a relationship with him. I want to believe that his soul knows how I feel and that we will see each other again.

  77. Amanda Josphine  December 25, 2019 at 7:08 pm Reply

    I’m glad to hear that this is a normal thing I felt abit crazy, I’m grieving a 2 year old boy who was brutally murded by 2 10 year old it was in 1991 I now have a 2 year old son and I thinks it’s made this so much worse. I came across the story on Facebook and the picture of this little boy walking hand and hand with one of his killers i cannot get it out of my head the things they done to him what disgusting human beings, I know this happened a very long time ago but it’s abouslty heart renching I think about my 2 year old son and can’t even bear the thought of this happening.

  78. Soleil  December 10, 2019 at 3:32 am Reply

    Thank you for this article. Last month I learned that a young girl that I knew online and gamed with a couple times took her own life. I remember thinking I really enjoyed having her around, she brightened up everyone’s day. I didn’t get to speak to her much and I keep thinking that I wish I had gotten to know her better. Maybe if I weren’t so nervous with people maybe if I weren’t so new to the friend group. I just miss her and the thought that I’ll never experience her presence again. And I keep feeling like I shouldn’t be feeling this much pain over a girl I barely even knew but it does hurt and it hurts a lot.

  79. Maddie  December 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm Reply

    This is something I deal with. I had a brother who was born 1 year before me and died at 8 days old because of a heart disease, so of course I never got to meet him. When I was born a year later it was a miracle that my health was perfect. I feel guilt, I feel like if I can have perfect health then why couldn’t he , we have the exact same DNA but he still got it bad while I’m living my life now healthy. I feel like i took his life away from him, that god chose to give the life to me instead of him. Every time an event happens like my Drama performances and then even holidays like Christmas I have the guilt over and over again and I i grieve because he is not there but I am. Even though We were not twins I believe me and him are connected in some way, that he is part of me and he guides me whenever I feel low Which is quite a lot of the time as I have depression and anxiety. Once my friend said in a argument to me that her dads death is more important because she got to meet her dad but I didn’t get to meet my brother. Ever since then I do ask myself “why do I get so upset over someone I never met?” So this has really helped me understand that it’s ok and normal for me to be the way I am about it. So thank u!

  80. Vickie Johnston  December 3, 2019 at 7:41 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this help! I lost my brother 18 months ago. He was 13 years older than me and an amazing man, father and partner. He lived far away for about 20 years and our lives were on different tracks… I loved him but didn’t know him and we spoke once a year if that. I’m finding myself to be angry with my parents and other older brother (they were best mates). I tell my friends “don’t worry about me, I’m not too sad because I didn’t know him” but secretly I think I’m jealous my family can grieve their relationship with him where I had none. I always wanted a sibling close in age or a close friend growing up so to loose a chance at one day reconciling is more painful to me than the actual grief… I’ve felt immense guilt over this unrealised fact and tried hard to bury my feelings which has caused me to distance from my parents and other family members… I now understand that life’s a bit too short not to communicate this feeling and try to work towards being more positive… I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done to help me understand the chip on my shoulder…

  81. Renae  December 3, 2019 at 1:52 am Reply

    My name is Renae and I am grieving the traumatic death of XXXTentacion. I knew him but I didn’t know him personally, when I first heard it I had this feeling in my heart that I still feel. His music is my strengthener and I miss him because it’s this hole in my heart that can never be filled. I have this not to him and a picture i drew of him and I read the note to the picture everynight because it makes me feel like he’s still here with me. I will never recover and i’ll always be broken.
    The next was Cameron Boyce he was like my whole childhood, my joy, my laughter, my EVERYTHING just like X was. I bawled my eyes out when he passed I seen it and couldn’t believe it, I wanted to believe it was dream but welcome to reality. I think of him every single and night not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, my heart is offically broken. The good die young and that is the truest thing i’ve ever heard in my life, watching his closest friends cry made it worse. The first couple of days I would forget then remember again.
    X (Jahseh) is an angel of mine forever, I will never forget but yes, I forgive the 4 men who killed him because unforgiving turns into anger and anger turns into depression and depression turns into you know….. Jahseh made me smile and now all I can do is cry and frown, wish I had him back regardless of what anyone he says he’s the most amaxing and kind-hearted man I’ve ever known. I will never forget him.

