What is grief?
Grief after death, the crazy up down, unpredictable emotion, a roller coaster ride. Unsure of when you are able to get off. For me grief felt raw, primal, made me so heavy hearted, with other emotions thrown in like anger, shock and a big wallop of OMFG… WTF. I felt all this when my dad an alcoholic died at 65 years. Shock sets in even if its been a long a long dying process. A state of, I feel physically sick to my stomach. Amazing how deep grief can affect everything, your appetite, your thoughts, your actions, your memory, your soul, your core. Any normal behavior it affects, who you are, but that’s OK.
Amazing how you feel yourself wanting to curl up in the fetal position on a bed and sob into a pillow quietly. Bed feels like a great option, so you don’t have to face the world. Then its between your soul and the one that’s leaving or left this world. Vivid dreams happen . When someone dies it feels like a piece of you has left with them. Grief is not always all about how close to you that person or animal was and you will miss them. But it can be other feelings like a relief they are gone, for any reason… pain… anger… that’s OK too. Or the guilt you felt when they left. Did I do enough, was I good enough? Why???
Grief personally for me wasn’t for all of who he was but more of what I wished he could be. I grieved for the person he wasn’t, as so badly who I wanted him to be. I found I got to understand and know my dad better after he was gone through other people, colleagues, friends, through his house, contacts, photos, letters he wrote, papers he’d written. I knew him but didn’t really know him. Time heals but there is no set time and no set way and that’s OK. Life is a bit selfish how it doesn’t slow down to give you time to heal. It does get easier.
A beautiful sister of mine Trish told me something that helped a lot “Its not so much time that heals, but what you do with your time that heals you”. Oh yeah and “get some anti-stress women’s multi vitamins”
Death creates courage and empathy. Death is a journey for all involved, adults, children, babies, animals. For the soul and the ones left behind. A journey of soul searching. A life journey…
- your memories
- your missing them
- your time
- your pace
- your feelings… no one else’s
- your gut…trust it and do what you need to do
Maybe there’s guilt you have to work through, your feelings of loss, what if, why, what could I have done better. Timing is everything…
- when to unpack
- when to read their belongings
Remember its just stuff, stuff isn’t who they were, it was just things they had… material possessions… remember how they made you feel. Laughing, crying, reminiscing, that helps heal the open wound.
Families can say some crazy things too, remember grief can make you say or do things quite irrational, so forgiveness may need to flow freely.
Anything can set off tears even a year or two or ten down the track
- a letter
- a song
- a saying
- a smell
- a place
- and that’s OK
I feel that person around me when I think of them. Talking about whomever has passed keeps their spirit alive, even years later. It also helps you to talk. Life is for the living, don’t take it for granted “inspire before you expire”.
Funerals are a celebration of a life lived. We are only lent to the earth for a non certain amount of time. So LIVE. Do your bucket list. Make each day count. “What have you done over your life time to makes others lives better” and remember grief is very personal, the way you grieve may be the opposite to the way someone else does. There’s no right way, so don’t judge. No set time limit on grief, its a process. Respect everyone’s own personal grief journey… for a pet or a loved one and be kind. Oh and dropping off cake helps! (preferably with cream cheese icing).