I talk about my person in the present tense. Am I normal?

Grief affects so many things. What tense do you use when you talk about your person? Are you normal if you speak about them in the present tense?

Referring to them in the present tense is #perfectlynormal in grief.

Because we don’t talk about what grief is really like, this one comes as a surprise to grievers and non-grievers alike. There’s a cognitive dissonance when all of a sudden people start referring to your person in the past tense. Suddenly you have to change your entire grammatical structure when, for you, they were just here. It feels bizarre and it’s a really difficult shift.

Some people never make the switch. Some people shift back and forth between tenses for years. For some folx this is just how their brains work, for others it’s a deliberate choice. This is your loss and your life. You get to use whatever language you like, whatever feels best in the moment.

How about you? Have you found yourself using the present tense when talking about your person? The more we talk about this stuff, the more we tell the truth about what grief is really like, the more people realize they’re not alone.

Grief is hard. It impacts every aspect of life, big and small. There are so many things grieving people experience, things they do or don’t do, that they (or the outside world) might think are unusual or weird, but are actually perfectly normal. You aren’t weird. You’re grieving.

The problem is, people often don’t realize they’re normal until they discover they aren’t alone in feeling a certain way or doing a particular thing. And feeling alone makes grief even harder than it already is.

Because it’s such a relief to find out we’re not alone, we’re creating a series of posts acknowledging as many of those things as we can, one #perfectlynormal thing at a time.

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These posts were created using personal contributions people just like you and from our awesome Grief Revolution patrons. My patrons get to see everything we create before anyone else, suggest topics to cover in future projects, participate in live Q&A sessions, and more. Join the Grief Revolution at