Despite the universality of death, grief can be a very unique and personal thing. If life can be viewed as a river, a loss of any magnitude will alter the course of the river's flow. It changes us, it changes our lives, and it comes to define us. There is no escaping grief. Even when we feel we've outrun it, it can catch us up when our guard is down, and remind us that it's just over our shoulder. It is insidious and cruel and indiscriminate, dripping its paralysing poison into our ears.
How we deal with that is down to the wiring of the individual.
I saw the power of loss at too young an age. My family suffered a year where four close family members fell like dominoes.
While still grieving a cousin and an uncle, I remain haunted by the memory of hearing the phone ring, a week after the death of my nine month-old niece, and sitting on my mum's bed as she answered it. Numbed and battered, all she had to say before hanging up was a resigned, matter-of-fact, "Thank you for letting me know".
The call had been to tell her my beloved grandad, her father, had taken his own life by stopping the pills which had for years held back the massive heart attack which ultimately consumed him. She didn't have the strength to comfort even me, but by that stage it almost felt routine.
Even now, 35 years later, the loss of my niece still shapes my family. It isn't something any of us ever really recovered from. The pain may be old and familiar, but it remains potent enough to shock, like a sudden plunge into an icy bath.
I wish more than anything that I could forget, but the weeks surrounding the death of my niece and grandad remain lucid and vivid.
I remember playing with my niece - she'd just started learning to stand up - the night before she died. I remember what I was watching on TV. I remember my mother receiving the call from my sister and screaming at me to wake up my dad. I remember visiting my niece in the chapel of rest. I remember how cold she felt as I kissed her goodbye for the final time. I remember the one and only time I've ever seen my father cry, and how he then pulled himself together for a couple of years until he could hold it back no longer.
While the years either side of that time may be blurry and vague, the freezing eye of that storm is as fresh and high definition in my memory as yesterday. I wish it wasn't, but I suspect it always will be.
There may be no escaping grief, but we all deal with it differently. The response from most of my family was to try and move on, push through the agony. Don't stop moving.
The following summer we visited my other sister, who was living in America, and it was the first time in months that the grief wasn't omnipresent. The vast, open, vistas of the Mojave Desert felt like the first rays of sunlight in months, and our trip to Disneyland was a 360-degree immersion in fantasy, a place where sadness wasn't allowed to take root.
We were given permission, just for a day, to forget.
Even now, nothing takes me outside of life's problems like a trip to America, and in particular Disney theme parks. Thinking about it, my obsession with Disney is still me trying to escape. Video games. Star Wars. Digitiser. They're all my drugs. They're all, to one degree or another, coping mechanisms.
But at least it's not heroin.
For Dan Hett, who lost his brother in 2017 Manchester terror attacks, he's channeled his grief into a series of online games. Sorry To Bother You is the latest.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is an impossible reality, but Dan Hett had to struggle through with his grief while being at the centre of a national news story. Sorry To Bother You simulates - for want of a better word - the barrage of messages he received in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Your task as "player" is to sift through these messages, and identify which are genuine messages of support, and which are messages from journalists or researchers, requesting an interview. The messages pop up on your phone, from various social media sources - and you have to click the heart, if you think they're sincere, or trash them if you suspect they're not.
It sounds easy, but each of the messages are real. All were received by Dan in the days following the tragedy, and the disingenuous methods the journalists use to try to gain access to his grief aren't always obvious.
Additionally, the speed at which the messages appear becomes increasingly overwhelming, and it's tempting to trash even the heartfelt ones, as they all come to feel like an intrusion at a time when - at least, this was my take - all that you want is to be left alone to grieve.
It's incredibly powerful.
What I found really profound about Sorry To Bother You wasn't so much its more obvious commentary on the maddening, predatory, nature of the media, but how invasive the more well-meaning messages felt.
We're hardwired to reach out when we see somebody in distress, but that rescuing instinct is more often than not a selfish act. We fool ourselves that we're being a "good person" by being kind, but words are rarely enough, and seldom given for the person on the receiving end. It's that old parable about giving a man a fish... if you teach people the tools to cope, if you take away their stabilisers, if you give them the space to grow, and grow strong, then isn't that far more selfless and kind?
Unfortunately, we live in a time when the absence of obvious kindness and overt displays of compassion are often seen as cruel. Too often we want to be viewed as the rescuer, the knight in shining armour. Or we bring our own stuff to somebody else's fight, instead of letting them defend themselves.
And too many of us are content to roll over and let those people fight the battle for us. The easiest path is often to try to palm your weight off onto another person, but that's just delaying the inevitable.
This was the big thing I took away from Sorry To Bother You - and like I said, grief is personal, so this may just be personal to me. Your reaction may differ.
Sometimes, some of us just want to be given the space to cope.
You can find Sorry To Bother You here.