real life

Can anyone tell me how to process my grief?

Em Rusciano wants to know how you deal with grief

Everyone processes grief differently.

I go down the road of initial explosive emotional response, then gradual compartmentalisation until I am in a complete state of denial.

Healthy right?!

Every now and then I open one of the grief doors to check on the pain.  I bask in the the breathtaking, smashed-in feeling for just a second, then heave the door shut again. It doesn’t leave much of an imprint, just enough that I feel slightly unsettled for the rest of the day.

Today I am preparing for one of the compartments to bust open of its own volition.

I’m predicting that today, at some point, I will be in the foetal position silent towel crying.

Silent towel crying usually occurs when I have woken up in a panic about something in the middle of the night, realised I am completely overwhelmed by aforementioned something and need to cry like a small baby, but don’t want to trouble any of the people I live with.

I silent towel cry in either the bathroom or laundry (as both rooms have towels available to muffle my sobs.) The bathroom is preferable as the towels in the laundry are usually gross and the smell distracts me from my all consuming melancholy.

I once burst a blood vessel in my eye I was silent towel crying with such commitment!

Today, my grandfather Ted will have been dead a year.

Ouch. Double ouch.

GFT and I were tight.

A quiet moment of reflection for Grand Father Ted and Em on her wedding day…

I was his first grandchild.

He taught me to drive a manual car. It was a green Kingswood wagon with a glittery gear stick and I was about 10 when he first put me behind the wheel.

He let me swear. He told my mother to leave me alone – and, still to this day, he is the only member of my family to ever tell my mother to leave me alone.

So. What the shit do I do with this day?

How do I turn the 19th October into more than just a volcano of emotion, grief, loss and that bullshit hollow feeling I sometimes get when I remember he is dead.

I don’t want to remember the good times. I don’t want to visit his grave. I don’t want to see one single member of my family because when I do it just turns into the “I’m sadder than you” Olympics.

So what?



I have no snappy ending to this one, friends. No words of wisdom or reconciliation just me at my computer ugly-crying.

Any suggestions will be taken under grateful consideration.

I miss you GFT.


This piece originally appeared on Em Rusciano’s blog and has been republished with full permission.

Em Rusciano is the host of Mamamia Today on the Today Network (which you should be tuning into at 3pm every weekday because it’s ace) and regularly appears on Network Ten’s ’The Project’. You should follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here.


How do you deal with the loss of a loved one? Do you have any advice for Em?