  82. Caleb Rondeau  November 22, 2019 at 10:20 am Reply

    This has helped put things into perspective for me lately. Recently at school I kind of had an emotional trigger since it was child grievance awareness day and I was just reminded of my life growing up and not sharing with barely anyone that I never had a mother. She died when I was 2 years old in a car accident with my unborn brother and I just have no memories of her at all. I am 25 years old now and just been suppressing the emotions and thoughts about it. I’m not sure where I am going with this, it just feels good to share a little bit cause I doubt I ever fully processed or grieved yet. So thank you for the article and to those who read this comment. I appreciate it.

  83. Dani  November 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm Reply

    This makes so much more sense to me. 8 years ago, September 2nd 2011 I lost a girl who I was sorta friends with for about a week or two. I had just met her, made friends with her sister as well (we were all in band together in high school). I have one vivid memory with her the first day I met her, it was my junior year of high school so I was 16 and she was 15 at that time. That night on the 2nd she was brutally murdered, 100 yards from her neighborhood gate and literally a 10 minute walk from where I was living at that time. When it all first happened I remember I was devastated. It happened SO CLOSE to my home, it could’ve been myself. Then I put the name to the face and realized I knew her. I was told my “friends” that I wasn’t close to her, I wasn’t her sister and I needed to move on. From that moment on I never let myself grieve her. I always thought I didn’t deserve too. It wasn’t until last year I finally told myself my feelings and emotions are valid, and it was okay for me to feel how I felt. I finally allowed myself to grieve her and the pain was unimaginable. Since last year I have gotten better with moving forward, but when I find myself missing her or having feelings that I miss her, I try and talk myself out of it because I feel in a way I don’t have a right to miss her, because I only knew her for 2 weeks. My boyfriend tells me that it doesn’t matter the amount of time known, that at some point there was a connection made with her.
    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, I got summoned for jury duty. The case I have been assigned is a first degree murder – death penalty case, and the victims name is the SAME as my friends. My friends killer also had a first degree murder – death penalty case as well. Lately I’ve been feeling all kinds of different emotions. Anger, sadness, major anxiety etc. My mom thinks if I do have to be on the jury for this case it will help bring some closure in the sense I am able to help another girl who so happens to have the same name get justice since I was unable to help get justice for my friend. Thank you for this post, it has helped me understand I’m not crazy and that it’s okay to grieve her even if the friendship was short with only one vivid memory.

  84. Robbie  November 11, 2019 at 11:27 pm Reply

    This is something I’ve really been struggling with for the past few months. I was on somewhat bad terms with my stepbrother, who only knew I existed for a month before he killed himself. My stepmom gave him up for adoption at birth, and he had reunited with her and come to visit my family for a couple weeks, but unfortunate circumstances led to the two of us not talking for a majority of that time. He went home the week before my 22nd birthday, and a week after it, we got the news he killed himself.

    I didn’t really know him, but as an on-off only child, I couldn’t help but be so excited to have a sibling again, only for me to lose that chance before it ever really happened. I was on a trip when he died, with the intent of making things up with him when I got home. Obviously I can’t do that now. And because I barely knew him, and we weren’t really talking in the time we DID know each other, it feels like I don’t even really have the right to grieve him. His own family didn’t even take me seriously, if I’m being honest. It’s just tough. I miss him and I miss what we could’ve been.

