While death is something I accept as part of life, the impact of a death, especially that of my child, troubles me. Her death has been and gone, she is at rest now, yet the ripples of that loss pass over me constantly. I’ve largely accepted that she’s not coming back, I’m making the best of it, but nearly four years on I find myself battling with the after effects of grief and am becoming aware of all the many ways it had impacted my life… who I was…who I am…
It is therapeutic for a victim to write to the perpetrator of a crime or injustice, so, I have written here to grief:
You have robbed me of my heart, a heart which perpetually aches, is tired, weary. A heart which is too scared to love deeply yet carries the scars from loving too much. A heart which beats so slowly at times that it seems it might stop, yet at other times races as if it’s trying to run away from the hurt you’ve brought upon me.
You have robbed me of my passion, blinding my eyes from the pleasure of reading words on a page that could take me to places of escape, tormenting me when I try to relax by tightening my muscles and clenching my teeth, mocking me when I try to create, or plan or dream dreams… why are you even bothering?!
You have robbed me of my compassion, I feel unable to give to others, I absorb their troubles as though they were my own yet becoming detached when it becomes too much. I’m too scared to care for fear of the pain, running, hiding from the horrible memories that are ready to surface at any moment.
You have robbed me of myself, remembering the person I was and feeling confused by the tired, fear-filled eyes staring back at me in the mirror, wondering about the point of life if there is only more grief to come.. focusing on the maybes, forgetting how to find the joy.
You have robbed me of trust, in them, myself, life itself… everything becomes a new thing to fear, by day fearing the future, by night reliving the past.
You have robbed me of my sanity, nails chewed, tablets swallowed, relationships strained, a mind fraught with what is and was and will be, the toll ready to chime at any moment, living on the edge. No one can tell me it will all be okay when you know what I’ve seen.
You have robbed me of my clarity and put a million distractions in my path that simply tempt my heart away from the truth, the truth that bites into me when I least expect it. The distracted mind becomes quickly overwhelmed with too much to process and not enough capacity to take it in. My tank is full, drowning my tired mind in pointless, relentless thoughts.
You have robbed me of my sleep, brought me nightmares, a racing heart. In the stillness of night you sit on my bed and watch me. You jab me awake, making me gasp for air, disturbing my rest with the dread of what or who might be next…
Grief, you’re a thief that stole far more than my child on that horrible night… but I won’t let you win. I have just enough strength to fight back, to stop you leeching my energy further. I will not allow my darling girl’s memory to be clouded by you, Grief. She is heaven, you are hell.
But through all this and even though it is crap, I respect you and I forgive you, Grief, you’re only doing your job after all and I need to continue on the journey with you. But I will use you to build me back up, to develop resilience, to give me strategies for the future so that I need not be afraid of what you might do to me again. I can’t cheat death, but I won’t give up trying to overcome you.
From a broken-hearted mumma.