The Grief journey..
Grief is a frustrating thing to experience and when my dad passed I felt so unprepared for his leaving. No one had explained to me how torturous it would be, how no body is grieving the same as you and how painful it can be to watch as friends and family return back to their normal lives while you still wade through the days and years of grief. The finality of it all can be overwhelming and yet, we all go through it at some stage. It is a natural part of life that is seldom talked about.
Recently I changed the photo on my phone screensaver. Two and a half years it had remained the smiling face of my Father. Every moment of every day I got to see him, he was with me, staring at me. In the last two years I have added various mementos to my body that remind me of him, a poem, a tui, permanent beautiful scars that I carry with me so that I know he is close and yet the familiarity of his face on my phone I could not let go of. On a regular basis it occurs to me that I will not see this face in the flesh again, I will not see it change as he aged, I will not see his smile or his tears any longer. I held onto this photo on my phone, still grasping onto hope that perhaps this was all a nightmare and soon I will wake up to a call from him saying sorry he hasn’t been in touch, things have been busy. However just recently I moved through into another stage of my grief. Maybe I had gone through all the stages and was now transforming into acceptance, maybe.. maybe not. I changed the photo not because I didn’t need to see it, but because it felt like it was time. In that feeling I reminded myself it had been over two years since I had changed the photo. Was I strong enough to do it? Mentally it was a great preparation. I had to really convince myself that it was ok, that I was not turning my back on him but that in fact I had just learned to cope in other ways without him.
So I changed it to the beautiful green blue of the ocean, it calmed me to look at it and still within held qualities of my Father. His love of the ocean and nature; his serenity and inner peace but mostly it reminded me of his calmness. Time and time again I realize how much of a process grief is, how far I have come in my journey and that the journey of grief will never end.
There is the all too familiar saying “time heals everything..” is it true? Maybe, I don’t think so. I don’t think you ever heal. You learn to cope better, manage every day life better, you learn to smile again and re-emerge as the person everyone once you knew you as. Grief becomes part of you, your broken heart does not heal but you learn to live in that brokenness. Some days are easier than others, some days you get through the whole day; weeks or months can even pass by. Other days you are not so lucky, the pain of loss is so strong; it is crushing and some days are just days, where you realize someone you truly deeply love, loved you too.
Love, KB x
You are so right in saying you don’t think time is a healer – I don’t believe that, it’s more of getting on with life because our loved ones would want us to do that – giving up is unthinkable. I was 24 when my dad died unexpectedly, I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I would have loved for him to be here for the 3 grandchildren he didn’t get to meet, plus my grandchildren, and my sister’s children and grandchildren. I hang on to the thought that he would have been so proud of them – and hopefully me – and I have comfort in knowing that he is with my youngest son who died aged 6 years. Some people said to me that God needed another little angel. I could have punched them, really hard. I have his photo on my phone, he died in 1998 but I find comfort in seeing his beautiful face. I still find birthdays, Christmas and other family celebrations hard. I have moments of sadness when a grandchild reaches his age but I am also happy that they are healthy and well. These days the grieving process is more openly recognised, whereas years ago people didn’t talk about death and dying and the affect it has on your whole being. As for you, not only are you dealing with the loss of your beloved papa, but also the loss of your mama due to her condition. You are an amazing woman with so much strength and love – try to remember that on those days when you are feeling sad. Arohatinonui ki a koe, wahine toa xx Lyn xx