  85. Joeann Maillo  November 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Thank you for writing this article. My oldest daughter’s father passed 2 years ago when she was 4yo. It’s been such a struggle as they were not as close as both of them would have liked. I separated from her father when I was still pregnant with her as he had a drug and alcohol problem and was quite abusive. Our last encounter almost caused me to miscarry and I knew I had to get out of there. He was unable to meet her till she was 3yo for many reasons but would call and read to her over the phone and would video chat as often as his work schedule would allow.
    From all his drug abuse over the years and his lack of personal care, lack of diet and exercise, etc; he developed heart disease and passed in his sleep at the age of 35. My daughter was only able to meet him twice.
    I have tried my hardest to talk to her about things and about him although I have never told her about the abuse I sustained. I haven’t wanted to taint the image she has of him. Regardless of what he had done to me; I still loved him and he tried to be a good father to my daughter in the best way he could. I struggle a lot with my emotions surrounding his passing. Part of me loved him because there were a lot of good moments, but part of me hated him for what he had done to me.
    What really breaks my heart is seeing my daughter struggle with holding on to the memory of him. She will sometimes make up memories of him. I know she struggles with filling the empty spaces. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing her because I’m not sure how to understand her. She can be very moody and almost depressed at times. She says things like she hates her life and why does this have to happen to me or why is my life so hard, just to get her way. She fights me so hard about going to school every day, she cries incessantly to get her way, she gets extremely frustrated with her self when she can’t do something or when I tell her to do something. She grabs her head sometimes and squeals or cries when she feels I’m not listening to her…
    I just don’t know what else to do or how to help her. I am currently seeking professional help.

  86. Question  October 30, 2019 at 10:26 am Reply

    My husband just found out that someone he knew in Highschool, had classes with, and did plays with, but didn’t hang out with outside of school just died. He hasn’t spoken to this guy or seen him in over 8 years. He is really upset about it – crying here and there, has really effected his mood all day, and I don’t understand the severity of his reaction or why it is impacting him so much. I too, have had several deaths of folks that I knew in high school but weren’t my close friends, and it is of course very sad, but I have never had such a severe reaction to it. Death is a part of life, and it is always tragic when someone dies much earlier in life than they were supposed to, but as the article mentions above, I don’t feel that I have the right to grieve someone as if I was their family member if I haven’t talked to them in a decade. Any tips on what I could be saying to him, asking him to either help or understand his reaction better?

  87. Aubri  October 30, 2019 at 8:05 am Reply

    I been grieving over a child 3 years old that I didn’t physically know . His mom runs a bracelet boutique and it’s where I been getting all my daughters bracelets since she’s been born . It hits me super hard I have a 2 year old son . And every time I see her post a picture or post about her son I instantly cry and think of the what if’s and how it’s not fair her son passed away ? he was so sweet and innocent and it’s not fair . I think about the little boy everyday wishing it was a dream life’s not fair he didn’t deserve to die ?? I wish I could of saved the little boy from whatever happened . The mother is so beat up over the situation and still trying to run her business . I couldn’t do it I would deffinitely lose myself if it ever happened to me . And I pray everyday for her I wish he could of survived he was such a sweetie and loving big brother to his little sister . I can barely take this loss it’s not even my child nor did I ever meet him in person but saw her post all time her children and videos and it’s so damn sad ! ? someone help

    • Brown's Momma  November 2, 2019 at 11:14 pm Reply

      I completely understand. I have been having a really rough time dealing with the death of the little girl in Alabama “Cupcake” who was abducted from a birthday party and murdered and dumped the same day. She was only 3. She was just playing with other kids, being a beautiful 3-year-old child. Her mom went inside for 3 minutes, and came back to her gone….other kids saw, but it was too late. I strongly believe she is in Heaven now and enjoying God’s protection and peace, but trying to understand how such evil can exist is difficult and sobering. She looked so much like my own 3-year-old son, and so I think seeing her face (from pictures) has been especially difficult for me. I have been praying for her family and for her dear mother who feels like she has done something wrong and has to live without her sweet baby (who hasn’t gone inside for a minute to answer the phone, or turn off a pot,…she did nothing wrong or out of the ordinary!) Letting her rest in God’s hands is best for my heart, but so very difficult.

  88. Lily slay  October 25, 2019 at 12:55 am Reply

    I have a friend who planned out her sister’s entire baby shower. From having the cakes ready to the balloons blown up, but they soon received news that the baby died two days before the celebration. I have no idea what shes going through, and I wish to comfort her and say its okay. Although I don’t know where to began, she never talks, hardly eats, and has just began to give up on simple task now. What should I say?

