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Grief has been looking over my shoulder for a long time now. At age 19 I suffered the loss of two people whom I loved dearly within seven months of each other. Lines from a diary I kept at the time describe how ‘I am full of emotions that I do not understand’; ‘my moods are very variable, one worse than the next’; ‘I sometimes wish I could die’; ‘I feel so lonely’; ‘I seem to be able to handle things for a while but after a certain amount of time I feel like exploding’. I felt as though I was being selfish having these strong emotions months after the bereavements. Writing gave me an outlet to express myself (as in the poem above) without having to burden others. I did not know it then but all those feelings were normal. Grief is a very individual experience and does not travel on any one particular course. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

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