Nobody ever warned me just how lonely grieving can be and last week, four years on, I finally realised that fact for myself. I am lonely because I don’t have Jack here anymore, I don’t have his unconditional love, his cuddles and kisses or his “I love you mummy, can we do this mummy, can you get this for me mummy”. What I would I would give anything to be together again, for the sleepless nights, for the school run, for the washing basket to be full, for all the mum things ...that people often complain about. What i would give to have those arms arounds me just one more time.
Yes, I am physically lonely but I am also emotionally lonely because nobody can walk this path of grief for me, nobody can take this emotional pain away. These are the aspects of grief that many people don’t know about and I hope by sharing my own journey of grief that I can help others.
Our culture isn’t comfortable with the subject of death, and few of us know how to cope with the pain of loss and grief, myself included. We often don’t permit or encourage the free expression of sorrow. Instead we learn to control our feelings and hide our pain so we won’t disturb other people. As a child you may have learned that grief is a taboo subject, that feelings should be buried, and that grieving should be done alone. As an adult you may equate grieving with self indulgence or self-pity. You may be too embarrassed or ashamed to let your emotions show in front of others. You may feel isolated, different and apart from everyone else, convinced that no one understands and you must grieve alone. You may be reluctant to turn to others, either because you haven’t learned to accept or ask for help, or because you’re afraid others won’t know what to do with your feelings.
Last week I didn’t know what to do with my feelings and I was afraid of myself, I was reluctant to ask for help and I was so low that I didn’t think I was going to survive this ocean of grief. This week, I am swimming in the grief as opposed to drowning in it and I am just thankful for the family and friends that are still here to hold my hand and are not “expecting me to be over it by now”.
Sometimes those are the people that we forget about and I want to thank everyone who supports those that are grieving. It is an even lonelier road if you are walking it alone.