A Journey Through Grief
I haven’t really posted anything about my grief journey as I have felt I wasn’t ready to share as it is such a vulnerable experience and also I feel like I have carried a lot of shame around it also, which is super scary to admit to, let alone write about it.
The truth is though it is normal, all the emotions that grief brings with it, yet it is never spoken about or normalised, I wish to change that. I am not an angry person, I never have been, yet when my mum passed away the rage that I harboured was extreme. I felt angry at the world, angry at my family, angry at her for leaving me and I really didn’t know what to do with these feelings so I isolated myself. In society anger isn’t accepted so I internalised it, which did me much more harm than good and nearly 4 years on I am still experiencing what internalising these feelings of anger, fear, shame, resentment has done to me.
Grief is eye opening, it really is, especially deep grief and when you’re grieving multiple people/ things at once and that was what I was going through. No body ever talks about it, I hardly talk about it unless its to my own Holistic Counsellor or Husband as who wants to talk about sad hard things? After mum passed away all I wanted to do was talk, I needed to get how I was feeling out of me like this bubbling inside was festering and I was about to explode. I wanted to acknowledge mum in normal conversation, I didn’t want to go around as if she didn’t exist. But this was not the case for me, my family avoided me as they were not ready to talk and I get it, they didn’t want my strong emotional self to trigger their emotional side it’s hard to be vulnerable. I also didn’t want to be that person who just was sad and miserable to her friends and be a burden. It became very isolating, for many grief brings loneliness, loneliness at a time when you need to be filled with love and support. This loneliness also comes from people not knowing what to say or do to help you. Especially if those surrounding you have never lost someone, or was told to get on with their grief through conditioning and has offered you that same courtesy. It is such a shame as there are so many of us grieving out there. It shouldn’t be a solo experience, although it feels at the time that no one understands what you are going through, they may not have had the exact same experience as you did but guaranteed they have had similar feelings arise.
Before ever grieving and finding out for yourself, no one tells you the painful icky parts like, for the first 2 years I cried myself to sleep every night, that’s if I could even sleep and after that it still happened but less frequently. During the first year every part of my mind replayed her death, how much I missed her and that she was no longer here. Having that on constant replay was not something I was prepared for, I was walking around with a living nightmare going on in my head. This led to depression and anxiety. At times I was so fearful about someone else in my family dying I would give myself a panic attack. I also was scared to go to the petrol station or get groceries in case I bumped into someone I knew, as at times I had seen people avoid me or I just couldn’t deal with interacting with strangers. I remember going to buy some clothes when my mum was on life support as I had hopped on the first flight out from across the world and didn’t pack appropriate clothing. The cashier was being friendly and said at the end of the transaction I hope you have a wonderful day and I just burst into tears, how was she supposed to know my mum was about to die.
Speaking of crying well, I cried all the time at the drop of a hat, so much that I had permanent acne on my cheeks for years. My body changed, I lost a lot of weight, I ate my feelings with hot chips and blocks of chocolate everyday, I drank wine most days and I still couldn’t put on weight, my body ached, especially my neck and then I ended up with chronic inflammation and a shoulder impingement from the abuse my body took. I was a really health conscious person before, I kept thinking how could I let this happen, but I didn’t care. In all honesty the pain I was going through ( oh I forget to mention the literal pain of the empty hole in my chest) I just did what I had to do at the time to get through what I was going through.
Every Birthday, special occasion, holiday I felt extreme dread and I still do for some occasions. This is something that creeps up a week or so beforehand, a heavy dread, like my body remembers and all the feelings come rushing in, signifying that my mum is no longer here and how can I be happy, resenting those that are, also feeling sorry for myself that I can no longer celebrate these special days with pure happiness. I am working on this though but I know it will take time.
Throughout the first few years I felt numb and I tried so many healing practices just to feel again, Breathwork, energy healing, cold water therapy, healing retreats, sound therapy, meditation, float tanks, yoga, different types of massage, acupuncture, seeing herbalists, all these things playing a huge role in my healing process. Yet the thing that made the most difference was seeing a holistic counsellor, someone I could talk to and help slowly heal my heart and all it was weighed down with.
The one big thing that has come out of grieving and losing my mum though is that it has put me on a completely different direction in life. It made me care less about mundane things and really focus on what was important in life. It also changed my career direction and led me to my masters in Holistic counselling, something I would never have done before MP ( mum passed). It also led me on a deeper healing journey, it awoke me, it has taken me down many spiritual paths on search for a deeper meaning of life and this is truly what has been healing to me.
I used to believe that everything happened for a reason but not this, how could this happen to me, why me? This question I feel was a drive for me, I had to figure out the answer. I remember a week after MP I had a massage with a friend and mum was there in spirit and she spoke to me. I was such a surreal experience and a very emotional one at that. This led me to seek a connection with her, constantly receiving signs such as 11.11 and feathers and animals, I knew she was with me and still is. Last year gave myself the space to access spirit, I did psychic and mediumship training. On my journey through the spiritual realm it gave me the answers I was searching for. But this will be another blogpost at a later date.
They say when one door closes another opens or when there is death there is birth. This is true, when my mum died I birthed a new life and it has opened up many new doors for me. It has not been easy one bit, sometimes it feels like I am in hell but coming out the other side feeling like I have let go of one more layer is worth it.
No matter what brought you here to the new path of grief weather it be from the loss of a loved one, an unborn child, a loss of career, house, your health, your life before, the world we once knew, it is all relevant, your feelings are real and I know, I know there are people out there going through worse things than you right now but, you're going through it. They are your feelings and they are completely valid so do not push them aside or down play them, you deserve to have this space to grieve no matter how long it takes. It is not the same for any one person.