Sunday, 28 June 2009

"You cannot remind me - I never forget"

Originally Posted - 29 Jan 2009

All of us I guess have lost to death someone that they love. The most recent and real for me was my beloved Auntie, my mummy’s twin sister and my Godmother. The pain you feel is physical and real and washes over you at random moments for a long time after the initial loss. Fortunately my experiences with bereavement have, so far, been relatively minimal and confined to elderly relatives.

I read an article this week written by a woman who lost her younger sister to a road traffic accident. It was beautifully written and described how she felt about and dealt with her loss, how she is still dealing with it on a daily basis and how friends and family both reacted to her and helped or hindered her in her grief.

I have been ‘lucky’ in that I have never lost anyone quite that close but while reading the piece she had written, I was struck by the parallels that bereavement has with heartbreak.

I have mentioned before how I have felt ‘bereft’ at the loss of my lover and how hard some days are to deal with and reading this woman’s recount of the period after her sisters death I was not overly shocked to see comparisons to how my emotions have irrationally run away with me at times.

She wrote of her incapacity to function and perform the most basic daily tasks, how even washing hair and dressing became challenges. I knew that, I had been there, that first week when I barely slept, couldn’t eat and didn’t shower for 4 days.

In one of the final paragraphs she wrote “I will never get over it, because I will never get over her. I have discovered that grief is not something that I had to go through, but rather something that I have to learn to live with…… is an element of 'new' me, a person dramatically altered by my experience”

That is very much how I feel, that somehow by all I have shared and experienced I can and will never be the same again. What I have to attempt to do is make me a better ‘me’ not a lesser ‘me’, to draw a positive from the part of my life so enjoyed but now lost.

“….that when a person dies they do not disappear and you do not simply move on….the loved one, the lost one leaves an everlasting imprint on those left behind……. (death) is a redefinition of a relationship, not an end to it”

And reading those words actually gave me comfort, that what I have been feeling, what I still feel is not madness or idiotic, it’s not my depression. I am quite simply grieving. Bereft. Mourning the loss of someone I love with all my heart and I am just trying to find ways to move forward, move on but still remember that part of my life.

I have some serious decisions to make over the next few weeks, I have to find out where the path now lies for me, I have to discover what I want and make it happen. Those words are not written with wonderful foresight or passion, they are not conjured out of a desire to seem upbeat and positive, they are just flat, simple facts.

I am sorry for any one I have hurt, am hurting or will hurt. But most of all, selfishly I am sorry for me

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