grief: feeling alone

I feel this post may be a bit of a therapeutic ramble so bear with.

It’s been a pretty dark few days. A cloud of depression over me. Feeling physically drained, achey, nauseated (no I’m not pregnant). Not interested in food, or life and feeling alone. Nothing really exciting me even mildly, and just going through the motions of what I need to do to get through each day until I get into bed and feel full of dread about having to wake up and do it all again the next day. Who is this person, I think… Who feels anxious about minor things… Who feels at boiling point after her 18m old drops the play dough on the floor on purpose (happens every time)… who feels overwhelmed at the thought of hanging the washing out…who finds it incredibly hard to be alone (with the kids still, but just me and them).

From a previous experience of grief I know what it’s like to feel alone in it, no one can understand your pain because it’s uniquely yours. Also, it’s just how it goes that people have lives to lead, their own struggles and pains, and can’t meet your needs for company or alone time or whatever. Also, I think people don’t know whether to ask you or not how you’re doing. Perhaps she’s trying to get on with life and I’ll just make her think about it?

I’m always thinking about it and feeling it.

Just as it would seem weird to not ask someone with a cast on their leg how their broken leg was… I don’t want anyone to feel criticised. I’m just writing what people who go through this can feel, and what I’ve learnt that I’m grateful for when I hear news of someone else’s loss. What do I say? Do I acknowledge it?

ALWAYS. I say, “I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine your pain. I’m thinking of you. Can I see you soon?”

I’ve said it before, grief is so multi-faceted. I think what is causing me this particular pain is feeling the loss of a parent. Someone who I know is 100% for me, available for me, interested in how I feel, I can be straight and say what is happening in my life and be accepted and helped. My Dad was really good at being there for me. Making me feel important and cherished. It’s a special thing family members can do, but especially kids and parents – invade physically and emotionally on their space and not have to feel bad about it. Parents of young kids totally feel that invasion all the time, but the ability to invade is still there for us as adults with our even more adult parents. I think that’s why the lonely feeling has been an intense part of this current dip. Saying that I am aware of and sorry for the many people out there who haven’t had a positive relationship with their parents, or never knew one or both of them, and I’m sure anyone reading this will know I’m grateful to the moon for my childhood and know that in some way I’m privileged to have this pain… but it is still pain.

Yesterday I had a good day with the kids despite feeling rubbish. I felt blessed and like God was helping many things go in my favour to help me have a positive start to the summer hols. Today has not been good. What was different? God left me?

No, it was just a crap day. They happen. Life isn’t fair. My son wanted to push my limits more. The weather meant I didn’t want to go out. Despite trying to connect with God my mood didn’t lift. My head hurt.

But I had moments of laughing with the kids, I did hang the washing out, I made cookies, we had one toilet training triumph, I felt encouraged by my devotional and I told God, “I know this will pass, I trust you.”.

Difference between yesterday and today is: I have to choose to be thankful for what I know to be true rather than what I feel and I have to choose to be thankful for the less obvious blessings rather than angry about the great steaming turds (that went into pull-ups instead of the potty…)

I’ll leave you with that.

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11 comments

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  1. the messy mama

    Just wanted to send you a bunch of hugs – I know the feelings you describe even if they have come from a different source, a different trigger. Reading your posts is so encouraging to me, as odd as that may sound. Reading about your active faith through this encourages me to more actively turn toward God, rather than the almost passivity I’ve felt. Thank you for being real. And thank you for being bold and courageous in sharing how you are doing, how you are feeling, and how you are getting through day to day. Big big love to you. x x x x x

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  2. rachfox15

    Jeni, your writings bring comfort to me. I’ve felt an intense amount of pain and sorrow this week. I’ve felt low. And I’ve felt disappointed that the only way most people bring it up with me is to ask ‘how is your mum doing?’ I’ve held back tears during mundane training and wished I could have my father again. it hurts. standing in pain with you love you x

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  3. Becky Fox

    Hey Jeni, thanks so much for sharing what you’re going through so openly and honestly – you write so well, though i wish you didn’t have to go through all this at all. Anyway, just wanted to comment to let you know i’m reading all your posts and think of you often and am praying for you and love you. Hope you have a ‘better’ day tomorrow and that God makes His presence especially known to you. Much love xx

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    • Where I Write

      Thanks Becky. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your text! I thought, I’ll write the first letter soon instead… But I don’t have any nice paper or card! I know that’s not really important but I just like the idea of writing to you on something nice!!! I know you’d appreciate it. I will do it soon… Nice to read your happy posts on fb. 🙂

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