GRIEF IS NOT A LINEAR JOURNEY

Grief is not a linear journey. It’s a complete hurly-burly hodgepodge of experiences that one absolutely can not predict. Just when you think you’ve managed to deal with, and shelve a few things, you’re thrown bodily back into the storm of fully charged emotion. 

Sometimes for no clear reason, then again sometimes you can see the reason, but know it’s completely out of your control and that you just have to get over it.

Mum and Nat reading
Mum reading to my little person – about five years ago. These are the memories I want to be able to recall.

That’s a bit sh*t for someone like me who likes things in order. Well ok, I know it’s sh*t for everyone. But I’m a person who likes to know where things are at, and to have a plan. I so wish someone could say to me ‘these are the stages of grief you will go through’ and one would pass naturally on to the other. I would know where I was at in the journey, could have milestones to work towards and things at each stage to focus on.

Yeah …. nah!

Grief at this point for me, is all of my emotions running up and down the continuum on a daily basis. Sometimes from one hour to the next. It is relying so hard on my husband to support me through and to reassure me I am doing ok and I am not losing my mind. Grief is sad, grief is angry, grief is confused, grief is lost.

Yes. I am all of these things.

A milestone is:

a day without tears.
Seven months into the journey I can go days without weeping, then I can go days where it’s always right there at the surface – this is progress.

not relying on sleeping tablets anymore.
Five weeks since my last chemical sleep, check!

not reliving the last hour of my mum’s life over and over.
Fail, daily. I hate this one.

not reaching for the phone to ring/text mum to tell her something completely inconsequential or totally substantial.
Yeah I still forget. Often.

I know that grieving is the price of loving. Heck, I loved love my mum more than anyone in some ways. Our lives were inextricably linked: mother-daughter-best friend. And I wouldn’t not have her in my life, even if it meant not having to say goodbye and grieve.

I just wish I could choose my memories, I wish I could manage (control) my emotions, I wish I could take a break from feeling ‘ick’ (sorry, really lacking words for how I feel these days – I don’t think that there is just one word).

I do hope I’m being realistic in my journey, my expectations. I guess that because the journey is personal to each of us, I am being true to how I’m feeling, I’m not burying it, so must be doing ok. And I’m not so dense that I can’t see progress.

My cousin, who was more like another daughter to my mum, said to me:

“Lynley would want us to grieve so that she knew how much she meant to us but also wouldn’t want us to miserable, just got to get the balance right”.

That’s what I’m working on, I’m just not very good at balancing it some days!

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2 thoughts on “GRIEF IS NOT A LINEAR JOURNEY

  1. Oh Abbie, this one made me tear up. Wish I was closer to give you a hug or bake you some cookies. You are doing an AMAZING job and getting through this and it has only been 7 months. That’s nothing really (not even a pregnancy) so I would expect you to still have grief in your face most days. That’s such a lovely photo of your mum with Nat too. xxxxx

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