Words

Accepting grief.

March 27, 2018

I read in last months Women’s Health Magazine, in noted that we should be more open and honest in life. Apparently, this helps us to move forward with our lives and to prevent getting “stuck” in toxic friendships and relationships.

When I read it I was drawn to the bullet points they had at the end of the article. One read “Tackle grief …”. It progressed to say how we are held back by unprocessed emotions, grief being one of them.

As someone who “lost” (he didn’t fall of a pier but “lost” seems to be the terminology used often to describe death) my father a week before my eighth birthday, I can put my hand on my similarly defected heart (Dad died due to heart problems) and agree that the notion of dealing with grief stood out to me because it rang so true to me.

Grief is a bundle of emotions crying (literally) out to be processed and worked through.

I thought I had post natal depression (I ticked so many of the medical boxes) after our second born and decided one day as the world spun around me and my feet felt glued to the ground, that I should see a counsellor. I wasn’t coping.

Turns out, what I thought was PND was mainly my not having grieved the death of my Dad.
Which kind of made sense considering I had no idea how to grieve as child who didn’t know much more than her Daddy not being there in a wheelchair at her eighth birthday party like he promised.

Ever since I finished the twelve week counselling course I have been more open about the fact that I am a little damaged and misguided in my marriage, my faith, my parenting because of the loss of a father role from a young age. I now know that those flaws are ok.

If you are like me and grief still makes you weep. There are maybe days you feel a weight on your chest that means you don’t deal as well in society that day. The house doesn’t get tidied. Or, maybe the grief of watching a parent/partner with Alzheimer’s eats into every action you make because the pain of seeing someone you love so lost in the world cripples you to the core.

Maybe a trigger word sets you off. A word or phrase that has lingered significantly in your vocabulary since you experienced death in close proximity- “Mummy”, “Daddy” “newborn” “Granny “miscarriage” “Aunt ”, “Birthday “ “Anniversary” etc.

So many ways grief can affect us.

I don’t’ know anyone who has been sheltered from the pain of loss and I don’t judge you for feeling the pinch a little deeper than you maybe wish you did.

Grief comes in all shapes and sizes but it doesn’t go away and it can affect our friendships and relationships if we don’t address it and talk about it.

My fear is that I will bore people with my talking about Daddy. Mum never stopped us from talking about him and even now my brother and I ask questions which might seem a little childish.

Currently I am obsessed with what Dad may have walked like or what his mannerisms were when he went to a party. Did he smile? What was his laugh like? How did he like his steak cooked? The nuances which, from my experience are what we miss when someone close to us dies.

My neighbour, before she passed, spoke to me about not making porridge for two people anymore after her husband passed away.

Another friend wore her boyfriend’s t shirt to bed after he died suddenly.

Everyday occurrences are where grief lies.

If today, as you read this, your tea is cold and no one is there to heat it in the microwave for you. Or you’re single parenting in your thirties while dealing with stomach churning grief of your partner and best friend. Maybe your high school friend took their own life and you just can’t deal with the pain suicide brings or the knowledge that they suffered alone and didn’t tell you. Or perhaps your baby took their last breath in your arms and that visual of that plays like a record on repeat in your mind.

Here is your permission to let that moment be. Tears can roll, anger can surface and that is ok.

Don’t be afraid to talk spoken words about your pain. We’re in this void and survival is key to pushing the barriers that grief can build.

Every word spoken and tear cried is a further acceptance of grief as it hangs around us.

From one wounded soul to another, have a good day.

I am not a professional counsellor and the person I spoke with no longer works in this department.

However, I would recommend Cruse if the pain of your loss is overwhelming you right now.

Also there is a post on here which discusses grief in more detail.

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