A few personal thoughts on what it is like to grieve…
A feeling, emotion, way of life I have become quite familiar with lately.
As time goes by I wouldn’t say I get better at coping with it, less hurt by it or able to ignore it. I just learn to live with it. It’s the toxic friend you can’t get rid of, the bad smell that lingers and the dark cloud that follows you. It greets me a few seconds after I open my eyes every morning, whilst I stand in the shower, when I’m pouring myself a drink, when I’m sitting at my desk, when I’m driving and a sad song comes on the radio and when it’s at its strongest it gets worse when I look at myself in the mirror. It can give me tears, anger, headaches, a longing I can’t rid and it can stay for a minute or all day long. Sometimes it fools me and I start to feel a bit better, so much so I’m sure it’s finally leaving me alone… and then a date pops up, a simple thought or memory and it’s there again, greeting me with the all too familiar feeling of dread, a gut wrenching dull pain that I can’t ever put into words.
Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. You can grieve someone that you’ve lost to death or someone that’s still alive, someone you’ve never met or something that’s not even a someone – you can grieve emotions, feelings, places. All I know is no matter what, who or where you’re grieving, it never really goes away. I know this is making me a stronger person, I’m learning so much about people as well as myself – I feel it everyday. But I also know I have to live with it forever and all I can do is hope that soon the day will come when it will seem easier.
Because that’s what everyone says… “It will get easier”, yes time is a healer, but it’s not a memory reset.
Personally I can only describe grief to others when I’m talking about it as if it were an object.
One day you’re a content rose – all pink, pretty and naive. Then along comes grief and it casts you in a dark, cold shadow whilst all the other roses smile in the warm sunshine. Suddenly you find yourself being the odd one out – you’re the rose that’s wilting and all you can do is wonder ‘why me?’ It’s the feeling of being crushed.
Grief is the one emotion I would trade for hatred, jealousy, fear. I would give the world to rid me of the grief I harbor and solve everything that caused it.
It’s a long road when you’re being followed by grief and it is harder, tougher and bumpier than your peers. I don’t personally have the answers or the solutions but I don’t think you find that from anyone else but yourself. You are the carrier of grief, but also the healer. If you’ve suffered, you know that life will never be the same and accepting that can be the hardest journey. One thing I do know for sure is that when you come across something that makes you feel less alone, less crazy, less hurt it can make all the difference to your day, whether it be the entire 24 hours or a mere 10 minutes.
For a while I felt guilty for shutting down. I felt bad for not leaving the house, for crying into my pillow one minute and feeling nothing the next, detaching myself from anything that might resurface feelings. However, now I realise this is all part of the process. To heal, you must go through every emotion thrown at you, you must cry, ask the Universe for answers, be angry, be upset, be alone but most of all, you must be selfish.
If you’re reading this, nodding your head, heart feeling tight and throat with that all too familiar lump. I know what you’re going through and you’re not alone. Life will never be the same for us, it will be different but that doesn’t mean it’s over.
‘Grief is love with no place to go’
If you’re suffering with grief, depression and need some help, below are some links that you might find comforting.