Wednesday, 8 July 2009

What they don't tell you about grief.

You'll quickly discover that I am someone going through grief. I lost my mum four years ago. 'Four years ago?' many, I imagine, think: 'Surely, she can't still be going through grief?'
But that is what they don't tell you about grief- losing an important figure in your life results in a lifetime of it. 
I remember hearing about my Mum's tumour and walking down the road to tell my Grandma: her mum. And my sister stopping me in the road,- on a thin pavement my Mum had spent years campaigning to be made bigger. In my memory the weather was grey, when actually it was during one of the hottest periods of the year. My sister told me: 'this will be with you for life, you know?'

And I didn't believe her.

But I do now. 

I don't miss my Mum everyday, it's not like I am constantly aching with pain. It's just my life is totally different from what it was before she died. I'm completely different.This new Katie goes through her life, she laughs, she cries, she still can't decide what to wear in the morning and does something stupid, embarrassing or immature daily. She doesn't on the outset seem to be anyone with any real problems. But she doesn't know if this is her. I don't know if the person writing this is me.
I have lost something so huge I don't know where I fit anymore. And that's loss, for me, that's grief.
It's about losing a piece of your jigsaw and knowing it will never come back. You have to build the puzzle without it.

I never know who I can express these emotions to. My friends are wonderful but none of them have gone through this amount of loss, I worry that if I speak of my Mum or how I still am struggling to cope they shall question my strength. I wish I could turn back the clock and speak more about how I was feeling in that time- that year after she left when everyone was looking out for me. But I was so busy trying to prove I could get over this in record speed, slot myself back into the life of a regular 19 year old girl that I didn't talk at all. And now I feel silenced by unwritten rules of grief- which are probably all in my head anyway.

My sister, my Dad and my Grandma have also, obviously, been through the same loss I have. But I don't feel I can talk to them either as I fear knocking down their tower of cards. When you're trying to get on with your day, trying so hard not to let emotion bring you down, you don't need someone voicing all those scary thoughts in their head, the same thoughts your trying to forget. And everytime I try to voice them it results in their tears.
The only thing worse for me than my own grief is witnessing theirs.

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