Grief looks different on everyone. And it looks different every time. It’s the weirdest thing. You know literally nothing about it until you experience it. You can read about it, you can watch others go through it, but nothing can prepare you for this.
Losing my pap and then my mum in a 3 month period was less than ideal. But even that was two completely different grieving processes. Pap died of old age. He was old. Old people die. Life carried on. Losing my mum was a totally different process.
I’ve been through many cycles of grief. Many ups and downs in the past 2 years. I will never be at peace with the situation but I’m at peace with my grief right now. It will never get better but it does get different. It is different. Grief is heartbreaking pain and discomfort. Grief is a shady figure hiding down an alleyway that you can’t avoid.
Grief is a fairground ride spinning way faster than you’re comfortable with.
Grief has taught me so much about myself. But also so much about others. My grief is uncomfortable. But what I’ve also found is it’s so uncomfortable for others. Recently, my struggle has been with others reactions rather than my own internal strife. They’ve never known how to respond and as I traversed all the stages. The hopelessness, the sadness, the despair, the anger and now the acceptance (maybe that’s what I’d call this?). I don’t think I noticed through the earlier stages of my grieving because I was just that, grieving. Now that life seems a little lighter. Now that things make a little more sense, I notice the discomfort in others.
I talk about my mum a lot. Because dead or alive, she’s still my favourite person. She’s the person that knows me the best. She’s the person that understand my struggles. But she was also my best friend. One of the most hilarious people I know and she taught me so, so much. She was every thing that I am. I want to tell you about the times we laughed til we cried. Got drunk and yelled at strangers. Made fools out of ourselves at an Elvis tribute show. Explored the streets of Marrakech or the rooftops of London. I want to tell you about the last time I held her hand, when we both knew it was the last time but neither of us said it out loud.
So please, let me talk about her. When I bring her up stop telling me you’re sorry, stop telling me I must miss her because fucking obviously y’all.
Let me talk about her like she’s still here. Because she is. I will never be without her. When I tell you a story, ask questions as if she never died. Her death does not separate our memories from us. I just want to talk about her. Yes it’s sad and I’m devastated but these memories are all I have left. And to know her is to know me.
Remembering her brings me more joy than you know. So please, let me talk about her.
I feel like every time I bring her up, I’m shut down. Not because I’m sad but because you’re sad. Because you don’t know what to say. And I’m here to tell you all this, there is nothing you can say. And we know that. Anybody who has lost a parent or close family member knows that. There is nothing to be said. But please, allow yourself to be vulnerable and feel a little piece of our pain with us.
My heart expands when people ask about her. She will always be such a big part of me. It may make you uncomfortable but not talking about her is just as painful. But talking about her is the best way I can keep her alive, because to me she still is. Physically she is not here but she will always be a part of everything I do.
It’s becoming apparent that to know me is to know my heartbreak. Losing her changed my trajectory forever. Remember your discomfort is just a slither compared to my heartbreak. So laugh with me when we laughed, cry with me when we cried.
Please, let me talk about her.