People often hide their grief away, but I have always been open with my emotions and it feels like I am living a lie by not expressing myself. We have a very unhealthy relationship with grief in the West. It is a fact of life, and no matter how much we try to ignore it, all of us will experience the death of someone central to our lives at some point, and for me, hiding myself away only makes it harder.
I decided to start my blog this month. Until now, I’ve been unsure about sharing my feelings, which are sometimes difficult to admit. Grief can make people behave in strange ways and I really don’t want to alienate myself from others in sharing all my thoughts, but I already feel alienated, and at times feel so alone. Very few people have stayed in touch like they did before. Some people have really surprised me in this regard, and I wonder if it is because I need to reach out to them and share what I am feeling. A few people have been incredible with us and without them I don’t know if I would still be here. You have no idea just how much a simple text to say you were thinking of us, and other simple gestures have meant to us at those really, really difficult times. I hope those special people know who they are. We realise that others just don’t know what to say or do a lot of the time, and after losing James the last thing Mark and I need is to drift further apart from those we know and care about. I know the friends and family who read this blog will be doing so because they care about how we are and how we feel. We know there is nothing you can do to bring us back our baby, or extinguish our pain, but it is healing for us to talk about it with you, even just a little.
Until we lost James we would have been the same, not knowing what to do or say, being in fear of saying and doing the wrong thing. There are many misconceptions about loss and bereavement by those who have never gone through a devastating loss. We know this is difficult for you, but going through grief is even harder. All too often the fear stops us from doing or saying anything, and really this is a mistake. There is no instruction manual, and unless you have experienced crippling loss yourself, there is no way to understand it. Surprisingly it is often the people closest to those bereaved who are the ones to back away. We don’t want to burden anyone with our grief; it is hard to know who to turn to at times, and so I am sharing my feelings with all of you who would like to know: Continue reading