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Living with Grief

1
Grieving when you are actually in it is completely different to what you think it will be. Not that I spent a lot of time in my pre grief life thinking about it but in those random moments when I did I figured it would be horrible, I’d cry and feel loss and that I would follow a pattern of grief, neatly moving into the next phase and feeling stronger each time. After a year or two, I’d have grieved a significant amount of time and be on the road to recovery, seeing the positives again and moving on.

The reality of grief is so so different. It’s

SelfishMother.com
2
multifaceted, complex, messes with your body clock, your time management, your routines. It changes the way you hold a conversation, how you look and see other people. It changes the internal fabric of who you are and once it has happened there is no going back to the person you were before.

11 months in. Most days it feels like a prison sentence to which there is no end. The phases I imagined don’t start and stop one at a time. They jumble up and as I think I’m done with one it comes back to visit me and knocks me over again. The anger is

SelfishMother.com
3
terrifying. I never had much of a temper before but now I explode about things that I would normally have never reacted to. There’s days when I’m manic, singing songs at the top of my lungs and play acting funny voices for kids. Then there’s days when the shock hits me again and I feel the panic rising up inside of me. How can my Mum have died, my Mum? How can I know that I’ll never see her again? She’ll never bath my children, never host a Sunday dinner, never be on the end of the phone when I need her for advice, to share news or just to chat. The
SelfishMother.com
4
pain I feel on these days is like nothing I have felt before. It feels dark and scary. I feel like someone has taken the wind out of my lungs and is squeezing me a little too hard. It physically hurts inside my chest and my heart races. Yesterday this happened when I was watching Moana with my 6year old daughter. There was an open space in my numbness, like something had cleared the fog I’m usually in where I can function and the pain rose up and was raw and totally overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying and my daughter wrapped her arms around my neck
SelfishMother.com
5
and comforted me with beautiful words, telling me she missed Grandma too and that is was ok to feel sad, we had each other. Words I often to say to her when her own sadness bubbles out.

At the moment I’m sleep deprived, stressed and juggling family life and my grief sits over all of this like a blanket. I remember describing it like a huge snow fall when it happened. Everything went silent in the world and we hid away. Then the snow melts and the mess and the pain and the noise emerge.

Don’t get me wrong, I am coping. I actually feel happy again

SelfishMother.com
6
sometimes and I look forward to things. This becomes an odd sensation as the guilt then seeps in mixing with the determination to survive and that internal narrative becomes a fight of which emotion is stronger that day. But I am having good days and I’m learning to accept them and the happy they bring to me.

Grief feels lonely a lot of the time. I have a wonderful family and support network of friends, it has nothing to do with that but your own individual grief is something you walk with alone. No one feels exactly like you and no one can make it

SelfishMother.com
7
go away. But I’m realising the more I reach out and talk or write or dance the easier the load is momentarily on my heart. And I’ll take that too.

I want to start being more accepting of myself and how I feel. One of the reasons I’m writing this post. It’s ok to be me. It’s ok if I feel angry some days and it’s ok if other days I feel really happy. It’s ok if I want to write a blog on how I’m feeling if it helps me and it’s ok if sometimes I don’t want to write at all. I’m in this now and will be forever, my life is steadily adapting to the

SelfishMother.com
8
new. And I’m doing it for me and for my children and for my family and for my Mum. She was the strongest, bravest woman I know and it’s her legacy I want to continue for my own children. I will carry this pain but the days I can share it or ease it will get me through.

Today I am with my youngest, my baby girl, 13 months of smiley, squidgy, pure joy loveliness. I look at her face and I feel happy. I look at her and I see my Mum and I know I will survive this. Today is an ok day and I’ll take that.

SelfishMother.com
Julia Salcedo Lawson

By

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- 13 Mar 19

Grieving when you are actually in it is completely different to what you think it will be. Not that I spent a lot of time in my pre grief life thinking about it but in those random moments when I did I figured it would be horrible, I’d cry and feel loss and that I would follow a pattern of grief, neatly moving into the next phase and feeling stronger each time. After a year or two, I’d have grieved a significant amount of time and be on the road to recovery, seeing the positives again and moving on.

The reality of grief is so so different. It’s multifaceted, complex, messes with your body clock, your time management, your routines. It changes the way you hold a conversation, how you look and see other people. It changes the internal fabric of who you are and once it has happened there is no going back to the person you were before.

11 months in. Most days it feels like a prison sentence to which there is no end. The phases I imagined don’t start and stop one at a time. They jumble up and as I think I’m done with one it comes back to visit me and knocks me over again. The anger is terrifying. I never had much of a temper before but now I explode about things that I would normally have never reacted to. There’s days when I’m manic, singing songs at the top of my lungs and play acting funny voices for kids. Then there’s days when the shock hits me again and I feel the panic rising up inside of me. How can my Mum have died, my Mum? How can I know that I’ll never see her again? She’ll never bath my children, never host a Sunday dinner, never be on the end of the phone when I need her for advice, to share news or just to chat. The pain I feel on these days is like nothing I have felt before. It feels dark and scary. I feel like someone has taken the wind out of my lungs and is squeezing me a little too hard. It physically hurts inside my chest and my heart races. Yesterday this happened when I was watching Moana with my 6year old daughter. There was an open space in my numbness, like something had cleared the fog I’m usually in where I can function and the pain rose up and was raw and totally overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying and my daughter wrapped her arms around my neck and comforted me with beautiful words, telling me she missed Grandma too and that is was ok to feel sad, we had each other. Words I often to say to her when her own sadness bubbles out.

At the moment I’m sleep deprived, stressed and juggling family life and my grief sits over all of this like a blanket. I remember describing it like a huge snow fall when it happened. Everything went silent in the world and we hid away. Then the snow melts and the mess and the pain and the noise emerge.

Don’t get me wrong, I am coping. I actually feel happy again sometimes and I look forward to things. This becomes an odd sensation as the guilt then seeps in mixing with the determination to survive and that internal narrative becomes a fight of which emotion is stronger that day. But I am having good days and I’m learning to accept them and the happy they bring to me.

Grief feels lonely a lot of the time. I have a wonderful family and support network of friends, it has nothing to do with that but your own individual grief is something you walk with alone. No one feels exactly like you and no one can make it go away. But I’m realising the more I reach out and talk or write or dance the easier the load is momentarily on my heart. And I’ll take that too.

I want to start being more accepting of myself and how I feel. One of the reasons I’m writing this post. It’s ok to be me. It’s ok if I feel angry some days and it’s ok if other days I feel really happy. It’s ok if I want to write a blog on how I’m feeling if it helps me and it’s ok if sometimes I don’t want to write at all. I’m in this now and will be forever, my life is steadily adapting to the new. And I’m doing it for me and for my children and for my family and for my Mum. She was the strongest, bravest woman I know and it’s her legacy I want to continue for my own children. I will carry this pain but the days I can share it or ease it will get me through.

Today I am with my youngest, my baby girl, 13 months of smiley, squidgy, pure joy loveliness. I look at her face and I feel happy. I look at her and I see my Mum and I know I will survive this. Today is an ok day and I’ll take that.

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