Being Busy


I really felt this early on in my grief. I spent 6 months arranging a funeral, sorting the mundane paperwork, insurance, banks, all that malarkey. I sorted a headstone, a memorial tree, I fundraised to keep myself busy and went back to work after 5 weeks or so. My first six months were so damn busy I didn't have time to grieve.


When I just stopped and gave myself breathing space, I realised how messed up I was, I had managed to push everything out and the night times were when I felt the pain, but diazepam blocked that out, and I just slept like a zombie.


Then I knew I had to stop. I had to breathe. I had to feel the loss his death has caused, and process it, and allow myself to feel it, and all the waves of emotion it pulled me through.


I no longer had support at this time, everyone just saw a very busy me, helping everyone else, smiling and organising fundraisers with a big happy smile mask glued firmly to my face in the fear it would slip, and I'd slide into the place I didn't want to be. Everyone thought I was ok, and I really wasn't. They had stopped being at my side ages ago, you see, when you show you're being strong, they step back because they feel you don't need them any more.


The truth is, you always need them, they just don't see this, and unless we tell them, which we more than often don't, they walk away, thinking we're in a good place. Either that, or they just walk away because they can't cope with the emotional rollercoaster we're on. (I always want to tell them, if you find it hard, how on earth do you think I feel, but I don't).


Part of me feels that just wasn't ready to grieve at that time, I feel I needed to be productive, to find my purpose, perhaps. I'd been his wife, but also had to step in as carer, friend, as no one else was around to help us. My role was defined, I wasn't me, I was his carer and wife.


When he died, I lost my purpose. I had no idea who or what I was, and throwing myself into fundraising made me feel useful, I was raising money for a small local charity that had literally saved both our lives, we had counselling and support from this charity and I cannot thank them enough. Raising money for them made me useful, helpful and purposeful. I needed that feeling. If I'd jumped right into grief, I've never have been able to do that, and I think I'd be a wreck.


Anyway, this is a ramble, sorry.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that keeping busy is great, but at some stage, we have to go through the grief, you can't bypass it by ignoring it and hope it goes away, it doesn't. The only way to grieve, is to go through it.

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