Grief is hard for anyone. Mental illness or not; the pain of losing someone can stop time. It can make the strongest person crumble for days, months, years. It’s something just like mental illness people don’t like to talk about. Maybe it’s because it shows others we are vulnerable and being vulnerable gives the impression we can’t cope.
If you struggle and feel you can’t cope. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Grief is awful, losing someone is horrific. You can feel the blood flowing through your veins when you are told you have lost someone, that the person is not coming back. You can feel every beat your heart makes and then for a split second you go numb. Every memory you had with that person flashes through your mind, every good, funny, bad, sad, every memory comes forward. You feel the tears start to form in the corner of your eyes and to stop yourself from falling; you hug yourself. To stop yourself from falling apart, your arms cross over your body to support your now fragile self.
It’s known that there are 5 stages of grief. That’s right 5. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You can continue to go back and forth through these stages and I think when we go back we feel there is never going to be acceptance. We are forever stuck in that dark place of never seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
I never really remember the stages. But my grief experience from this one to the previous one has been different. Before I was at uni and would just go out everyday. I would block the pain with excessive amounts of alcohol. This time; I didn’t do that. I have no idea why. Was it better to do this? Did it mean I coped better? I don’t think so. I don’t think anyway of coping with grief is better than another. Everyone copes differently, everyone handles each grief episode they have to deal with within their life differently. And that’s okay, there is no time limit on when we should get to the acceptance stage.
Some people say they have never accepted their loss. They have never got to the last stage. They just learn to carry on, they learn to make it day by day. However, is this not acceptance in a minuscule way?
We can never get back the people we lose. But we can always keep memories alive. We can always remain proud that we knew the souls we are know grieving. We can forever keep them in our hearts. And I think that’s one way we can help our hearts mend.
I lost my grandad in October. I still cry, I still miss him but I will never let his presence be gone. He will forever be around me because of the memories and the love I have with/for him. If you are going through grief at the moment, know there is always someone out there that you can confide in. You can always reach out to someone if you are struggling. Never try and do the stages alone. Keep trinkets of the person your grieving for, keep them near you (I have my grandads favourite piece of art) but remember they may be gone physically but they will always be present spiritually and mentally.
Stay close to your love ones this Christmas period. Because every moment should be treasured for those bad days