Updated: Jan 30
As we enter the second year I feel, certainly at this moment, that I am on more of a philosophical pathway. The first year was all about survival. Putting one foot in front of the other and just getting through, somehow. Now we are here, a year in, and what we have learnt is we can survive. That knowledge brings its own strength. I think of it as something Lauren has given me. The ability to see things in a different perspective. To worry less and live in the moment more.
Death cannot help but centre your mind on life. This past year has been a steep learning curve and one I wish so much that I never needed.
I would not have thought I could survive it, but I have. And it's not just been existing either, there has been good times. Writing that makes me feel guilty. But then I remember that this is my grief and I need to take ownership of it, force it to work with me, not against me. There are dark awful moments. Grief is physical. It actually feels like a punch to the stomach, causing me to exhale sharply. That will always be there, but I am learning to live with it. Embrace it as a new emotion to live with and learn from.
Most of the time now is managing the emotions. It means I am more attuned to all my emotions, not just the negative ones. I allow more joy and laughter. I need to feel more happiness to combat the sorrow. I'm hyper aware of all the emotion of all the whole family unit. That kind of micro management doesn't make me popular and I need to work on that. But life is all about learning.
Grief is unique, just like the person we are grieving is unique, and our relationship to them. Despair is omnipresent and it takes a strength of will to keep it at bay. Sometimes that strength just isn't there, sometimes it is. The longer we live with grief the more able we are to learn how to live with it. Time does not make things better, our effort throughout that time does.
Grief is not an entire identity, it is just a part of it.