If there was a loyalty card for funerals I’d be onto a winner. At twenty-five years old I now feel I truly know loss. But more than that, I feel I have a very honest relationship with it. I live happily most days now, but it is never too far from my thoughts. As countless stories of destruction and chaos have been shown in the media, I think most of us have felt like holding our loved ones a little tighter. With this I would like to talk about grief head on. I don’t intend to make this, or any of my posts, an entirely depressing read. I do intend to strip away the veil of mystery for those of us that are still yet to lose anyone close and talk frankly about my experiences for anyone who is going through grief now. The feelings of grief, after experiencing loss, will always be with us in one way or another. But, whilst it persists, we may still enjoy the present, look forward to the future and let the past carry us through the hardest of times.
For a few years I have wanted to open up about some struggles that I have been going through; the extent of which I’ve kept hidden from many who know me well. Blogging will no doubt be therapeutic — ‘there is no selfless act’ — but I have really begun this project to share with others and to give to others. I have set a goal of posting for a year, maybe monthly, maybe as the mood takes me. But in that time I hope to create a place where we can come when we feel alone and know that there is light ahead.
I have no paper qualifications in counselling, bereavement or writing actually (CAN YOU TELL?!?!) but I do have my own experiences and I hope they are enough. I would like this to become a “community project” without wanting to sound too happy-clappy!! I think many of my friends have had a valuable insight into the ways we can cope in dark times. Grief does not just cover the feelings of loss after death – It can begin long before that. We may even go through grief after our lives become irretrievably changed.
If you feel you would like to contribute to this blog, I’d ask that you first think on it for a few weeks as I release my first post. Sharing something so private is not for everyone and now is not always the right time. If you do come to the conclusion you’d like to contribute (anonymously or otherwise), please get in contact. If you just want to talk privately about something I’ve written, that’s fine too!
But finally…a first glimpse into what I will be posting about. I should say first, I won’t be talking in depth about any illnesses or personal struggles of the deceased. I do not have their consent and I do not feel it’s respectful to the people who have given me so much. I did get consent for certain struggles though and if I can find a way to write about them I will. SO back to today…
Today, 18th June 2017, is sunny. It’s a little too sunny for me. And so, as others run around celebrating Father’s Day with their bronzed fathers, I silently curse my “English Rose” genetics. This heat does give me chance to sit down though and think about those who aren’t here to down a cool beverage with me in the shade. The 18th of June 2017 marks the 31st anniversary of my parents’ marriage. It is also my grandparents’ 68th wedding anniversary and so, above all else, I’ve got to celebrate enduring love today. My grandparents passed away when I was still fairly young but their legacies have shaped me no less than were they still here. We also lost my dad 2 years ago. Everyday I look in the mirror and see more of him, more of all of them actually and I’m glad for that. Big forehead, insipid complexion and all! Today I will raise an ice cold glass for them all and for all the love they show me. Today is a very happy day! Happy Father’s Day!