I didn’t know whether to write this, let alone publish it. It’s spent months in my drafts, being tweaked, being deleted, then recovered again in a continuous cycle, until now. This isn’t really what I have a blog for, but then again, I do write in the hope it will help someone, normally with a flippant, fickle decision. I love travel and food, but let’s be realistic. They aren’t a relationship, they aren’t a person. It’s not as though this is my usual bright and breezy post, It’s gritty, hard to write and down right upsetting. But, it helps to get it out of my own head and into words.
I’ve learnt a huge number of things from grief, some personal, some rather generic, like the people around you are such rocks. Communities come together in times of grief and I am ever so grateful for the friends and family that surround me. From hundreds of cards or a short and sweet text to let me know they’re there.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
– Earl Grollman
I’ve come to realise, I don’t like people feeling sorry for me, in fact I hate that some people look at me with pity. For two reasons, number one being I do not need pity. I was lucky to have such a great person for my whole life up until that point, I don’t want people treading on eggshells around me. I know their intentions are kind. But in all honesty, I’d much prefer people to act as close to normality as possible.
If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
– Chinese Proverb
Secondly, I love making other people happy, getting a smile, people laughing either at me or with me, I don’t particularly care. But when people stare at me with those woeful eyes, I feel that they are willing me to dampen my spirit, to be upset and I do not want to be upset in front of others, making an awkward sad situation. I know this isn’t people’s intention and I don’t mean that I’ll take myself off to a corner and be upset alone, I’ve got people to talk to, I will be fine. But when I’m out I don’t need a reminder and I sure as hell don’t need people wanting me to act as though I’m in mourning for the rest of my life, I may well feel like it, but, I don’t want this to define me. If I want to talk about anything I will, and I probably will bring things up in a conversation, but I don’t want it to be the centre of everything. I want people to be happy around me, I want to spread positivity, I want to dance to silly music, make up lyrics I can’t remember, laugh until it hurts, all I want is to be surrounded by happiness.
I had always loved the below quote when I was younger, thinking it sounded such a funny thing to say, but when you’ve been through hell and come through the otherside, you begin to understand and sometimes you do have to be tough to get through the day, but everyone’s human, sometimes the exterior will crack and that’s okay.
Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.
I also feel in times where we are stretched, in times of grief, we find ourselves and I’m not talking about my secondary school teacher who “found Jesus under a park bench”, but more you can see you’re strengths and weaknesses easier, I’m sure and in fact I know people that can do this anyway. But after speaking to people who have been through a similar situation you seem to have more clarity, your true personality takes hold and drives the ship in social situations when you feel like you would rather have never joined the normal world again after that weird bubble of grief. You find little traits they’ve taught you suddenly shine through, those that you probably tried to hide, or say I’m nothing like them, when in fact you’ve always been rather similar.
One of our greatest tests is to see if we are able to bless someone else while we are going through our own storm.
Only you will know how you grieve, you probably won’t realise it until you have been grieving for a little while. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve and please don’t feel like I am, I hope this just brings some solace to people feeling the same way, or perhaps understand someone who is grieving, or even understand me? I’m not really sure, but as I said, it helps to get it written.
My biggest piece of advice, is probably the most obvious, but cannot be stressed enough, do try and go back to the real world as soon as you feel ready to face it. I’m not saying go bounding in before you’re ready to, but it is tricky to even consider ‘normal’ life again. In all honesty you probably won’t ever feel fully ready and your first day back to work/school/wherever, will probably be overwhelming, but it’s important.
I’m sorry, I’ve been babbling, but that’s my perspective of this whole horrid situation. I hope that maybe it will help someone? Or maybe it will help someone I know, know how to act around me? I don’t know, so I’ll leave you with this:
Be silly. Be fun. Be different. Be crazy. Be you, because life is too short to be anything but happy.