Skip to Content4 ways to cope with grief this summer

Screw school pamphlets, unhelpful grief groups, and people saying “sorry for your loss.” It’s time to get real about grief. We’re in this together.

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4 ways to cope with grief in the summer
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How can I celebrate graduation when I’m grieving?
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What do I say when someone asks (unknowingly) about my dead family member?
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I’m worried another family member might die
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What we're lovin'
How grief shaped my life
How grief shaped my life

We love this response from award-winning producer Jack Antonoff (who's worked with Taylor Swift, Forence and the Machine, Lana Del Rey and many more artists) when asked how grief has shaped his life:

"My sister died when I was 18, but she was sick since I was five. So it was a big part of my life.

The thing about sick people, people who are unsure how long they'll get to live, especially kids in that position, is the lack of cynicism. The obsession with creation, joy, love, family. When you might not have a lot of time on earth, you don't define yourself by the things you hate, put very simply. And so that just lives in me."

See full interview here.

"Inside Out 2" Quotes We Love
"Inside Out 2" Quotes We Love

Why we love it: When we think about feelings that surround the grief journey, many of us think “sad” first, and also possibly “anger,” “regret,” “frustration,” etc. We tend to forget about “joy” and “nostalgia” and “love” and the other positive feels, which can show up too when we least expect it. Shout-out to Pixar’s “Inside Out” movies for reminding us about all the emotions that come and go, sometimes overlapping.

A few of our favorite quotes from Inside Out 2:

“Where can I put my stuff?” — Anxiety (settling in, carrying six full suitcases)

“I’ll just tell Anxiety not to worry so much anymore. And then she’ll say ‘Wow, Joy! I didn’t think of that, thank you!!'” —Joy

And our favorite new exclamation that can be used when someone says something awful to us while we’re grieving: “Jimminy mother lung toaster strudel!”—Joy

And a few grief-y quotes we loved from the original “Inside Out”:

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” —Sadness

“We’re taking the Train of Thought.” — Bing Bong. Adds Joy: “The train! Of course. That is so much faster — but how do we catch it?” Bing Bong: “Well, it kind of goes all over the place.”

Here’s to all the feelings—even those we’d prefer not to have (ummm, we’re looking at you, fear, anxiety, sadness, disgust, boredom, envy). We obviously prefer hanging out with joy whenever possible but thanks, Pixar, for reminding us that all the feels belong and that our train of thoughts go all over the place. It's quite a ride.

Taylor's "Marjorie" Gets It about Grief
Taylor's "Marjorie" Gets It about Grief

by Sarafina, age 15

I think one of the most beautiful songs ever written by Taylor Swift was her song “Marjorie” about Taylor's grandmother who died in 2003. From this song, you can tell that Marjorie inspired Taylor to pursue a music career.

I feel that anyone could relate to this quote, but especially grievers whose loved one(s) died at a young age:

“I should've asked you questions
I should've asked you how to be
Asked you to write it down for me
Should've kept every grocery store receipt
'Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me”

This quote expounds on two of the grieving emotions: regret and remorse. There's the belief that you should have asked your loved ones more questions and/or gotten to know them better. There are so many things to learn, not only about a person but from a person too and you never know or realize how much time you get with them. 

Yet, even though everybody regrets either something they should have said or an action they should have taken, it is in the past. That is the hard truth but I learned that getting past remorse and into memories can help you feel more content with your situation. Just as Taylor said:

“What died didn't stay dead
You're alive, you're alive in my head.”

Why we still talk about them
Why we still talk about them

We love this sentiment written by @empowered_through_grief:

"I talk about him because I am the 

memory keeper of a life that exists only in my mind.

I talk about him to remember & honour

who he was and his impact in this world.

I will always talk about him because for 

me, he's still here, weaved into 

everything I am and do."

Yes, yes, yes! And if you happen to be a non-griever reading this: if you are uncomfortable when we grievers bring up our person who died, please know that we are honoring that person and our relationship with them. Please make space for this, even if makes you a little uncomforable.

"Even when you're going through such pain, there's beauty, comfort, and community all around you if you open up to the fact that grief doesn't have to be such an isolating experience."

– -Dan Levy, actor and writer
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