‘Be kind to yourself’ they said. ‘Let time do it’s thing’ they said. ‘You won’t get over it but you will learn how to live with it’ they said.
Today is the first time alone since the funeral. My brother is winging his way back to the airport, my Mum is at home, my husband has left to visit some of his family and I’m in the house alone. I haven’t wanted to be alone since this journey of grief began but I had to at some point and today is it.
You see I’m alone with my thoughts and my memories and for me this seems like a truly painful place to be. I want to keep myself so busy that I have no time to think but I know that would just delay the inevitable. So today for the first time I’m beginning to take a trip down memory lane.
I thought it would be a good idea to get some fresh air and talk to Dad, to God, to anyone really that would listen. But ten minutes into my walk around the muddy fields I realised I had got my fancy boots on that were getting ruined. I thought I had put my walking shoes on…
I saw children playing in the park. I saw a football game underway and I saw people walking their dogs enjoying the crisp sunny morning. My thoughts came flooding in disturbing what I was trying to watch so I came home.
I sat down and I began to cry as I let myself remember all those happy times. I let the tears flow as I dared to venture into the pain and the grief and realise what a wound there actually is and how heartbroken I feel.
I sat looking at a photo of our family taken many years ago and seeing such happy smiling faces and I began to start feeling thankful. Thankful to have had such a wonderful Father who gave me so much and put us first all his life. Thankful as I recall so many extraordinary tributes that have recently been paid to him. Proud that I was one of only two people who could call him ‘Dad’. Slowly my tears started to subside and a wobbly little smile came to my face.
By daring to love so much, death has brought great pain. But haven’t I been lucky to have been able to love someone so greatly and have had that love returned?
Perhaps today I needed to be alone and start to let tears flow… perhaps the scariest part was to start facing the sadness and by doing so I am actually being kind to myself and taking some of that advice.
I’m sad, I’m happy, I’m crying, I’m laughing – I’m a complicated mix of emotions but I realise that I am now living my new reality and facing up to it as ‘normal’ life continues around me.
Life goes on, I will go on but in the meantime I will be kind and gentle with my heart and myself as we all adjust to this great loss.