1. There’s a societal grief hierarchy. But it’s bullshit. No one can tell you how upset to be when someone dies.
2. Maybe no one is. Maybe the feeling that you don’t have a right to grieve for a distant family member or an in-law - maybe that’s coming from you.
3. Grief hurts, a lot, but what happens when you try NOT to feel it is so much worse. Grief demands attention, demands to be felt. There is no shortcut.
4. Dying is normal. It doesn’t always mean something has gone horribly awry. The surprise we feel is super weird.
5. Death rituals work, even if you’re an atheist. Caring for the dead, even the long-dead, celebrating their life in years to come - it’s something to do, some way to feel useful, somewhere for your love to go.