Brave Rio shows us there is no ‘right’ way to grieve
RIO FERDINAND has rightly been applauded for his frank and candid documentary this week on coping with the death of his wife.
At one point he asked whether he was grieving ‘properly’. I have seen many patients who have been bereaved and there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. there’s often talk of the ‘stages’ of grief — anger, denial, etc — but research shows that many people don’t go through these stages at all, or skip some.
Just like falling in love, grieving is a perfectly normal, natural process and most people find their own way. the problems come when people worry that what feels right to them is in some way wrong and they’ll be judged. Rio shouldn’t beat himself up if he copes by filling his day with work: each to their own.
Within a week of losing her husband of 50 years, a friend’s mother took his clothes to a charity shop and put the house on the market. there was an outcry — suddenly everyone was an expert and said it was ‘too soon’. But she said she had enough memories of him and didn’t need his clothes collecting dust or to live alone in a big house. She spent the next 15 years in a flat, happily surrounded by photos of her late husband.
no one can tell you how to grieve. It’s your loss — grieve how you want to.