By Lauren Jeffery
Grief is like this person who you don’t want in your life but can’t really get rid of. Grief is like the vilest flu you can imagine. It’s constant chest pain. It’s constant fear and so much of the unknown.
Being a grieving person is draining. Because some days you think you made it through then the next, you are back at square one. It never leaves you. And if you can stand in front of your peers and say you are fixed now, you are lying. We are never fixed.
Losing a parent is losing your childhood. One and the same, made worse if your parents are your soul mates on Earth. Fixated upon having my Mum in my life, right beside me forever, can you imagine how my life and mindset are now that she’s been ripped away from me?
Heart disease is ruthless. It can take anyone and prefers the weak and those with risk factors. My Mum had so many of those factors yet I still thought she’d never leave me. I never once in my life considered that yes, I will actually lose her.
Grief is like forgetting where you are going. It’s like forgetting how to breathe and how to talk. It doesn’t leave you. I feel like I’m diseased. Being eaten away by an inner demon and every time I feel strong enough to go on and move past the pain, its grip on me tightens stronger than ever.
The issue with loving someone so much is that one day, one of you will die. And the person left behind will feel like a shattered piece of glass. Pieces thrown in every direction. Never to be whole again.
The issue with loving someone so much is that much of your day is fighting to find them somewhere in the sky. If you don’t believe in Heaven, are our loved ones up there?
Grief is like holding your breath for too long. Everything stops being easy. It’s like going to work extremely ill. Nothing is enjoyable, not even sitting still in silence. When something is remotely positive, you are reminded that your loved one is not here to experience this with you.
Being a bereaved person is something very unique. No two bereaved people will be the same. Walking, breathing, working, talking, creating, parenting, being a friend and loving means you are still here. You survived the worst pain imaginable. The pain may lessen but the scar never heals. Being a bereaved person means you walk around with an invisible badge that reads “my heart is broken so tread carefully towards me”.
The feeling of grief encompasses every cell in your body. It’s a tiring state of being. You are fighting so hard to just continue to live and to honour the loved one you’ve lost.
The feeling of grief is agonising. It’s like no other discomfort I’ve experienced. Grief makes you feel lonely and exposed. Grief heightens your anger and your reaction to seemingly familiar events and responses. Grief turns your heart cold at times. To lose someone you love with every part of you is heartbreaking. Imagine waking up each day alone, in fear and pessimistic about your own future. Grief forces you to stand up to your mortality and it almost convinces you to give up.
Grief makes trust an issue. Grief turns minds sour. Grief causes outbursts and unkind words to be spoken. Grief numbs you in a merciless way. I wish I could feel more when the grief hits its hardest.
Being a survivor is testing. It’s a role you don’t want to play. You’d turn it down if you could. Being labeled an “orphan” is soul-destroying at times. When I contemplate how my life has changed with the loss I’ve faced, I feel disheartened. I wish all this hadn’t happened.
If you haven’t had to grieve in this way, you cannot understand. And I don’t want you to. I wouldn’t wish such a loss on anybody.
At thirty years of age, I became an orphan. And April the 28th 2013 was the day I lost the last ounce of my spirit. I just don’t understand why my parents had to be taken so soon.
I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. I never will be. It’s dangerous to think that I might live the rest of my life in denial but I just don't want any more pain. It hurts to think that they’ve died. And it makes me question why I’m here. It makes me bitter and angry with people who don’t appreciate their parents.
I won’t ever search for answers as to why this has happened. Nothing will ever justify why my parents had to be like so many others who’ve died young. Nothing will ever fix me. Grief cannot be cured. It doesn’t just go away. I will never be the same person, the same naïve person. All I can do is hope that they are together somewhere and that one day, I might be lucky enough to see them once more.