  89. Mariana  October 7, 2019 at 9:15 am Reply

    I dated someone briefly a few years back. It didn’t last long and we both moved on and lost contact. Fast forward to this year and I read in the news about the murder of a young man. He just got married, with a newborn daughter. I recognized the victim, it was the guy I dated. I was sad over it and thought I got over the feeling, but I felt sad again after a month, thinking of his wife and daughter, and what a nice guy he was.

  90. CS  October 3, 2019 at 1:35 pm Reply

    I found out my father died today im 37 and only seen my dad 3 times but I feel a huge loss. My mother who was my world died 2 half years ago now I am left an only child and an orphan 🙁
    I feel numb and lost my husband doesn’t understand and said he can’t hurt u now as I have always tried to have a relationship with my father but each time it was always me putting in effort my mother moved me back to UK with her and father was in US now I don’t know how to feel and no one to talk to 🙁

    • Courtney E Quevedo  October 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm Reply

      I am sorry for your loss. Even though you were not close, you’re likely playing out scenarios in your head about your father, what could have been and what if’s. When I miscarried, I grieved for a baby that I never met, but I still knew. The young boy I wrote about below, I am grieving for him, but I never knew him. I know there are no words that can soften this blow. It is a process. Little by little, the pain will not be our focus. But for now it is so allow yourself to grieve as we all are doing right now.

  91. Selena  September 30, 2019 at 8:14 am Reply

    I definitely related to Courtney’s message on the top of this website about Diego, the 13 year old boy. My name is Selena from California and I feel as words can not describe how I been feeling about this tragic of this young boy who lost his life so very young to some mean and nasty bullies who took his life away instantly in a blink of an eye. You took those words out of me because it’s truly sad, more depressing watching the videos and I catch my self wondering why do I feel like I’ve lost apart of something when it’s his family n mother who grieved for his lost. I asked myself that and I’ve talked to God and ask him why? I’ve prayed constantly for Diego’s death that he is resting in heaven. I pray every time I feel sad..I have been praying for his family. They r going through hard times that I can’t imagine. I too keep picturing his smile and the video how brutal it is and sad that he took that n no one decided to help or butt in to save him before it got worst. They could of said okay enough is enough he is not wanting to fight back, stop! My son who is 13 was sad, he cried. I cried. It bothered us so much. Why? I feel like there’s puzzle pieces to gather up and put together because he shouldn’t have passed. He didn’t deserve that treatment and life ending. He should still be here. No one did anything other than his mom. My heart goes to her n family for Diego. It made my son and I both feel ease to go to the memorial at the school and we left a candle and wrote on the poster. Took a minute to figure out where and why it happened. I too felt as if I lost a son too, but life isn’t fair at all. Since this tragic situation I been keeping my kids super close to me especially my 13 year old son. I am scared of losing. I am saddened for Diego losing his life. Someone my son and I did not even know personally, but yet we still feel heavy hearted and we cry once in while. Something just ain’t right. So I decide to Google ” what does it mean to grieve over somebody u didn’t know”. And Courtney, i came upon your message and you basicly described how u felt the same way I felt just couldn’t described it better than u did. It’s so sad. I pray that there is an end to bullying. I can hardly sleep thinking if the way the videos ended. For the mother how she could be feeling. My son says he had known Deigo he’d back him up and gotten him away from the bully. That he felt they could of been bests friends, him and Diego. But God takes his best Angel’s. I just wanna say Diego rest in heavenly Peace. To the family I give my condolences. Truely saddend and sorry for your lost. It shouldn’t happened.

