Grief- what we don’t say.

Why don’t we talk openly about the gut wrecthing loss of a child? The fact is we don’t want to burden, upset or shock, yes shock, those who care enough to ask, “How are you doing?”.

I think we should talk about it. It’s uncomfortable,incredibly tragic but not really spoken about.

We barely talk about grief as it is, why not? It is sadly something we have all or will all face sooner or later.

Grief is defined in the dictionary as intense sorrow,especially caused by someones death.

Ethan & Me messing around on Snapchat

There are roughly five stages of grief :
Denial,
Anger,
Bargaining,
Depression
Acceptance.

I don’t quite know where I am within these five stages.

I don’t think that these five stages explain my grief. How can you put grief into five or twelve or any amount of stages? Grief is deeply personnal. That much, I know to be true.

I suppose the idea of these stages is to try to help people through their feelings, because believe me, there are a zillion feelings and a lot of them don’t make sense.

I’ve dealt with death before. Who gets to almost 40 and hasn’t eh?

I’ve simply never encountered grief this heavy before. It is heavy. It’s alot like carrying an invisible weight that will make you drop to your knees without any warning.

Ethan and his younger brothers 2016

My grief makes me look and sound different. It can make me overly sensitive or uninterested in the lives of those I love. It can make me care too much or simply stop me from caring at all.

It’s hard to be around people and talk everyday drivel. In one way, I’m thankful for the lockdown because I can’t see people. In another way I miss people and talking- grief literally has my head in a spin and I can’t even narrate what it’s done to my heart.

My grief has made me fearless at times – I bought a car and decided this time I am finishing my lessons and passing the test. I am currently doing that. I’ve had an anxiety / fear about driving for years, I let that anxiety stop me halfway through driving lessons a few years ago. Now though, I have a strong urge to learn to drive that damn car.

Yet, my grief has made me fear things that I cannot control or change – what if something else happens to those I love? What if I didn’t do enough for Ethan? What if I made the wrong decisions on the 23rd of September? What if something happens to my other boys or my other siblings or my parents or Ds parents…Jesus, what if something happens to the only person in the world who feels what I feel, what if something happens to D? ..and so the fear and anxiety snowball from there ..Yet, I can get behind the wheel of my mini (awfully cute car, fyi) and know that I will be safe.

My grief confuses me. It strangles me, yet it can free me: the worst has already happened to me and my family.

I still don’t know much about grief or about five or tweleve stages but what I do know is that grief will forever be part of my life.

I need to let it have as much space as it requires in order to help the weight of it.

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Author

geraldinesmyth@gmail.com

Comments

Shelley
April 21, 2021 at 5:55 pm

So very well said, heartbreakingly honest as always. I don’t check Facebook much but I am around and not one of those people made uncomfortable by grief. Before Matty I worked in cancer treatment, it gifted my so many wonderful experiences that helped to prepare me for life with Matthew. I may be an ocean way but if you need I am here.



Kevin Willetts
April 21, 2021 at 6:24 pm

I understand a little bit of that when I lost my dad very suddenly and we were very close. But this is different. I know I am going to lose Rupert to Hunters but I have never felt this way about anyone before. I am really trying to have as much fun as possible with him every day and I am fortunate enough to be able to take him places. For a six year old, he has a long bucket list. The problem I have is that my emotions will not let me free of the thoughts of the future. What on earth am I going to do without him and how will I cope? It is all about me but I love him so much. All the very best Ger and thankyou for your writings.



April 22, 2021 at 6:10 pm

I cannot even begin to think what sort of pain and grief you have suffered with the loss of your son. It is such a sensitive subject and I get people may not want to bring things up, I do think though that as humans we need to offer support and talk about the loved ones that we have lost.



April 26, 2021 at 7:10 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I can not comprehend what you are going through. I think is a brave post to try and convey that and I am sure it will help others who have to go through the same devasting grief process. Sending love and support. x



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