Have you lost someone that you love, a family member, a close friend, a partner? Grief is utterly horrible and it is so individual and unique. I know there is such a thing as the 7 steps of Grief but by God some days I feel like it’s 177 steps or at times that I’m stuck on a step or about to fall off a step!
My Mam’s 5th Anniversary is looming now at the end of January and in some ways it feels like she is only gone and in other ways it feels longer. Time is a funny phenomenon. Looking back I had thought I’d ‘grieved’, dealt with her death probably due to the fact we had known for some years that she wasn’t well and that there was no cure but I don’t think you ever give up HOPE for that miracle, that once off blessing that defies all odds? No matter the circumstances, the warning, the way we loose a loved one, it’s never easy to let go or to accept their death.
For many years I felt stuck, enveloped in the sadness, the hurt and pain of not having my Mam by my side to talk to, to laugh with, to do Sudoku and crosswords with. There is a real empty void when overnight their physical presence has vanished. Us humans are such sensory beings so not being able to smell their scent, their perfume, hear their laugh or voice or feel their hug and warm embrace is heart wrenching. It does feel at times that someone opened you up and broke your heart into tiny pieces.
However, having all that said I now feel I have turned a corner, I can feel more at peace about my mam’s death, I am able to look at her photos and smile rather than cry, I can bear to have little chats with her and it’s not as painful as it once was. Surely I must be on Step 6 at least!!
For me what’s changed is my perspective, my emotions and my relationships. Now I can see back to more happier times and not feel stuck within the cycle of her sickness and the trauma we all suffered, now I can feel all emotions again (still a slow process but I’m moving!) before at times I felt I couldn’t feel happy from guilt, or sad from the pain or anger from the shame! Gosh we are complex beings!! Now I can relate and communicate better than I ever could. I can now express calmly my emotions, my views and trust my thoughts.
I’m slowly regaining control again over my thoughts and being able to reminisce of times in my childhood with Mam, fond memories shared together and smile as I do so. I know she is with me every single day, guiding and protecting me and also giving me a good shake when needed!!! She wouldn’t want to see me sad, regret, have guilt or pain while remembering the past. She would only want me to feel the warmth of her, remember the true Anna Ward aka the Tough Cookie, the one who never missed a basketball match, the one who would give everything she had to make others happy, to lend a supportive and listening ear in times of worry or stress, help me with my homework/studies and pour out her love.
Coming up to Christmas and it’s just not the same as before, it’s a time for family and how can you be happy and joyful when someone isn’t there. That would have been my thoughts before now. Now I’m choosing happiness, I’m choosing fond memories and I’m choosing joy. The power lies with us which way we think/act and live. It’s not that I’m forgetting I’m now remembering. Remembering without the pain, the loss or hurt.
Sometimes we’ve got to take action in doing so. I’m organising a fun basketball gathering just after New Years (2nd of January) in memory of Mam, where we share stories, gather and remember the good times while making more!
How do YOU choose to Remember?
In all My Glory!
I know You’re Sad
You Miss a Friend you Had
But I’m Not Gone
Eventhough Time can Feel
I’m Still Here
Don’t You Fear”