As human beings, we each posses completely unique thought patterns and processes. While many characteristics and traits can be classified by group (I.e, ethnicity, socioeconomic status etc), there truly isn’t a model to determine how a person will experience grief.
Of course everyone goes through the five stages of grief. You know them, anger, denial, fear, bargaining, and acceptance. While each of us will undoubtedly experience all of these, there is no way of knowing how we will react to grief.
Maybe it’s staying up late curled up with a book and a cup of herbal tea.
Maybe it’s binge drinking and dancing until the sun comes up.
Maybe it’s clinging to religion and searching for meaning
Maybe it’s a stream of meaningless encounters with strangers.
Maybe it’s excessive retail therapy.
Maybe it’s turning off your phone and soaking in the silence.
Grief can be all of these things.
What it definitely isn’t, is for you to decide.
You don’t get to tell people what their grief should look like. It belongs to them, and them alone.
If you’re not sure how to support someone who is dealing with a loss, silence is always an option.