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Lea Michele's touching tribute to Cory Monteith at the Teen Choice Awards showed not only how devastated she is, but how much she is determined to recover and to find solace in friends and fans who also loved Cory. She continues living her life by filming Glee and working on her forthcoming book Brunette Ambition. Some new photos she posted on Instagram show her getting her makeup done and getting her wavy mane of chestnut hair styled. Unfortunately, some people have chosen to criticize this as a sign that the actress isn't really grieving.
Honestly, Lea would have been criticized no matter what she did. If she walled herself away from the world, wore mourning garb, and never left her bedroom (what people did only a century ago, after all), everyone would say that she's given up or is being overly dramatic.
If she was photographed crying, the critique would be that she's milking her grief.
But pics of her looking glamorous and happy are harped on as not sufficiently sad and depressing.
Seriously, people, WTF? Everyone grieves differently, and grief is a process, a journey. Some days, some moments, you feel normal again. Then it all comes crashing down on you. You might take a photo where you are smiling and appear ecstatic, and 10 seconds later, you are crumpled on the floor. But people only see the smiling photo.
I learned never to judge another person's reactions to shock and tragedy when, several years ago, I got one of the biggest, most devastating shocks of my life. I cried all night, hysterically. But three days later, I was out drinking with friends and cracking jokes. And even flirting with a guy.
Later that night, back in my room, I cried all night again.
But if anyone had taken photos of me out at a bar with my friends, they would have said, "Oh, she's not upset at all!"
It was the exact opposite. I felt if I stayed home with my grief, I would disappear. Something compelled me to get out and try to at least feel a smidgen of normal for even a moment. Intellectually, it made no sense. Emotionally, it was what I was compelled to do. It's called survival. Those of us who are still around and kicking have survival instincts, and those instincts kick in when you're ready to off yourself.
This is why I didn't even judge Casey Anthony after she was photographed partying when her daughter disappeared. Did I think it was something I would do? No. But I don't judge, I just don't judge, because I don't know what anyone is feeling. (I will judge the other weird stuff she did, but that's another post.)
That said, Lea looks gorgeous in these new photos, and if getting her hair done gave her a moment's reprieve from being focused about Cory's death, then that's a precious gift.
Do you think there is one way to grieve?
Image via MsLeaMichele/Instagram