Sharing stories of grief

I’m often so aware of my grief that I feel like I’m going out of my tiny mind!

Each day, I live and breathe the heartache of knowing the pain that is to be a grieving mother.

I’ll be doing something ordinary… ironing, preparing a meal, reading to one of my children, shopping in town… and my inner voice will be screaming at me ‘But she’s not here! Why isn’t she here!’ over and over. I almost laugh as my brain tries to comprehend my going about my ‘normal business’ with the painful thought that, yes, it’s real, my daughter did die, so how am I even functioning let alone doing these trivial things?

I’m sharing my loss and thoughts on this blog and I’m concerned it might seem like I’m obsessed by it, as, even though it’s changing, it’s certainly not going away! But then I meet someone or hear something that makes me know I’m not alone, that I’m far from obsessed and that I’m okay where I am.

The thing is, we all know of someone who hasn’t ‘moved on’ enough or who hasn’t ‘opened up’ enough about their grief, in our opinion. Society makes it impossible for us to get the balance right, if there is such a thing!

I watched TV the other day, This Morning, a call-in where the topic was the loss of a child. A bereaved mother, whose son had died in his early twenties having been in a car accident, called in to the show. Her voice was weak with exhaustion and lack of motivation; she had lived and breathed his loss every minute of every day since. She couldn’t sleep and dreaded bedtime, then she dreaded waking up and worried about how to face the day without him. This was nearly four years later, still very early days in the acceptance of a loss, but surely, I thought, time enough to get past the initial feeling of deep hurt and confusion. She was lost in an endless cycle of depression and I was ashamed that I was thankful I was not in her shoes. Her grief consumed her life entirely, and I realised that while my grief is a constant emotion, it’s not, in reality, all-consuming every day, even if it feels that way!

The advice was yes, this pain won’t ever go away, but your child would not want you to live the rest of your days feeling like this. Sometimes you just need to hear someone say words like this without telling you that you need to ‘get over it’. It was sound advice and true empathy from a woman (Denise) who’s been there and lives with loss herself. Here is a link to the item on the show.

But as hard as it was to hear the sad stories on the call-in, and to hear how each parent was still deeply mourning the loss of their child years later knowing that I, too, joined them, I also took comfort from it. I also follow a number of other mothers and fathers who blog about their losses.

I need to read others’ painful stories, need to see how someone else is coping with it…  Some can’t face the world, some (try to) carry on regardless, some make a new life elsewhere, some campaign for change, others blog and raise awareness… but one thing binds us, we all need to find a way that will help us cope with living each day in this world without the person we’ve loved so much and lost.