    • Courtney  September 30, 2019 at 1:50 pm Reply

      Oh my gosh, I am so grateful for your response! I find myself crying and saying his name to myself. I feel as though if I work to get my mind off of Diego, his memory and what happened to him will be lost. This past weekend was so difficult, I simply wanted to be left alone to grieve. The way he stood in the video when confronted, how he was nervous and scared, I keep replaying it. I simply cannot say to myself that life is rough or he’s in a better place and move on. Right now, it’s too soon for me to accept it. I keep saying, why did that second boy have to hit him? Why couldn’t they have seen he was scared and walked away? Why would anyone want to hit someone who is clearly afraid of them? I think of his last summer with his family, all the holidays his family will not have him there, all the firsts he will never experience. With all that I have been through, all I have seen in my life, Diego’s death has left me broken.

    • Courtney  September 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm Reply

      Your son sounds like an amazing young man, by the way. No doubt in my mind he will always stand up for the next kid being bullied. We need more brave souls like him.

  92. Courtney  September 30, 2019 at 2:29 am Reply

    A 13 year old boy named Diego was punched by his bullies and ultimately died as a result. I was saddened when hearing he was hospitalized but when I saw some of the video, seeing him nervously standing when confronted, then being hit, I have been crying daily over his death, asking God “why”?. I am grieving. I don’t want to eat, laugh, smile or be happy. It seems unfair to feel anything but sadness because a life was tragically taken and two 13 year old boys are going into the system. I hear stories how diego had no friends, he hid at lunch from his bullies. It haunts me. His smiling pictures are burned in my brain. I almost feel as though I lost my own son.

  93. Vangie Gwinn  September 24, 2019 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I was reading Instagram post when I ran across a story about a two year old that was struck in the stomach by his mothers boyfriend. Jamil Baskerfield Jr. was upset that this man was yelling at his mother and started crying. The boyfriend punched him in the stomach so hard he went flying into the wall but managed to get back up and the boyfriend told him to put up his fist and fight like a man. The little boy was punched in the stomach again knocking him unconscious and he died from the internal injuries. I grieved for almost a week afterwards..really crying all the time and not wanting to eat. I didn’t feel as if it mattered that I didn’t know the little boy but it felt like a great loss to me. I couldn’t replace the image of that boy getting up from the first blow and then punched again. I grieve for the pain that he must of felt..I grieved for loving God and wondering why this was allowed to happen. I grieved knowing that we have to forgive the people and the terrible acts of violence that children experience at the hands of adults. I grieved that this little boy probably saved his brother and sister as they were removed from the home afterwards and possibly saved from the same kind of tragedy. I grieved for the innocent and trusting child. All the scriptures and words of wisdom can’t explain this

    • Courtney  September 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm Reply

      I also am grieving over a child who was killed by his bullies. I didn’t know him, but I keep replaying his last moments in his head. One day, I will see the positive that will come from this situation but I am not ready for that yet.

  94. Theresa L  September 14, 2019 at 1:01 am Reply

    This article helped me understand the feelings I’m feeling about the sudden death of a client who paid me some wonderful compliments and who I got to know over the past several months. It has been a week since his death and I have been affected by it, I have noticed some changes in myself…grumpy and mopey, crying, snapping at my dogs, etc.
    Thank you. I can put things into perspective now.

  95. Elliot  September 9, 2019 at 9:30 pm Reply

    This really helped.

    I found out today my Grandfather passed.

    We weren’t close, I have a few blurry childhood memories of him and one that is quite clear.

    When I was young my parents decided to move across the world so I was separated from my entire extended family on both sides. My parents divorced soon after so I have found myself without anything I could ever really call family despite having a large amount of direct relatives. I didn’t expect news of his passing to hit so hard, but it has. I think that I am grieving the loss of how things could or should have been – the relationship I was deprived of not just with him but with my entire extended family because of a decision I had no say in.

    I’ve reached out to family on my mothers side in the last year and have slowly been learning more about my culture, and family history that I was never told by my mother. Realizing that I’ll never have the chance to meet my Grandfather as an adult is kinda crushing as I had hoped to at least once before he died.

    I feel like I don’t have the right to be sad or to grieve, because we weren’t close. I feel almost like an impostor but then again why would I make myself be sad for no reason?

