Hello World. How quick has 2019 thrown us into the thick of things?This past year I witnessed how loved ones had to say goodbye to their daughters, partners, wives & siblings. This made me want to share my experience. Death is the only thing we are guaranteed in this life and yet the thing we fear the most.
Losing a loved one is never easy. When my mom died, my world fell apart. It happened without warning & left me in a state of shock. One minute she was there and the next I was washing her cold body thinking ‘This is a mistake, she’s going to wake up. Did they even check properly, maybe her pulse is just weak” as I prepared for her burial.
The weeks that followed her death were a blur. I felt lost in a sea of faces, surrounded by loved ones but I felt lonelier than ever. The months following her passing, I spent my days de-cluttering the house , reading the five stages of grief, popping copious amounts of tissue salts and having the most supportive partner in the world stop life just for me.
I don’t visit her grave because I don’t believe she is there.I imagine her soul to be where rivers of milk run freely and date palms grow abundantly this is based on stories she used to tell me. Shaded by a tree she watches over me.
Still death is not easy for the ones left behind. I had so many questions and not enough answers. They don’t tell you how numb you will feel for weeks, months and in my case years. They don’t tell you that its okay to cringe at the things well meaning people will tell you , things like “It will get better with time”.It did not get better with time, I just learnt to live with the heartbreak. I had lost my best friend and my forever home and it sucked . Another comfort saying was that “Shes in a better place’ .Every night I prayed for my mom to let me know she was in fact in this better place. She didn’t. Not immediately, at least.
Looking back now I wish someone had forced me to speak to a professional. For two years I was depressed, praying to die every single day and I just accepted that this was how I would always feel. For two years I felt no joy, or happiness, just incredible sadness. I felt so lost. I lost my will to live. For me living was torture and the hardest part was getting out of bed every day.
They don’t tell you that its okay to not be okay.
I kept every emotion and feeling bottled up inside until a year after my moms death, I broke down during my birthday month. Now you have to know, I am big on birthdays and like celebrating from day one. After my mom died it didn’t feel the same. I didn’t want to celebrate. I went through all the motions but it didn’t feel the same. I cried in traffic, I cried when I was alone, I cried in the bathroom at work and I honestly didn’t know why. Three years later and this still happens every year in my birthday month. I know now that I cry not only because I wish she was here ,but because I will never have her breakfast in bed traditions ever again . And if that is not the saddest thing ever, I don’t know what is.
They didn’t tell me that I would be crippled by my feelings, develop chronic migraines over night, go grey over night and all I would want to do was stay in bed.
They tell you that when you grieve you will be in denial first, then anger will come, bargaining , depression and then finally acceptance. What they don’t tell you is that its not always packaged neatly in all these different boxes.You might not experience it in this order and you might revisit one or the other many, many times. There is no time limit to grief nor is there a proper way to grieve. There is only your way.
It’s okay to roll your eyes when well meaning people try to offer you words of comfort that make absolute no sense to you.
It’s okay , no its necessary to speak to someone, a friend, a grief counselor or therapist about your trauma. I believe now that you lighten your burden by sharing your story, because the compassionate listener walks away with a little bit of that burden. You might not want to talk about what you are feeling immediately, do it as soon as you can.
Its okay to feel like you want to die. It’s not okay when those feelings consume you.
It’s okay to cry , even if you can only do it when you are alone.
Its okay to be angry at God.
Its okay to feel guilty. Did you do enough, were you the best daughter, friend, sister , partner you could be. Could you have done more, did you love them enough, did you show it enough. These feelings of guilt are normal it might not be rational but it is normal.
It’s okay to remember that you are human, we are flawed beings.
Please share your story down below or reach out to me privately if you need to someone to listen or want to share your experience. Thank you for reading xx