MENTAL MONDAYS | Grief & Me
Understanding Grief by Laura
Today I feel so sad… so, so sad that tears flow silently down my face as I sit to the left of my husband on the other couch. It has been nearly 13 years since my mother died and I feel the sadness today more than ever before. Is it because I miss her? Is it because I’m annoyed that she isn’t here to enjoy her grandchildren? Is it because I lost my best friend? Is it because I feel I have no one to talk to or to listen to me? Is it because I feel I have no one to fight my corner, to cheer, encourage and champion me through life? All of the above and more. Such a deep dark chasm of nothing… of where she should be. There are times when life takes over and you just need someone to have an uninterrupted brew with… to really offload, not just a catch up… a really good bitch and a cry without feeling that you might be judged or your sanity questioned. I have lots of friends, great, fun friends – old and new. I love to socialise and sometimes drink a little too much and fall over… have a giggle. But this is a distraction.
You see… I feel that I can’t talk about my mum with some family members. It is a taboo subject. Of course we have all moved on, created new lives and learnt how to live with our loss.
This is fine. But for some reason my grief seems to have re-surfaced. I think this is the word or expression that I am looking for. I suffer with anxiety from time to time and probably also a little bit of depression. They are not debilitating, I can function and I enjoy life.
I believe that some of my family members are able to compartmentalise their feelings and emotional experiences. I have tried to do this, not intentionally, this is just how we’re supposed to do things in our family. What’s the point in dwelling on something that you cannot change? I understand this logic, I was brought up with it, but I am just not very good at it. I am a very emotional person, always have been. I started going to counselling a few weeks ago… could this be why I feel so ‘fragile’, picking away at old wounds? It was my understanding that grief was a process you went through when somebody you love dies, not 13 or more years later when you’ve supposedly got your shit together.
A friend remarked the other day that I never speak about my Mum. This really threw me, probably because I ALWAYS think about her. Every day. I have conversations with her in my head, I ask for advice.
I even ask her where the hell I put my bloody keys or where the next free parking space is… and she delivers! Every time. I now realise that I cannot talk about my Mum because the feelings are still so raw, it’s not fair. She has missed out and will continue to miss out on so much. When I see her friends they always comment on how alike we are. This makes me cry but I never let it show so I fire a wise crack back at them… deflect… always the joker. I am disappointed that the decision was made to have my Mum’s ashes scattered over a rose bush at the crematorium. Why could we not have had some sort of intimate ceremonial gesture for her (…or for me)? I guess I could always go home and sit in her chair or visit her old place of work…
Maybe it just pisses me off that they seemed to be able to (metaphorically speaking) brush her away.
I don’t know. What I do know is that in the hour of writing this… whatever you want to call it… my tears have dried. I feel calm, the knot in my stomach has dispersed somewhat. I believe this may have been a good outlet for me. If you are still reading this, thank you for your time. Laura x
We’d like to thank Laura for her contribution to our Mental Monday’s series.
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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