    • Eleanor Haley  September 11, 2019 at 11:41 am Reply

      Elliot – I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is so hard when we feel we don’t have a right to grieve, but please know that you do! You might want to check out this post on disenfranchised grief –

  96. Gabriela  July 22, 2019 at 9:38 pm Reply

    Thank you for this article. Three weeks ago I lost my second cousin (I was raised with). He was found dead in a pool and I was planning to send him a message that following week to meet for Christmas, but that time never came and even though I helped with the funeral, I felt I didn’t have the right to grieve since their family was the one who lost a son, a brother due to drowining, I was just a vage memory. I still question myself, if my grief is right or not since most of my memories with him are very blurry, and we didn’t in fact had a legit relationship, even though my mom said I was a lot like him which makes me even more furious of what could have been. I always said to myself that when the time came I would tell me how much he inspired me and how eager I was to spend the holidays with him.

    Thanks for taking time for those of us

    I don’t sometimes I feel i’m being dramatic, but another times, I really hate myself for taking time for granted.

  97. Ashley  July 9, 2019 at 5:51 pm Reply

    I lost my daughter before she was born. She was very sick and the chances of her having any quality of life was slim to none. We had to make the hardest decision of our lives and not continue on with the pregnancy. Which lead to our hardest day of our lives when we went to the hospital. I never got to know my daughter Finley or even get to hear her cry. Life seems impossible now and all of my memories of my girl are the sad and filled with unbearable pain.

  98. KJ  July 4, 2019 at 4:11 am Reply

    Thank you for this article… I’m experiencing this right now. A guy that I graduated high school with, and partied with a few times, just passed away from an overdose. I hardly knew him… But I knew him for about 10 years, my community is quite small, and the news of him passing hit me harder than I would have expected. I just spoke to him a few months ago. He had reached out to me on Facebook and we got the chance to chat and catch up a little bit. We talked about how we both had gotten clean and were living a healthy life now. We both said we were proud of each other and talked about how life being clean was so much better and happier. We didn’t ever talk too much, but we had mutual friends and I knew enough about him to know that him getting his life together was a huge step forward, and I was so proud of him. He was a really sweet guy. Always made people laugh. He lit up a room when he walked in. I honestly can’t remember the sound of his laugh, it had been so long since I’d seen him, but I do remember that it was a contagious one. He had asked me to go for coffee with him some time, when we were chatting that day. I said no because I was kind of talking to/had a thing with someone, and I didn’t think I should hang out with another guy. People talk in a small community, and I just didn’t want to put myself in a situation that I might have to explain later on. So I didn’t go. I never even got into a relationship with that other guy I kind of had a thing with. And looking back now.. I wish I had gone for coffee and spent some time with him, when he asked. But I didn’t know it would be the last time we ever spoke. There’s no way I even could have known… We weren’t close, but there were so many things we could have caught up on and related on.. Stories we could have compared, and shared laughs and even tears over. We could have been really good friends, had I given him some of my time. That was the last time I’d talked to him or heard from him.

    I found out this morning that he passed away from an overdose. I didn’t even know he had started using again. I spent a couple months in treatment, I had my own struggles and things going on in my life. So how could I have known? I shed a few tears today, hearing the news. And my heart has just been so heavy all day. But I also feel really guilty for feeling so sad for someone I really didn’t know that well. I guess grief is different for everyone. And there are different kinds of grief. I’m grieving the loss of what could have been. The loss of someone young, and good, who was taken away by the evils of addiction. I’m grieving for the loss that our mutual friends, who knew him well, are feeling right now. My heart hurts for them.. And his poor family. I’m also grieving, once again, the loss of loved ones who death always reminds me of. Death is a strange and confusing thing. And so is grief. I appreciate this article.. It makes me feel less guilty for the mix of feelings I have today. I wish I could have known him better… And I’m sad that I will never get to now. His funeral is next week, and I think I’m going to go. Pay my respects for a good man, who died far too young, and to support our mutual friends who are going through this difficult time. And to say goodbye to a friendship that will now never be. It’s a strange feeling… grieving the loss of an acquaintance… But it is grief, nonetheless.

