Oh Damn You Immeasurable Grief

Yesterday was quite awful. I felt like I had been smashed into smithereens and hurled back to square one, day one with grief. The result? The uncontrollable sobbing is back, the beating of the fist against my chest is back but that’s because the black hole where I physically hurt on the inside somewhere near my heart has opened up again. I have hurt someone. I have done it unintenionally but all the same I hate when someone thinks I have been a cow. It is no excuse but I blame this truly, awful madness the world calls grief. A poor blanket term for a sick kaleidescope of feeling.
grief//  (grf)


1. Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement. See Synonyms at regret.
2. A source of deep mental anguish.
3. Annoyance or frustration: Trying to follow their directions was nothing but grief.
4. Trouble or difficulty: the griefs of trying to meet a deadline.
5. Archaic A grievance.
[Middle English, from Old French, from grever, to harm, aggrieve; see grieve.]Nope. The dictionary definition doesn’t really cut the mustard as far as I am concerned. I was told by my GP in the days immediately following Colin’s death that grief went through three main stages – Disbelief, Anger and then, finally, Acceptance. Sounds quite simple. A journey through quite differing emotions in a straight forward, straight line. But it is so not. The line, certainly in my case, is not straight. It is all wiggly and goes back on itself, loops over and over and then some. Frankly, I find it is more like typical ‘four season’s in one day’ British weather  as I can go through all three of these stages in an hour let alone a day.
The other massive problem with grief, aside from being afflicted with it in the first place, is that it is ultimately selfish. The grief you are suffering disallows you from understanding the pain of others. You can try but quite simply those who have not lost a husband, wife or partner, cannot beging to imagine what it is like to lose the person you woke up with everyday, whose very being defined you, who you made you happy in the way no other person could, the one who simply got you at your best and your worst, the one who made you laugh, the one who phoned you for no reason throughout the day and wouldn’t allow you to say goodbye by saying ‘I’m not finished with you yet’, which made you smile even though you needed him off the phone because life was calling for you, the person who gave you your children and who shared the infinite love for those children so would indulge you at every turn with the ‘ah look what she’s doing now…she’s picking her own nose…she’s a genius’. However, despite being in the depths of its clutches I cannot say to Colin’s mother I understand what you are going through. I do not. I cannot imagine losing my child. I can only try to think what that would be like. I also cannot imagine losing my father, brother or  my best friend because I have not. I seflishly imagine that mine is the worst sort of grief but how do I know as my experience is intense but it is subjective.
I do know that no one should try to measure grief and say mine is worse than yours. There is no ruler in the land that can quanitify the pain we are all feeling individually at a loss. So please don’t ever try to tell me that you can compare your grief to mine and I will never do the same back. That said, yesterday the selfish edge to my grief, the side of it that does think I am worse off than anyone else, has led me to upset someone and for that I am so sorry. The selfish  part of grief has made me a bad friend, a needy family member and in general quite thoughtless. Hopefully as my path through grief gets straighter I will become nearer to the person I once was. In the meantime please forgive me.

2 Replies to “Oh Damn You Immeasurable Grief”

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