What have you learnt from the loss of a loved one?

A couple of weeks ago, Chelsie from Bereavedat22 tagged me in a post headed with the above question. It got me thinking about what I have learnt, and how I can grow and share to support others. I have focused on three main things that I’ve learnt along my grief journey so far. You can read part one here, and part two here.

Number 3 – The pain of grief is unpredictable

Wildly, unforeseeably, irrationally unpredictable. I wasn’t aware that the pain could manifest itself at whatever time of day or night. Grief doesn’t have a regard for your schedule. It doesn’t care about deadlines, commutes, appointments. It will make you cry on your busy train at 7:30am, it will make you cancel your dentist appointment, and forget when you need to pay your council tax.

The pain that accompanies grief is overwhelming. Not just the sheer void of heartache you have from missing your loved one, which – some days for me – feels like my whole existence is filled with sorrow. Sometimes it lasts for a couple of days, sometimes only twenty minutes. It’s always that desperate longing to speak to her again. I just wish with every piece of my being that she didn’t die.

Then there’s the physical pain, which I never expected to endure. I’m sad because my Mum died, but why does my belly feel knotty? Oh it’s because I’m sad that my Mum died… I never realised how much emotional turmoil, stress, and pain can have a direct effect on your physical state of being. Obviously I was aware that the two would interlink somewhere, but I didn’t ever expect to feel physically unwell because I was having a sad day. I usually get a headache, a knot in the pit of my stomach, or pain behind my eyes when I’m having a griefy day. I don’t always know when it’s going to happen, so it can be difficult to manage.

I miss her so much.

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