Grief is not linear line of emotions. It is not a connect-the-dots picture where the end result is clearly seen.
Grief is not a map that you easily follow by reaching marked destinations.
There are so many things that grief isn’t.
Through my life experiences and especially the loss of my son, I’m starting to truly understand what grief is....
It is completely unpredictable, just like life is.
Before I resided permanently in the bereaved parent world, I thought constant sadness had to be present in grief.
I didn’t understand how a person could smile, laugh, be genuinely content and still grieving.
You’re supposed to be sad.
You should be crying all of the time.
Putting one foot in front of the other shouldn’t be possible.
Those were the ideas I had about grief before it became part of my everyday life.
I became those ideas personified for years after the death of my son....Sadness consumed me but how could it not?
It physically hurt as I would think about him, write about or to him, and talk about him. I was great at putting on a show for the rest of the world, or so I thought.
I cried over everything and sometimes cried over nothing.
My eyes hurt from all of that work they were doing. Pillowcases were drenched in my grief.
During my work, following Jacks death, simple, mindless tasks seemed daunting, everything seemed daunting to be honest.
How was I going to do this for the rest of my life?
The simple answer is that I wouldn’t live that way my whole life but I didn’t know that then.
The reality is that the answer to this question isn’t simple.
It’s confusing, yet liberating.
On the 25th December, Jack would have been 14.
In eight years, I’ve cried more tears than I knew the human body could produce. I have sat silently in a darkened living room numbed with sadness counting the minutes until the sun came back up.
I have yelled in anger at the top of my lungs in hopes that someone could hear me and perhaps fix it.
These eight years have also been filled with smiles, not just the fake ones you flash to get people to leave you alone.
I’ve shared genuine smiles too, especially since I met my husband Paul, my stepdaughter and we had our miracle baby Summer J. In all honestly, they had saved me from the depths of despair.
They have given me a purpose and a reason to carry on and I know that I am extremely lucky to have that.
When my guilt over being happy first started to fade, I found my smile again. I deserve that.
My family deserves that.
And although Jack isn’t with us, he deserves that. Even though I miss him, I cry and also smile when I think, write, and talk about him. I even laugh and crack jokes sometimes.
I am content and at peace with where I am on this journey. I am doing it my way, the only way I know. There is no book that tells you how to live after the death of your child, there is no right or wrong way to do this, I just take it day by day.
Grief is a fickle thing.
Tomorrow is a new day and new days aren’t always good, but they can be.
Happiness and grief coexist in my heart.
I will always miss Jack, that will never change.
I know that I can miss the life he would have had and still hope to find some happiness in the life in front of me with my grief.
Being happy does not mean you love or miss your child any less. It took me a long long long time to realise that.
We are all living for them and that’s the greatest love of all.
Eight years ago, I wouldn’t have believed someone if they told me that all of this was possible.
Grief is not linear. There will be ups and downs.
The path can and will change without any warning. Hold on tight during the dark days, hold into hope, without hope, what do we have?
The past two weeks, I’ve had to hold on really tight to those that I love and to the hope that the days would get easier. Reliving the days and hours of Jacks death, his birthday, his sister birthday, Xmas day, his funeral and all that followed has been really overwhelming.
Thank you for everyone’s comments and messages over the last few weeks. I have and read every single comment and each one gives me such comfort at such a sad time
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