Taking My Own Time

Grief. Such a small word for such a bloody big never-ending process. It might rhyme with brief – it is anything but. I wish it were.

Time heals…One of many stock phrases that get trotted out after a death. A simple combination of just two words that can make people like me, people who were just like everyone else in life until they suddenly aren’t because of death, feel like they are being given a mean old poke in the eye with a spiky spoke and a full-on extra nasty twist at the end of it. I can verify time does not heal you to the point of the fully restored ‘just how you were’ you. I am living proof of it. Time provides a distance between the trauma of a death to wherever you are in present time. In the immediate moment after death you are pretty much in the eye of the storm. Everything after is the process of grief. Time for me provides me time to numb, time to learn to cope a little better between triggers and as this process goes along I sense that the time between those godawful triggers, that have me sinking back into the darkness of grief once again, can lengthen. Time also gives me time to work my way through the emotional chaos created in the aftermath of each trigger and this time seems to get shorter each time. The bummer, a word I am borrowing from my six-year-old’s banned vocabulary list, actually let’s go further, the ‘total bummer’ is that it is my personal experience that time is yet to give me a heads up on where the triggers might lurk and sometimes time hoodwinks me into thinking I am properly healed (doh) and as strong as everyone told me I was along the way (another well-used stock phrase that people trot out to the bereaved when they seem to be less screaming banshee than they once were).
I can be ticking along quite ok. Well, relatively, because there will never be a day for the whole rest of my life that Col’s loss is not felt by me or the girls, fleetingly or profoundly. Ticking along OK but within our new normal that has developed over the four and a half years since he died. And then I am not. This has happened this week. I don’t think the trigger was my little baby going to school – the baby Colin last saw when she was nine-weeks-old. It may have been or perhaps that was one of many other bricks in the grief wall I have hit over the last few days. Maybe it’s that I will never have another baby going to their first day of school? Or maybe it’s that I am sitting on a train on my way to London, to re-rent our old home to more strangers. I think it’s that. I can’t moan too much as I am lucky (it’s all relative) that I have an income as solid as a rental house in London. But that doesn’t salve the pain of walking around your kids’ old nursery rooms smelling stale smoke and discussing replacing broken blinds with people who think you’re a mean old money-grabbing landlord. Yup that joy awaits me tomorrow and I’ll have to put my ‘strong’ head back on.
In the meantime, I have been reading these two different theories on the process of grief.
The first is the one you hear of more and the one I identity with a little less because it seems to be a step-by-step process. I still accept it but I like to mix it up a little and say that it works to describe elements of my grief but not in any linear way.
The second is more recent and identifies the hard work you have to put into processing your very own D day.

Perhaps one or both might help you make sense of you? Either way I like reading something that helps me see my madness in grief needs theories written about it. I say that in a present tense because my grief is pretty much always present its just sometimes less on show. The ‘time heals’ life raft that people tend to throw you is one that seems to indicate you will at some point get to the point of 100% better. Often healing leaves significant scars and today on this train, I have just picked at mine and it’s still bloody sore even after all this time (sorry couldn’t resist one last…).



10 Replies to “Taking My Own Time”

  1. Nicola

    I’ve silently been reading your blog for the best part of 6 months. Sadly im also on the shitty widowhood journey. I’ve found reading silently about other peoples journey helps me to grieve a little. 18 months in… our 2nd wedding anniversary at the end of the month.

    Time doesn’t heal. It moves on and with it we do. Moving on with life doesn’t mean we move in within. Well at least that’s the case for me. You live for your beautiful kids and I Iive for my mother.


  2. Thank you. After 2½ years, and the fact that I’m (mostly) not a gibbering wreck, many people seem to think that I must be ‘over it’. No, I just cover up better. I regard myself as a ‘recovering widow’ in that like an addiction, it will never go away.

  3. It’s been 26 yrs since I was widowed at age 34, my husband was 36, our children were 3 and 7years old, The time heals phrase had been said to me many times over the years, sure things get a little easier, I’v just got on with it ! I’ll never get over it..x

  4. Totally agree with this! Eloquent as ever!

    At 10years I am prepared for the obvious sad times and can cope with those but every so often when I am not prepared I get bitten and I am totally floored! So no I will never be 100% healed it just isn’t possible.

    Good luck at the house

    Georgia xxx

  5. I feel your pain.
    I lost my mother in 2012 and my brother 4 months later. It affected/effected me profoundly and that change is within me. No-one really asks me about it anymore but I feel it and only those who have been through it totally get that.
    try and be mindful, love your children and have lovely coffee on me today x

  6. Stay strong dear girl. I had a good weep for Colin last week as we lost another friend to a heart attack very suddenly and it brought back those awful days. He is so proud of you and the girls ❤️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s