14mths ago I had no true understanding of grief. None.
I often described myself as emotionally disabled because when I did lose someone, I was quite blasé about it. I don’t know why. Maybe I was really good at compartmentalising. Maybe I didn’t know how to dig deep enough. Maybe I was rational enough to know that those we lost had had their time and could be mostly described as having had ‘a good innings’.
That’s not true. There have been a few people who have gone far too young. But I wasnt too attached. Or… I wasn’t surprised at the outcome given their lifestyle which perhaps justified their loss at the time?
At the beginning, I felt like my whole world had just blown up and I was sitting in a glass box just watching it fall apart. I could see out but not forwards. What would become of me… Without him?
Then, I was no longer in that glass box. I was in a hole. With no ladder. A huge plank throw recklessly over the opening that was too far for me to reach to move myself. Only occasionally could I see light. Just for a moment at a time. I stayed there for a bit. Being in that spot meant not facing the reality of my person no longer being here.
I went through anger. I went through all day crying. I went through feeling like existing further was pointless. I went through seeing the occasional good day. I went through realising I was going to be ok.
I’ve recently started a new job. In an industry that I never thought I’d be in. Death. That’s all I’ll say.
4 weeks in and I’m surprised at just how well I’m able to separate myself from the stories that walk in the door. I haven’t had a situation come across my desk like mine though. Yet. So perhaps that will be different.
I have found myself slightly more fragile after work, but nothing I can’t handle given the stuff I’ve been through because it’s external and not for me but for those also suffering. It feels good to be able to genuinely empathise and ‘know’ what they are feeling.
I still have moments, like yesterday, where I look at his picture and shock myself. Argh, I’ll never have another opportunity to have a picture taken with that man. How sad. How can that be?
But then it passes and I’m off thinking about other stuff again.
I’m not done yet, I know that. But the moments don’t engulf me like they did.