How Prince Harry talking about the loss of his mother helped me come to terms with my grief
As part of ‘Mental Health Month’, I thought I’d talk about the recent news of how Prince Harry and how he opened up about how the passing of his mother, Princess Diana, impacted him for so long.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.”
Reading about his experience and how long he dealt with the grief and other side effects of mental health relating to the loss of his mother really opened my eyes. Almost two years ago, I lost my dad. Of course, I knew grief would be a thing and that I’d have a hard time, but for some reason, people made out that it’d be pretty short period and then life would get back to normal. So, to still be having such a horrible time over 18 months later, I’ve been quite stressed over how much this is still bugging me. Am I not normal?
Even on popular soap operas such as ‘Eastenders’, the characters seem to get over family losses pretty quickly. It just seems that nobody talks much about grieving and the pain of losing someone. I lost my dad when I was 19 and it was around that age and still even today that I’ve been going from teenager to fully grown adult, taking an interest in politics and other things. These were topics my dad talked about and he was the one who was able to give me constructive criticism on my work. Losing him really messed with me and to be still in this suffering stage made me pretty worried.
However, when Prince Harry recently opened up in regards to how the loss of his own mother, it really made me realise that as a matter of fact, still suffering this long after the loss is actually incredibly normal. But nobody talks about grief as much as other mental health issues.
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
Hearing from someone else, especially from the Royal Family of all places – whose lives are meant to be perfect – really gave me an answer to my internal questions that kept playing in my mind over and over.
HRH came to the conclusion of the fact he needed to seek help when loved one such as his brother, Prince William, said: “Look, you really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you.”
It seems that the prince and I seem to be in agreement that people do actually need to talk about it to cope with what they’re dealing with. “The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club.”
I’ve decided that what I’m feeling now doesn’t have a time limit on when I’ll stop feeling it. I just need to find my own coping mechanisms and be sure to talk to someone about it.
I’m really glad that not only has he opened up in regards to such a personal topic, but he has decided to “blood, sweat and tears” into making a difference for others, after learning to talk honestly about his feelings.
If you need to speak to someone about mental health, check out Mind if you’re from the UK or visit the Mental Health website if you’re from the U.S. Remember; you dont have to suffer – especially not alone.
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