What Grief Feels Like To Me

Everyone experiences grief differently, as there are many variables that affect it. For me, (in vague detail) I witnessed my Pa deteriorate in the a matter of months and watched him take his last breath. Wrapping my head around that and losing my loved one in general was and is hard.

When you watch someone die, you kind of relive the experience for a long time. You remember everything vividly like the sounds, smells and sights. Everything sticks in your mind for years and even simple little things and push open an old scar like that. If you don’t experience it, you won’t really understand what it’s like. It’s hard to describe, it’s nothing like a break up or losing a friend. Nothing like it.

For me, I found the length between my sadness for my Pa increased over time, but in saying that I still do get sad. I can go 3 months without battering an eyelid then for 3 weeks I’ll be completely miserable about it. That’s the thing with grief, there’s no timeline and there’s no ending, per say. You kind of just learn to live around it. You learn to go your day-to-day life without the constant stinging feeling.

When you lose someone so close to you that you love so much, it’s painful. You feel a physical hole in your heart that doesn’t go away. You just fill it with the happy memories but that doesn’t always work.

To me, I feel guilty from time to time. Why couldn’t I achieve these things when he was around? Why did he have to go but I have to stay? I also feel angry, why didn’t I pick up on things going wrong! Couldn’t I have done something to make a difference? I do feel happy in a way, too. I’m happy in that he’s no longer suffering and that he’s no longer in any sort of pain or discomfort. But it’s not as easy as looking at the happy part and forgetting the rest.

When you grow up with someone around you constantly you don’t appreciate the memories you make, you only learn to appreciate them when they get sick and that’s the part I found and still find hard. I grew up seeing him as healthy as he could be so seeing him sick, losing weight and running out of life takes such a huge toll.

Grief for me is the constant cycle of happy, sad, angry, exhausted, content, depressed and confused. Grief for me is being able to live my life for 3 months then completely feeling destroyed for 3 weeks. Grief gets better in how you deal with it but it never really ends, and people don’t realise that.

When I was a kid my first dog ran away and never came home. That was my first dealing of grief and I thought losing a loved human being would be the same, it’s so different. I cried and was upset for a couple of months about it. When you lose a human, you kind of don’t get over it completely.

Between 2010 and 2013 my family lost 3 loved ones and by the start of 2013 we all thought that would be it for a long time. 3 funerals in 3 years is exhausting. Then we had to add a 4th which I found was the hardest. The 4th was my pa (the previous 3 are the same line of family) and I was closest to my Pa. Not only were we exhausted from the amount of death, but also experiencing a whole new thing like watching someone on life support and make huge decisions regarding another persons life is traumatic.

Like a lot of people, I don’t choose to constantly feel sad about it. I do the best I can and that’s all I can do. Between 2010 and 2015 my family in total lost 7 people. Seven. That’s a lot if you think about it. I’ve learnt that grief can show itself in different ways for different people. With people you aren’t that close with you mourn them for a month or two and from there fondly remember them, when you’re close to them the constant pain doesn’t really end. It all depends on how close and how much of a connection you have to the person.

I only have one grandparent left and that’s my Nan. Appreciate your loved ones, especially your grandparents. Appreciate your memories with them and write those memories down. You never know when you might need them.

Just remember, grief happens differently for different people and you cannot blow off other people’s experiences with grief. Feel it how you need it, deal with it how you need too. Don’t be ashamed to get help.

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