The Things They Don't Tell You About Grief

You're not crazy. You won't go crazy. You never were. You never will.

Although, grief would have you thinking that you really were losing the plot.

I remember feeling so alone, as a thirty something, no one my age had experienced the death of their husband. It was just awful. People kept telling me they understood, but they didn't. I mean, how could they?

No one else got it, I felt like I was sat on a cloud, watching the world pass by, unable and unwilling to join in. It felt like everything that had been normal before, would never be normal again, but I didn't want to have to think about what my new normal would become in the future.

I didn't want a new normal. I wanted my normal normal. The one that included him. I wanted to stay stuck in time, a time where "we" still existed. A time where I felt no sorrow, and nothing but joy because I had him in my life.

I remember when I first joined Widowed and Young, it was a huge comfort to find people who got it too. But soon, even the safe walls I'd found there left me feeling I was doing this whole grief thing wrong. I spoke with others at the same stage of grief who were in new relationships and finding ways to move forward with their life - I couldn't do that. Or those that hadn't managed to return back to work, yet here I was, back in work. I was in a constant state of comparing myself to others and beating myself up constantly.

Was I doing this wrong? Was I healing too slow? Too quick? Was I losing the plot because I'd spent 72 hours solid writing down every text message he'd ever sent me ? Was I callous because I'd donated all his clothes to charity within 8 weeks of his death? Was it OK that I'd kept a fridge full of food weeks past the sell by date because it was his food?

It felt like I was flitting between two polar opposites and it was exhausting. I felt like I didn't know myself anymore.

Why was this happening?

The only answer I needed was right under my nose.

I was grieving.

I wasn't crazy. The weight felt lifted from my shoulders. It was a terrifying feeling, when you have to stop and ask yourself if you're losing the plot.

Grief does things to you that no one ever tells you about. I never stop learning about how grief has, and is still impacting my life. Grief impacts every single part of you.

Helping Others Understand

To an outsider, watching someone grieve is so painful, and you can feel so helpless, because ultimately, there is nothing you can really do to help them feel better. What is really important is that you're just there, you listen, and let them talk when, and if they need to.

Don't judge them. Let them go at their own pace, this is their journey, and they're doing what they can, so just walk along side them, and be there.

Be there, be present, be kind, and listen.

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