  99. Jennifer Duffy  June 28, 2019 at 11:03 pm Reply

    My grandmother who I was not very close to passed away last week. Her funeral was yesterday. We didn’t see much of my grandma growing up, although we would visit for Christmas, occasional birthdays, family BBQ’s. My dad had a rocky relationship with his mom, he told me stories that made me think that she had depression(I suffer from depression and know that some of the things he told me sound a lot like it). Back in the 40s and 50s people didn’t talk about these things and kept it private mostly, and there wasn’t much in the way of medication back then.
    Anyways, I was fine until a couple days ago but then I’ve been feeling like my depression is coming back because I couldn’t possibly be grieving for someone I wasn’t really that close to…could I? It CAN’T be grief..could it?
    After reading this I realize I think this is exactly what it is.

  100. Brian  June 24, 2019 at 11:08 pm Reply

    On September 17, 2017 I found a voicemail left a few hours earlier from the sister of my dear friend, Di, I knew since kindergarten. She reported that Di’s youngest son died that very morning of an overdose at the age of 23. I spoke with Di and naturally she was in shock at the time but my heart broke for her and I wept for several minutes after hanging up…to this day I find myself saddened over this loss and the toll it has taken on Di, even though I barely knew the son, Timmy, whom I met only a couple times when he was much younger. In this respect I can relate, but in my case it seems to be more of an empathetic response, knowing how much my friend had already been through and now sharing some of her ongoing pain of losing a child. I have never lost a child myself but I can vaguely imagine how painful this could be. This happened months after a string of 11 people I know, some of whom I was close to (including my mom) passed away over a period of 9 months. I have learned so much about grief over the last two years, four months (since Mom passed…)

  101. Leah Ackerman  June 20, 2019 at 7:13 am Reply

    This post really hit home. My father died in a car accident when I was 6 years old. Most of my cousins are much older than I am. My father was the favourite uncle and I have always envied my cousins for the years they had with him that I did not. When they would tell me their memories of him, it wasn’t comforting. Instead, it made me angry and sad that I, his only child, barely had any memories of my own and that I didn’t get to really know him. When I’ve told people how I feel, they’re shocked. They assume I will love hearing stories about him. I do, but it’s always bittersweet and a jumble of emotions. I’m relieved to learn that my reaction is not unusual.
    Recently, my daughter in law died of breast cancer leaving behind 3 children, ages 6, 4 and 1. My son and I want to keep her memory alive for them but I’m ambivalent because I know they’ll feel the same way that I do – angry that death robbed them of the chance to create their own memories of her.

  102. Steve  June 19, 2019 at 8:48 pm Reply

    I recently read the book “The Wisdom of Our Fathers” by Tim Russert. He wrote in back in 2006 and it is a collection of letters he received about fathers who raised children back in the 1950s and 1960s. The children’s loss was not having a close relationship with their fathers who were somewhat emotionally distant. They showed their love by working long hours and “putting food on the table and a roof over the head.” The children’s loss was that they never felt close to their father, because even when they became adults, the works “I love you” were not heard. Time went by and the fathers passed away. The children’s grief was a combination of losing the parent and the opportunity to make their relationship evolve into more of an adult friendship. One interesting letter that Tim Russert received was a child who became disconnected from the father as a young child through divorce or an early death, I don’t remember. The daughter said this gave her the opportunity to make her father whoever she wanted him to be. It pains me to see comments about those grieving wish they “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” After the death of my wife of 44 years and having to make difficult decisions, I had some blame and guilt I carried around that no one but me could justify. A healing thought someone shared with me was, “If it should have been, it would have been.” I think that simple thought applies to many people who wish there was a different path through life they should have pursued. We all have our limitations of time and resources. You are all wonderful people to feel grief and share the pain of others leaving this earthly life too soon.

