They say it gets easier. They lied. It doesn’t ease, it still feels like you’re heart is breaking into a million pieces whilst being kicked unceremoniously full throttle in the gut like you’re a Bond villain at the end of a 007 movie.
But one thing I have come to realise is that it doesn’t sound so loud now as it did then. Instead of sounding like a dramatic Olivia Coleman wail with a Hans Zimmer sound track overlay, it quietens to a silent whimper like an unwanted puppy who knows no one hears them.
That is the reality of grief.
We are told there are five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have yet to get through one in particular. No I think the stages offer a cycle that you will inevitably go through… you might forget, you might be in denial but then the very next day feel the depression of grief. There is no right way. No one way to grieve. And you’re never really sure where you’re at in this cycle. You learn to suck it up because people lose interest, because you run out of words to formulate how you feel and you’re stuck on this ferris wheel. Through no fault of your own or anyone else’s for that matter.
But stuck you are and you can’t communicate what’s going on to anyone especially If they’ve never lost anyone before. You can hardly lay blame at their door for not understanding why you can’t stop the wheel. You can forgive people for their lack of interest and you can forgive the empty responses of ‘oh are you still upset about that‘, the ‘you just have to get on with it now‘, and the ‘it must have been their time‘, ‘just make them proud‘. They are all valid responses when we’re all guilty of not being able to find the empathetic words to offer valuable support.
We as a nation, as a collective of people are horrendous at showing true emotion, at allowing others to offer their real emotions to us. We cry at the television, film and when we’re watching Red Nose Day: but when it comes to real life, if the person sat next to us started to cry or express emotion we’d enter meltdown mode and hope a cup of tea would suffice.
Time is just a concept.
Losing the most important person in your life regardless of age, gender or their relationship to you will take time to accept. It takes time to swallow the anger and the ‘I could have done more‘, ‘why didn’t I…‘ guilt that inevitably follows, to distinguish.
It takes time to remember that they don’t live in that house anymore, or that you don’t need to send them a birthday card on what will still always be their birthday. And in a world dictated by technology you may never be able to delete their name and number from your mobile phone – an external reminder that they were here.
Whether it’s been 2 years, 6 months or 10 years just because someone isn’t visibly showing you they are still in pain about their loss, it doesn’t make it any less real or any less painful. They are just doing as our society recommends, they are doing their best, they are keeping their chin’ up.
Loss of love.
We’re trying to find the beauty in it as we all do in Autumn, but it’s not easy and I’m not always able to see any beauty in it at all. As I sit here two years on I can tell you, although life moves on it can take far longer than our concept of time to mend a heart and discover peace and beauty in death.
If you are to understand anything from this post, understand that grief is simply yet painfully: the loss of love.
If you’re struggling with grief or know someone that is, have patience. Loss of love is a wound that is difficult to cauterise and even harder to heal on ones own. Have patience and offer love in whatever way you’re able to give it and take love in any way you’re able to receive it, until there comes a point in our concept of time when you’ve healed enough that you can stand on your own two feet.