No kid should have to grieve…
I came back from spring break on a Sunday, but it happened before that. When my phone buzzed at 10:30 pm on Tuesday March 28, my world started to shatter.Photo by// Libby Fisher
I was in the car with a teammate from club who didn’t go to New Albany. After we dropped her off at her condo, and I finally got home, I made it maybe five minutes before finally letting down the wall I had built. Hysterically I wept into my father’s arms while my mom supplied boxes of tissues.
More concerned for others, I exchanged words with school soccer teammates about it all. I had addressed an issue I personally was denying, I wept and then days after still was haunted by my own thoughts and guilt. At age 15, I was having to learn to grieve. I had to learn that life was once again a very fragile thing.
Grief is the reaction we have in response to a death or loss, according to Kids Health website. Grief can affect our bodies, minds, emotions, etc. Most noticeable are these reactions:
- Physical: Changes in appetite or sleep, an upset stomach, tight chest, crying, tense muscles, trouble relaxing, low energy, restlessness, or trouble concentrating.
- Mental: Happy memories of the person who died, worries or regrets, or thoughts of what life will be like without the person.
- Emotional: Experience sadness, anger, guilt, despair, relief, love, or hope.
- Spiritual: Finding strength in faith, questioning religious beliefs, or discovering spiritual meaning and connections.
Grief is a healthy process of feeling comforted, coming to terms with a loss, and finding ways to adapt. It isn’t about forgetting, but reflecting and adjusting. I would have “waves” that come and go of this, from enjoying my vacation to balling my eyes out. This grief is most intense soon after someone has died.
For everyone who was affected this spring break and is feeling upset for not grieving yet, some people don’t feel their grief right away. You may feel numbness, shock, or disbelief. It can take time for the reality to sink in that the person is gone…and that reality can be a school day away.
Personally, I immediately denied that he was gone. No way could someone I knew, someone so good and pure…But when my coach confirmed it after I told him what I said to the team to discuss the matter, I had to. I didn’t want to, no way could this have happened, so I ignored it.
I felt so guilty for not crying at one thing and crying for something else, for doing something someone will never get to do again. Then I went to the visitation, and saw how many people were there. I saw pictures and t-shirts, trophies and college letters; I saw school mates, teammates and teachers, then the family.
When you think about death, which is such an avoidable topic anyways, you think old age and you see actors cry and move on. Death came when I was very young to my grandmother, but I have no recollection. Now, when we are in a key time of our lives that we will share memories till our time is up, it hits.
Teenagers are most impressionable. We’re malleable and stubborn. We forget important things and remember dumb things, but now we are all stuck.
Something my aunt said to me in a card was “ I’m so sorry to be giving you a sympathy card when you are only 15.” You don’t really say your age out loud a lot, and that just shocked me. At 15, I am experiencing something I never thought I would.
Even though Jacob Evan Trulock wasn’t my brother, wasn’t my son or cousin, him leaving affected me greatly. Jacob was our number one fan in soccer and the smarty pants who could tutor you in anything. When I went to Purdue with him, he thought long and hard how to describe a diner because I needed a quote for my story, and he loved what he came up with: “I loved breakfast, the atmosphere was eclectic,” Trulock said.
I may have known him one way, his best friends another and strangers even differently, but he has changed all of us. Jacob teaches us something new every day, not just grieving but how to be kind and great. Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where I appreciate his legacy, his persona, and his ability to touch so many people’s lives in his little time.
What I leave you with is some other students, teammates, and teachers stories of Jacob, and hope you understand grieving to help others. No teenager, no kid, no person should ever have to lose someone, but when it unfortunately happens, let it be healthy and positive.
Fly high JET, light up the sky…