Sneaky grief

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

There is a misconception that, spread by proverb and wishfulness, time heals all wounds. In actuality this is, for the most part, untrue of emotional wounds. When it comes to bereavement there is no healing, there is only acceptance - and in the cases of the death of a child I believe that one never really reaches a place of true acceptance. I have said many times before that the word Surreal is the best explanation of the experience and I think with surrealism there is no acceptance as it doesn't feel real. There's no fully accepting the unreal. 
So grief comes in many forms and if we accept that there is no total healing then we accept that grief is a constant. It comes in ebbs and flows and some days are worse than others (hence the struggle of fleeting happiness discussed in a previous post). 
The last few weeks, as I'm sure is the case with many of you, I feel the grief has come more often and harder. It is in the lights, it seems, another Christmas without my son and yet a Christmas with his sister - who may or may not (likely not) be here if not for his absence. I have begun to experience her Christmas firsts where I never had the opportunity before.

I wondered, and said on instagram, whether my grief would sully these moments for her. I was assured not but I can't imagine that to be true, how will her university graduation not be marred a little but by my grief? Or her birthdays as she is aware of their significance?
I am having an internal crisis concerning the mortality of others (myself I am indifferent of), particularly the young and particularly unexpected deaths which I suppose is unsurprising. 
Grief hits us at strange times and in strange ways. Rocking the baby to sleep in the living room had me in tears, watching her sleep, listening to her making noises, sitting beside the pram on the bus. All manner of mundane and normal things.
Another thought that occurred to me the other day upon passing a funeral home advertising the 'pay now, die later' package ("save up for the funeral you want while you're alive so you don't burden your children with it"). I thought briefly about my own funeral, how I would like to be cremated - the idea of being buried is archaic to me, why let the body linger alone? I don't expect even monthly visits. I have kept my boys ashes too, in the house with me - in a bear to be precise, which gave and still gives great comfort. I shouldn't like for them to be there after I am dead. I will ask my children to scatter us both somewhere, and it doesn't really matter where either. As long as we are together. And this thought, innocent, practical even, made me tear up on the bus - twice. Once upon thought and second upon writing this. 

– an unrelated photograph but sort of fitting due to who is missing.



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