Grief & Loss - 6 Months On
This wasn't the post that I had scheduled for today, but it was the post that I felt I needed to write. I needed to write it for me, to help me to process the things going on inside my head, but I also wanted to write it for anyone else who may be experiencing a similar loss or grief. There is so little written that I have been able to identify with, so I suppose I hope that by writing these posts, they may help somebody else feel a little less lonely in their pain.
The biggest thing I've learnt about grief and loss is that there is absolutely no straight path through it. It's more like a game of snakes and ladders, or a jagged dance - one step forwards, three steps back. The best way I can describe it is like a grazed knee starting to heal - just when it looks like it's starting to get better, something will knock the scab off and the pain will sting even worse than it did when you first fell.
Just when I feel like the enormity of my feelings are slowly starting to lessen, I will wake up with a howl in the pit of my stomach that is desperate to clamber up and out of my throat. I have been surprised at just how primal grief is, how it's an animal instinct that our rational brains have no right trying to control.
I appreciate the moment more now. It sounds cliche, but when you've lost someone you love so very much in the blink of an eye, you understand without any doubt that it can happen again. I've found myself trying to soak up the moment more, feeling truly grateful for simple things like sun streaming in through a window or the sound of somebody's laugh.
I try to burn every memory into my brain - the feel of tiny sweaty palms held in mine as we cross the road, the rush of elation when a song I love comes on in a bar, the curls and spikes of Sam's bedhead hair just before he wakes up. These are all thing I will never take for granted again.
I've found myself wanting to live more. To squeeze every single drop of life out of every single day. I keep asking myself "what next? what else can I be doing? what experiences do I really want to have?". Knowing how quickly life can change has helped me let go of shallow goals and ambitions and focus on the stuff that really matters - family, friends, being happy. It has shifted my priorities enormously.
I no longer worry about the small things. It seems almost ridiculous to fret about work or petty arguments when we have experienced something so colossal, so deep that it has changed us all forever. It feels almost disrespectful to get upset about such minor things when our hearts have been broken open in the way they have.
I miss Blossom more now than I ever have before. I find it terrifying and completely overwhelming to know that this longing to see her is only going to intensify as the months and years roll on. I miss her squeaky voice and her cheeky laugh and the ridiculous questions she used to ask. I miss trying to pin her down for a cuddle and the funny faces she would pull.
On days when missing her feels too much, I try to embody everything that made her who she was - mischief, curiosity, kindness, joy. It helps, knowing that even though she was only here for four and a half short years, she has taught us all so much about love and life.