I could have renamed this blog several things in the last few months. Here are some of the new potential names; mad with the boys, mad about life, going mad… ..you get the general gist. Anyway, I had to break the silence of writing and get going again.
I have been wanting to write about what I am going through at the moment perhaps because it will be cathartic. I was worried that no one would want to read about the uncomfortable emotions that grief brings but it occurred to me that there are thousands of people around the world going through a similar thing and there is bound to be someone who wants to read about it.
I’m in deep with the whole thing. There have been days when my whole body has physically felt like sludge and I have struggled to walk up the stairs, days when I can’t raise a smile and days when I’ve have done okay and managed to have some laughs. There is no timetable with grief. You can’t put it on the diary and plan how you are going to feel at certain times. Just because you feel better one day doesn’t mean that the next it won’t feel even worse. There is no solution other than time; sometimes that in itself is the most scary feeling… this is not going away anytime soon.
People tend to be in three camps, those who say nothing and find it all too awkward, those who want to fix and provide a solution and those who have been through it who can give you a knowing look; they know that no words will make any difference. The hardest times are when people ask how old dad was (81 by the way), and say “at least he had a good innings” or “at least he’s not suffering anymore”. These are both true facts but make zero difference to those left behind.
My bereavement counsellor says that I am the best person she has come across in years for dealing with the grief (she probably says that to everyone but I can add it to my list of skills “doing grief well”). I am going to the gym three times a week, seeing a counsellor to talk it all through, telling my friends when I’m not coping, reading books, eating healthily etc etc. I did ask her this week why I still feel so bad, she said imagine you were not doing all these thing to support yourself (good point). People are confusing my grief with depression, “get some anti depressants.” I am not depressed; I am simply grieving. This is tough but I am glad to be facing it head on now and not suppressing it for years to come. The two visits to the GP have interestingly enough resulted in them saying no way to anti depressants (“they will only put a plaster on the inevitable.”) I am being very unBritish about my grief. I am sobbing when I need to, this week I have refused to put a positive spin on the whole thing (yes it’s great he didn’t suffer longer and it’s great that I had him for 37 years but I can still feel like rubbish about it). People around me are often finding it hard to see how awful grief is. Day by day it will get easier and that is how I am taking it all; one day at a time.