  103. Alyssa Moody  June 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm Reply

    Thank you for this post. I lost my dad at 4 years old to cancer and all these words ring true for me. I am now 23 and this past year I have grieved more than any other time in my life. His absence hits me harder at each new milestone. We both ran track in high school yet he wasn’t able to ever watch me run. I went to the same college as him and yet he wasn’t at my graduation. Now as I approach adult chapters (first job, first apartment on my own, marriage, kids, etc), I know the grief will resurface with each of these new milestones.

    I can attest that it has been an ongoing struggle to grapple with the Coulda’s, Woulda’s, Shoulda’s . A lot of times I feel robbed of the life I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve had with my dad. Another thing that has been prevalent throughout my grief journey is the envy and resentment I can carry towards mom, my dad’s family, and my dad’s friends who all got the time with my dad that his own two daughters did not. They at least have years of memories with him whereas I was too young to remember anything from my short 4 years with him. Sure, the memories from those people help and I have them share them with me when I really miss my dad, but it’s still defeating that I don’t have my own. I feel as his daughter, I ought to have the most memories, second to my mom, with him.

    Just some thoughts from my own experience- thanks for continuing to create space for all types of grievers on your page!

  104. John Ferguson  June 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm Reply

    I’m grieving for my absolute best friend whom I last communicated with in 1984. With his sudden lack of further communication and his parents not knowing where he was 2 years in a row afterwards I automatically assumed the worst. This past March to get closure on what I was almost sure of I contacted his dad who had recently joined Facebook, asked about my bestie, does he have contact info etc. He gave me the news that my bestie died 10 years ago from being hit by a semi and his brother a week later added it was deliberate, that he had a lot of issues which I never saw in our 5 years together in Middle School and High School. I went into a funk that persists 3 months later. My best friend was alive all that time not dead like I assumed in 1986. All those years we could have continued our friendship (I found out he’d joined the military apparently without saying anything to his patents). His profile showed him as a 42 year old apparently enjoying his life. I grieve not only his death but the fact we never reconnected due to my stupidity assuming he died 35 years ago, not that he left home and didn’t inform his family. He was practically a brother to me during our 5 years together as teenagers. My teen years were my happiest ever due to a few really good friends of which he was A Number 1.

  105. Laura Higgins  June 19, 2019 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Thank you! This kind of loss is so important to highlight. Some examples of other scenarios:
    *grieving a birth mother you weren’t allowed to ever meet (and when you searched for them – found out they were deceased). As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, I helped a someone who was adopted, reflect and create a personal small “ceremony” to do when they were able to visit their birth mother’s grave on a road trip out of province. This person couldn’t understand why the feelings of grief were there since they have never met. But there is still a connection – they were once in their mother’s womb and heard her heartbeat. They grieve not having a chance to know their mother. Having this small time of remembrance really helped.
    *grieving an unborn child lost through miscarriage or stillbirth for example – I’m sure this is covered elsewhere but it’s another scenario where the only memories may be of a positive pregnancy test or the months of pregnancy, or perhaps the stillbirth. The parents and grandparents and others don’t have the huge cache of memories to draw upon that other relationships that are years or decades long have. And yet this loss is huge and profound.

    My cousin and I have always wished we could have known our grandfather. He died before we were born, but in him we knew we would have experienced another father figure (grandfather figure) we both really needed in our lives. We both visit his grave, and talk “to” him there. This is a loss to us. For me it isn’t as intense as my other losses, but it’s still a loss.

    Thanks so much for sharing and validating!

  106. PS  June 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm Reply

    This is something I am dealing with right now. An acquaintance recently lost her beautiful granddaughter very unexpectedly and tragically after a three-week hospitalization. I never met the child or her parents – I only knew her through the blog the parents shared to catalog her final journey. Two years ago my own baby grandson lost his battle with liver disease, so the little girl’s story hit very close to home. I grieve for the lost life of the little girl; I grieve for her parents – I can’t even imagine the depth of their own grief; and I especially grieve for the grandmother’s loss, with whom I can totally identify. It stirs up my own grief once again for my little grandson as well. I’ve struggled with the depth of my grief for a little girl I didn’t know, and for her family, so this article really hits home and lets me know it’s okay, and even “normal”, whatever that is. Thank you for sharing.

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