Showing posts with label grief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grief. Show all posts

29 October 2023

Navigating Grief

Grief is a strange bedfellow.

One minute you are overcome.  The loss of the person taken from you seems overwhelming and you don't know how you will get through it.  The next, you have to rally, organise, be strong and somehow; you manage it.

Grief ebbs and flows.  There is no constant.  It a wave that you have to ride until you can find a calm again, some peace.  Whenever that may be.  There is no timeframe.

Death, whether expected or not, is always a shock.   You can, as we all can, only hope for the kind of death that is the best that you can hope for.  No suffering.  Your family around you.  Given a chance to say goodbye.  A quick death, not long and drawn out.  While you still have dignity.

There is no one way to deal with grief.  But the most important thing to do is allow yourself to feel when you need to.  Do not bottle it up.  Do not busy yourself in an attempt to hide from it.  Because it will find you.

That is the thing about grief and loss.  It hurts.  A lot.  But running away from that hurt will only ensure that it finds you at the worst time, the worst moment.  Or will manifest in other destructive ways.

I lost a close family member to me this week.  Having lost my dad and my step already, he became like a father figure to me.  He was always there.  Ready to help.  Always showed love to my mum and I.  Someone that you could always turn to.  I loved him very much.

Having already lost two major people in my life, I know how this grief thing works now, sadly.  Which I why I share my thoughts and words with you today.

I find myself committing the sins of what you should not do and had to check myself.  Because self care when you are grieving is extremely important.  Especially when you have others who you need to be strong for.

I found myself asking for more time.  The thing is, you are always going to wish for that.  Because there is never enough time.  You can always think of things you wished that you had said or things that you had done.  

While at the hospital I chose to give my time to those that needed to see him more than I.  His sons, my mother.  By the time it was my turn to see him, things had turned for the worse and my time was missed.  So no, I did not get to say goodbye, but I did the right thing and importantly, he knew that I was there.  I wonder if he understood that. 

I also found myself wondering if he knew how much I cared, how much I loved him.  It only struck me after he died, I had never thought about it previously, that if I had ever got married to my partner, it would have been him that I would have asked to walk me down the aisle.  He was proud of me and I think that he would have loved to do it.    

All of these go round in my head and by doing so, they make the grief worse.  Questions that can never be answered.  Actions that can never be carried out.  They torment you.

As I said however, I have been down the winding path of grief before.  So when I start to question, when I start to worry about what ifs and what could have been, then I know I need to go back and remember the important things.  

I know that he loved me and he knew that I loved him.   He, my mum and I went through some tough times together and it created a bond with the three of us.  We were family.  We would always be there for each other.

I am currently writing something to say at his funeral.  I want to celebrate the man that he was.  A good man.  A kind man.  There will be many there to say goodbye to him and I confess that I am nervous to stand up and speak.  Public speaking is not my forte.  

But I will do this and hopefully do him proud and do him justice.  My wonderful Uncle Jack.

29 February 2016

My Ellie

You arrived at our home at three months old, a tiny ball of black fluff.  So small you would have fit in a pint glass.  My first memory of you is being on the phone to mum while she brought you home for the first time, telling me all about you and then saying "The little bugger just nipped me!".

You had never nipped anyone before or since, but knowing your personality as I do now, I think that it was you saying "I may be tiny, but I am the boss now!" and you really were.  We belonged to you, not the other way around.  We used to joke that you were the queen and we were your minions.  Just as you deserved.

Your favourite places were rugs.  You used to roll all over each one of them in the house, your legs flailing in the air like a little horse.  I still walk into a room and expect to see you rolling around the floor like a lunatic.

You didn't like to go for a walk, often hiding behind my legs or looking up at me with those big beautiful eyes which practically said "Mummy, don't make me".  You won the battle most of the time because who could resist you?  Certainly not me.  You loved to run for a ball however, your dancing around for it earned you one of your first nicknames, Dancing Dora.

I have had and have known many dogs in my life.  None like you. I have loved every dog and pet we have had over the years, but none took hold of my heart like you did.  You decided that love was not enough, it was adoration that you wanted; and it is what you received.  It had been a very long time since I gave someone my whole heart, but you had all of it.

You had more personality than any dog I have ever known.  You had a truly unique character and really could do everything to communicate except actually speak.

