In July I lost my mum to breast cancer. This is not a post about my mum, her illness or our loss. Simply because it is too painful for me to write about and I wouldn’t make it through the first paragraph.
It’s a post about me and my grief, the grief that I live with every day.
I thought about calling the title of this post coping with grief, but I couldn’t as some days I don’t feel like I’m coping at all. I don’t want people googling how to cope with grief like I did in the early days and finding my article, as I don’t have any answers, only my experiences.
The best way I can describe my grief now, six months on from our loss, is like a tap in my heart is leaking. A slow drip drip drip of thoughts, memories and pain that flit across my mind for a few moments every day. Happy thoughts, desperately sad thoughts, and everyday thoughts about my mum, they all come. And they all add to the leak.
Then one day, my bucket is full and it overflows. It’s doesn’t take anything special to make this happen, it is inevitable, any one of the drips can be the one that causes the overflow.
Then I break, the leak pours out in tears, and a hole in my chest suddenly feels empty and hollow. The world seems wrong and I feel lost, alone and panicked. The pain feels just as raw as it ever did. Endless and overwhelming.
The only thing I can do is let it out.
If I don’t have time, if I’m driving or looking after Jake then I can only let out a little, relieve the pressure and then plug the leak. Refuse to think about it and bottle it up tight. If not, I find it best to get as much out as possible, cry until I can’t cry any more, empty the bucket, ready to start again.
People say that time heals. For me I feel like there will always be whole in my heart.Iit will never be the same. I’ve been broken in a way that can never be fixed. I do think over time the leak will get smaller and my bucket will get bigger so the overflow will be less often.
I live with my grief every day. It’s always there in some degree or another. This doesn’t stop me smiling or laughing, playing with my child or enjoying my life. At times I feel guilty about this, but then I think to myself how disgusted my mum would be with me if I threw away my life to embrace my grief. So I carry on, in this world that will never completely feel the way that it should, because I have no choice.
I will live with my grief, ever present. Accept it as a part of my life, as part of me. I will battle it along the way.
I will not let it consume me.