When I smile does is mean I have forgotten you
When I laugh does it mean I’ve moved on
When I cry does it mean I will not stop
When my sadness is painted over my face does it mean people think I am miserable
The moments I forget your gone does it mean I am in denial
Happiness and grief mingle together
The patterns are intertwined
You will be one then the other.
Moments of grief that pounce upon you with no warning
The little reminders of them fleetingly cloud your thoughts
The ball in the face moment reminding you they are gone
Then happiness takes over and you smile
You smile with joy with no tinge of sadness
You laugh from your tummy, loud and free
But then the smile changes as you are reminded of their smile
The emotions are rapid, senseless and varied
But they are what you feel, they are your way of grieving
They will bring you comfort in time and the sadness can be watered down
The grief will be there but the joy of knowing them will give comfort
Happiness and grief go hand in hand but be sure to smile and laugh be sure to remember
How you feel is you and no one can tell you not to feel
Loss is such a unique experience for each person.
Sometimes we hear the news and immediately scream with sadness. Sometimes we start moving at hyper speed and make all the calls to inform people. Sometimes we are at a standstill, with no actually understanding what has just been relayed to us.
It’s unique. Unique to every person.
One thing I know, is that no-one can tell you how to feel or how you should be feeling. They can’t tell you to stop feeling or feel more. It is something that must happen when and as it wants. It must be organic.
Sometimes, you might feel the need to put on a façade. Sometimes you may hold back those feelings, simply because you don’t have the capacity to deal with them. Sometimes, loss brings anger – and that anger may have to be withheld.
Loss has a way of placing you in a state of turmoil, a turmoil that flits from one emotion to another within seconds. All I know is you can’t fully control it. It doesn’t run on a timeline, it doesn’t know how to fit into your life and come at the best time – purely because, well, there is no good time for it. That’s why, some people struggle more, some struggle less and some pretend. Many people are already dealing with struggles of their own and when loss appears, it makes it hard to see the wood for the trees.
I have recently been through a loss. Grumpy (my father) who I have spoken about before died 3rd April 2019. He had Alzheimer’s and in truth, I feel we commenced grieving from the day of his diagnosis.
I did not get back home to him in time. Suffice to say, this has affected me immensely. I feel regret.
I wish I could have seen his face one more time, I wanted to hold his hand one more time, I wanted to feel his love one more time. This is a comfort I wanted to give myself. A comfort I think I deserved. It’s not selfish to want this for myself; it is normal. I wanted to say, “bye dad”, “see you later” or just plain old “love you dad”.
I will get through this and I will continue to live the best life I can, but it may be be a little tarnished for a while. Perhaps forever, but that’s okay because at least I am feeling.
What I take from the loss of Grumpy is that in death, there is life. Great good can come from intense sadness and loss and this is exactly what I feel with the loss of my father. Grumpy chose to have his body donated to medical science and my mother tirelessly worked to ensure he got his wish. He could be the bridge between life and death for future generations. He could help scientists find more information about Alzheimer’s to lead them that step close to a cure. Ultimately,I wish he was still here, but only here at his best, at his strongest and at his happiest. I wish he was here to tell us we will be okay, even though I already know we will be. His comfort and huge presence will be missed more than words can explain. This has emphasised a fact I always knew to be true – making memories is the most important thing. So, please, everyone, make them and cherish them. Don’t waste a moment. Memories remain and pain disperses.
Don’t worry about how you feel. Just feel what you feel.