There’s no right way to grieve.
Whoever says there’s no substance to reality shows, is wrong! So, I was watching Vanderpump Rules on Bravo and one of the cast members, Lala Kent, is grieving the recent loss of her dad. And, oh girl has been lashing out (understandably so)! Her friend, Ariana, is empathetic to her situation because her dad passed away 5-years-ago. Seeing how Lala has been spazzing out causes Ariana to tell her to chill out and stop being pissed at the world. That doesn’t sit well with Lala, and she responds with, “there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Grieve however you f***ing need to grieve”! Ok Lala, girl, I feel you (mostly)!
I do agree with Lala that there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve. We all just do what we need to do to get through it. Surprising to some, but I find a lot of relatable moments while watching reality TV. This time it’s watching 3 young adults, Lala, Ariana, and Jax (I’ll tell you about him later) coping with the loss of a parent, and each one handling their grief differently. I can totally relate to each one of them.
1.) Anger and seeing red!
Ole girl Lala is completely off the chain and not taking crap from anyone! She has gone off on, insulted, and gotten in the faces of several of her coworkers/ former friends when she felt like they were disrespecting her. Ariana pulls Lala to the side to have a chit chat regarding how she’s been dealing with her grief and reacting so aggressively in situations. Lala is aware of her raging behavior and as she put it, “I’m not sorry”. She expresses that it’s been rough on her since losing her Dad and she will not tolerate anyone throwing low blows (like she’s pulling the Dad card), without throwing a hard blow back herself.
I understand what Lala is going through because I’ve been grieving my Mom for the last year and a half. Just like Ms. Kent, I had many SEEING RED moments at the beginning of my grieving process. You could normally describe me as a pretty chill person and someone that can let minor things go without getting to upset. But, right after my Mom passed away, I stopped letting things slide, called people out on their sh*t, and my tongue thanked me because I bit it a lot less. But I quickly checked myself before I got to out of control and said things I would regret. Cause like my girl Ariana said, “it’s not ok to hurt other people because you’re hurt.” That’s something we all need to try to remember as we’re coping with the loss of someone we love. Say it with me now. It’s ok to be mad and it’s ok to get angry, but it’s not ok to hurt other people because you’re hurt.
2.) Keep your s*** inside!
When we first were introduced to Ariana on the show she seemed very closed off to the rest of the group. Probably because she was grieving the loss of her dad while also dealing with petty drama and gossip at work. During her heart to heart with Lala, Ariana confides that she “f***ing held her s**t together so hard” during that horrible time in her life. She didn’t lash out like Lala, instead, she kept her feelings inside and dealt with them in her own private way. She ended up developing a close friendship with Tom (her current boyfriend) because he was a shoulder she could cry on in the rare times she did cry.
I did lots of holding in and lashing the F out after I came out of the fog of losing my Mom. I wasn’t that person that announced to everyone that my Mom had recently passed away. I didn’t bring it up all the time when talking to family, friends, or even strangers. I preferred to do most of my crying alone so I can let out a good ugly cry without others trying to comfort me. For the most part, I held in my emotions when I was around other people because I didn’t want their sympathy and I didn’t want to be a woe is me kind of person. Some people are uncomfortable around you and don’t know what to say to you after you lose someone or how to comfort you when you’re crying. So to spare us all the uncomfortableness, I held in a lot of my emotions and released it when I was alone or around people that I felt understood me.
3.) Growing up & cut off!
We also have Jax, whose dad passed away a year ago. Since then, Jax seemed to have matured a lot and is taking a more serious approach to his life. He stopped partying, no longer involves himself in petty drama, and finally proposed to his longtime girlfriend (that he previously cheated on). As he’s in the process of planning his wedding, he says that he will not be inviting his Mother to the engagement party (maybe not even the wedding). He and his Mother are currently not on speaking terms since the passing of this father (8 months at the time). Jax mentioned that his Mother sent him a very dry happy birthday and she didn’t even respond to congratulate him when he announced his engagement. Jax admits that their relationship changed because of the way his mother handled the situation leading up to and after his father’s death. So as of now, he no longer has a relationship with his Mom. In a way, when the loss his dad, the loss of both parents, but hopefully that changes and they are able to rebuild their relationship.
Unfortunately, when there’s a death in a family, you end up losing more people than the one that passed away. It almost feels like it’s the death of a family you once knew. For me personally, I removed myself from the lives of a lot of my family members after my Mom passed away. I had a lot of built up animosity towards them regarding the lack of support my Mom received during her battle with breast cancer, as well as the lack of support I received after she passed. I didn’t want to be around or see social media post from people that didn’t provide me with the love and light that I desperately needed after losing the person I loved most in life. But you know what? Sometimes it be like that. In order for us to move on and get through our grief, we have to leave some people and extra baggage behind.
Just grieve safely!
We all handle our bereavement differently. As we see on Vanderpump Rules, people can lash out, others keep it bottled in, and some remove people from their life in order to move on. To each our own grief process. Please remember that there’s no right to grieve, but you can grieve the wrong way if you are harming yourself or others. As a millennial, I really love this show for showing moments like these that we can all relate to but isn’t talked about often enough.
Are you grieving the loss of a parent? How are you coping? Can you relate to any of the people I mentioned? Tell me in the comments.