Yes, this isn’t what you might have hoped for. But in fairness my blog is about random things, thoughts, life and stuff in general. Unfortunately not as popular as chocolate and cake, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently, for various reasons, of death and dying.
And so, please excuse my insomnia-befuddled brain as I try to string my thoughts together, albeit not very well.
This year has seen a number of deaths of famous people. Is it just one of those times, or are we just at an age where it means more when someone you know of dies? Then too, I have had death in the family, and a couple of lovely friends have had an even more devastating time. Death just isn’t something we tend to talk about or deal with much in terms of acknowledging it and yet there is no getting away from it. And so when it happens, coping can be extremely difficult. We are all different, and react and cope differently, and one can feel so utterly helpless in being unable to lessen someone else’s pain.
The death of a loved one is deeply traumatic, but grief is a necessary process to heal, to get closure. There is no time limit to healing. One thing I do know is that if you don’t let yourself grieve, it will come back and bite you when you least expect it. Sometimes one feels that it is self-indulgent to grieve, that one should be coping. No! Your feelings are justified, no-one can tell you how, where, what or when you need to feel.
Death is a funny subject, and people deal with it in different ways from humour (bizarrely cathartic) to avoidance (not good) and everything in between. But pretending that it does not happen does not help. It is as much a part of life as anything else. I think it is important to bring children up without shielding them from it, don’t keep them away from funerals, children are resilient and curious. Life is a process, beginnings and endings, sickness and health, happiness and sadness. If we grow up understanding this – not necessarily in all its gory detail – I think maybe we would cope, if only a tiny bit, better. And we all have different ways of coping. No way is right or wrong. But my point is that with a bit of knowledge, perhaps there would be a bit more understanding, both of others and of ourselves.
It is desperately sad how it can be that those who seem to care about you are the same people who disappear when you are mourning the death of a loved one. People react in strange ways.
A common thread – both in my own experience and that of friends – is that the people you thought would be there for you are not. But regular contact, even if only to say I’m here, I’m thinking of you is so, so important. The comfort of care. A hug. That just helps you make it through another day. Yet people will think oh, I don’t know what to say, they won’t want to talk about it. This adds to the pain. All you want is someone to show that they care. sometimes to be able to talk about it is an enormous relief. The one time you really need a friend and yet your own pain is too raw to ask.
To go through grief alone is a terrible thing. You know that nothing can take away what has happened, that no words can magically heal. But these little bits of caring add up, and help. They really help.
And if you are going through this right now, I wish you peace and love. Give yourself time.