I have so many memories of you.  The way that you always have a part of you touching mum when you slept, either on the back of her chair or on the bed.  The way when you slept on the floor you slept near her slippers.

Your expression of indignation when you would see Rosie on my bed.  The way you kept moving down the hall, sitting down every few steps with an incensed glare at me and Rosie.  You practically shouted "Oi!  That's my mummy!  She is mine!".

The way you would come to my door at night.  I would open the door and then  have to follow you, with you looking back to make sure I was complying as you went to the front door or to the sitting room, because you wanted to play on the rug with me.  I cannot count how many hugs and kisses I gave you on that rug over the years.  Millions.

You used to love being sung to.  So many times I would pick you up in my arms, you would position yourself so that you were perfectly comfortable, using me like an chair arm.  I would sing to you the song that mum used to sing to me when I was a little girl "You are my sunshine".  You were.

Your name was Ellie, but to me, you were Sausage Monkey.  I am not really sure how the name came about, maybe because your body was like a little sausage and you were a monkey.  But I called you Sausage Monkey more than than I called you Ellie.  You answered to either.

You gave us such much joy, love, fun and laughter every single day and we both loved you so very very much.

When you became ill, you were so strong and a little fighter.  Your spirit radiated out of you.

For such a small dog, you have left such a massive hole in our lives and in our hearts.  A piece of mine went with you, my little girl.  You will be missed every day and you will never be replaced. A dog as unique and wonderful as you never could be.

I cannot say goodbye.  The words will not come.  Instead I will say what I always used to say to you at night.

Night night sausa monkey, momma loves you.

11 December 2015

Hello, It's Me

Hello little blog.  It's me.  I'm wondering if after all these months, you recognise me.

OK, so I am shameless stealing Adele lyrics here, but the question remains true.  But I have been here, posting, writing; and yet I haven't.  The me that loves to do fashion posts has been absent, the writer who loves to rant has been gone; the woman who pours her heart out through her blog has been MIA.

Victoria the ghost writer has made some appearances, but in general, my heart has been gone from this blog for many, many months.  Why is that?

Well, it has been a bloody hard and horrible year with not many highs.  A long hospital stay followed by the death of my step dad, the aftermath of that and me wondering how I could have lost both my dad and step dad before I'm even 40.  Drawing inward.

"They say time's supposed to heal ya, but I ain't done much healing"

I have to be careful with my heart.  I know how easily I can fall into sadness and when dark days can turn into dark periods.  Under times of stress I have to be especially careful. I have had to be strong, I could not fall under the spell of sadness.

I have not been unable to understand why my passion for writing has been gone.  I have not been able to understand why I have pulled away from friends, stepping in now and again but remaining distant.  I could not understand the need that roared inside me to ensure that I told my mum I loved her so often.  I could not understand why my joy for life seemed to be on mute.

After much soul searching and facing up to truths, I now understand.

I have been on pause.  You know when something huge is about to happen in front of you, you freeze, hold your breath, draw your body inward?  That has been me.  I have put myself on pause, thrown a safety net around myself and anchored in.  Because I have been scared of what comes next.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex cannot see you if you don't move and that is how I have been treating that fear.  Do nothing, and nothing bad will happen.

I have not been writing, although I have wanted to, because I write with my heart and my heart has had a cage around it, keeping it safe.  I have pulled away from my best friends because they know me so well and I wasn't ready to see my reflection in their eyes.  They know what I am like and because they are amazing, they have waited.  Knowing.

I have told my mum that I love her every single day not because I adore her, which I do, but because somewhere inside me was saying "What if she dies too".   Losing my dad when I was younger and losing my step dad this year has made me pull her so close, because my heart is in no state to deal with that kind of grief.

I am improving now.  I am writing again finally and the words are flowing freely through me again, like they always have before.  There comes a point where you have to take that jump and continue living again, fully; not on safety mode.

Most people would not press publish on this post.  It is deeply personal and a working through of how I have been feeling.  A "Dear Diary".  But I believe that it is important to document your feelings, remember how you felt and how you brought yourself through it,  It is a marker in my life that proves how strong you are,

Writing has always been therapeutic and I am finally ready to let it heal me.  My sparkle is coming back and I feel more like myself again.  Hello little blog of mine, I have missed you so much.