Grief is a suitcase

It has been said –  Grief is a suitcase that sits at the bottom of your bed, and no matter what, without failure, you have to pick it up every day, take it with you. Some days it will be filled with rocks, and you don’t think you can carry it, and then other days, light as a feather.

When my Nan passed away during my teenage years, I thought then I knew what grief really was, I was young, but old enough to know in my mind that I was sad, devastated, and going to miss her forever, I remember thinking I would never stop crying,  that life wouldn’t be the same without her. I can remember hearing family members cry and thinking this is what heartbroken really meant.

When you are younger I think you have some understanding of death and grief, teenagers grieve differently than adults. moving in and out of strong emotions. They are often not able to express in words, how they are feeling or what they need, I think looking back I was quite selfish, probably carried on with my life not taking into account the feeling of others, now I’m older and I think what my own mother must of gone through I wish that I could of been more supportive.

This week marked the anniversary of my Grandfathers death in 2011, 

As I said before I thought I had already experienced grief for someone I loved deeply, when nan (his wife) passed away, but nothing in the world could of prepared me for the feeling of loss, emptiness and sadness I felt when he died.

Grandad was one of my best friends, one of my most favourite humans, I spent a lot of time with him throughout my life, once or twice a week, more if I was passing through his village, he knew nearly every thing there was to know about me, he was a massive part of our lives, he was so close to my Mum and Aunty who were heavily involved in most aspects of his life, we knew he adored us all, and he knew we thought the same of him. 

Grief hits you in many ways, I literally felt I would never be able to say his name and not cry ever again, I would yearn just to talk to him, a constant feeling in the pit of my stomach because I couldn’t , I think it was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life, it’s difficult to understand why these things happen, why we have to experience such pain, why those we adore can be here one day then gone the next.

Grief is a journey, being a journey unique to each one of us, I found grief  to me was a raw wound, bitterness, anger and denial, it’s the realisation that you will never hear, see or speak to that person again. I am blessed I have so many  treasured memories with him, Mum and I often reminisce about him with great affection some days you can laugh, others your heart hurts because you still miss him so much and tears fill in your eyes,there are so many things in day to day life that remind us of him, his love for really crusty fresh loaves from a baker, If I see a really burnt one I think how much he would of  loved it, and custard creams, the hundreds of custard creams I’m must of shared with him, We all have our many memories of those we have loved and lost.   I know my grief at times overwhelmed me, I couldn’t control it I would just go with it, I was so lucky I was able to support my mum, the family and they did me, each one of us understanding what the other was feeling and going through. I wanted to ensure I was there for my Mum supporting her through it, as we just ‘Got’ what the other was feeling, and still do.

There is no doubt, there is a massive hole left by him in our lives now that he is no longer in it, he was a great man, our journey still continues people say time is a healer, I guess this is true, I treasure the times we had together, I am thankful for all he taught me,  blessed to have known such an amazing man, most of all I’m thankful for the relationship we had, he knew I adored him, I really did, along with my parents he made me the person I am today. 

The pain of losing someone doesn’t go away, as painful as the process is, grief will guide you eventually back to the normality of life, you do survive it, sanity intact, and eventually go on to reclaim your life and enjoyment  despite your loss.

As yet another anniversary of his death passes, I think to myself this is just a date, a date that my family suffered a great a loss, because what followed on from that day ensured that we remembered, loved and missed him daily,  and the date just signified he had gone.

Here are a few lines from David Hawkins – He is gone, which I used when he died, I often read it, as I feel it says what I need at times.

You can shed tears that he is gone,

or you can smile because he lived,

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back, 

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

 Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him 

Or you can be full of the love that you shared

And we did share a lot of love.

Remember to share your love, as you never know what’s around the corner, treasure all and who you have.

Loads of ❤️ ASIBTAF 


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