I whole heartedly hope that this is not going to ring a bell with you, but I think the sad fact is that it will. If it doesn’t now, it will one day in the future and I’d like you to take comfort in advance, that this pain is not unique to you.
One day something truly terrible happens. Maybe it’s not a single moment on a single day, but over a few days or weeks or months your world is turned upside down and you wonder how the earth had the audacity to keep turning, the birds the cheek to keep singing and the rest of the world carries on as if they don’t know what has happened.
It makes you fucking furious.
How dare someone sit there complaining about the most trivial of shit when this has happened to you?
The worst thing is not even that this horrendous event has occurred (or is occurring), but that you have to be civilised about it, so to not make others uncomfortable. You’re expected to pretend you have your shit together and that you are still a reasonable human adult. But you don’t and you aren’t.
Please don’t think I’m exclusively talking about the death of a loved one, although that could be the source of grief for you. Grief comes from many places, there is no hierarchy, it all hurts.
Here’s the thing though – the world does keep turning and you need to find a way to keep turning with it.
I haven’t done the research, so I don’t know if these are the best ways, I’m sure they are not the only ways, but these are my ways to keeping your world turning.
1. Be kind to yourself and the people around you.
2. Shorten your time frame down to as small as it takes, if you can’t think about a year from now, can you think about next week, or tomorrow or an hour from now?
3. Accept that some things are out of your hands.
4. Be flexible with plans, they’ll probably change.
5. Take up the offer of help. Mostly when people say “let me know if there is anything I can do” they mean it.
6. Don’t take it out on others, it isn’t their fault they can’t make it better and don’t know the right thing to say, there is nothing they CAN say. Be thankful that they care enough to try.
7. Rest. These times are exhausting.
8. Do normal. When you can, dip your toe into real life, it’s still there.
9. Find joy. Laugh. Don’t feel guilt for any little bit of happiness.
Your life is never going to be the same after this, you’re going to need to make a bit of space to carry this loss with you.
My wish for you is that you find the strength to step back into life with great courage.