grief: six months in

It was such a tough day yesterday. Six months since my Dad died and has much changed with regards to how I feel? My chest hurt and felt tight and I felt very low. I was tearful at times but also very easily pushed over the limit by the kids. I was angry. Pretty similar to right back at the start, it would seem.

I’ve woken up the next day still feeling that weight sitting heavy on my chest. I wasn’t expecting to feel quite so bad. I was flicking through a book yesterday and saw a line about denial, which said something like:

“Denial enables you to cope as you couldn’t manage all the pain at once.”

I guess I can get on with my life with a degree of normality, only because to an extent I am denying it. Then a special occasion or significant anniversary comes around and whack, the full weight of it hits. It feels so strange, the passage of time in these last six months. It feels like forever since I last saw my Dad, longer than six months. But it also feels like no time at all that I’ve had to live with this terrible reality. How can six months have already gone by? I have still barely got my head around the fact that Dad is not here anymore. I still can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem right or fair or simply; believable.

A friend expressed sympathy about my having had a bad day and I said, “well, it’s just rubbish isn’t it?” (I may have used a less delicate word, but you’ll never know for sure… ;-))  I think sometimes grief can be made much more difficult and far-reaching when it goes alongside a feeling of frustration that you’re even feeling this in the first place. Why should I be feeling miserable? How dare the universe/God/that person, cause me to be in pain? I ought to be happy all the time. I lay in bed last night thinking, well this feels dreadful and I’ll always have it. But I didn’t feel afraid because, well there’s always denial… Kidding. I didn’t feel afraid because I knew it would get better. I knew the pain would lessen significantly. I knew my ability to live life with this huge gaping hole would continue and increase in happiness. Somehow, against all rational thought, a miracle occurs and it does get better. I know it.

So, in the meantime, life is rubbish (insert severe word) sometimes. And at times all we can do is to say it, acknowledge it, be honest. For some people, it is relentless right now. You’re in the pits. But, keep going. Don’t panic, this happens to everyone. Life is pain. It may get worse before it gets better. I’m absolutely dreading the pain that will hit us at Christmas, my first Christmas ever ever ever without my Dad and also the memories of last year and the devastating news. But we’ll feel it and hurt and then come through. You will too and you will come out the other side a better person if you don’t get bitter about it, maintain hope, and keep loving others. As my dear mother says, “be kind to yourself.”


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