Grief. It’s just a word, a name for our sadness but oh my goodness does it come with some weight. To say you are grieving comes with so much behind it but to every person it means something slightly different. Why? Because every single one of us grieves differently every single time we grieve.
Grief comes with expectations. When I was grieving for my baby girl I felt like there was a certain way I should be acting. People became worried if I wasn’t crying. But in reality, I only really started crying over her about 6 months after. I was in shock when it first happened, numb to any emotion.
Grief comes with restrictions. I didn’t feel like I could do certain things because I was grieving but there were also things I felt I should be doing too. The fighter in me just wanted to get on with life; I wanted to make my little girl proud of me. I didn’t want to sit in bed and cry all day but I didn’t feel like I could do that. I had an idea of a grieving mother too, an image in my head and I wasn’t it.
Grief comes with a time limit. The most used phrase you hear when experiencing grief is that time is a healer. I hit the one year mark after losing my baby and that was it, I had this strange feeling that my grieving time was up. I felt like I couldn’t cry for her anymore but the truth was after a year of living in some sort of life that I didn’t recognise I was only just starting to grieve.
I had all of these ideas in my head about what I should be doing to grieve but there is no rule book, no time limit and no expectations. It’s just your own grief and you do whatever it is you have to do to get by each day.
When someone dies there are things to do, things to sort out. Those things can take a long time to sort but what happens then? What happens when everything is done and sorted and you’re just left with the grief? I honestly think that is the most honest part of grieving, when everything has calmed down a bit and you’re left to think.
The people that said time was a healer were in some way right I think. Every day life for me has got easier but then nearly two years on it can hit me out of nowhere. It’s almost worse that way. I stood behind a couple in the supermarket the other day. I couldn’t work out why they had 2 half full trolleys and then I looked up and saw twin baby girls in each of the trolleys. That took my breath away for a few seconds. And then when we were visiting our baby girl at the cemetery and Little Lady grabbed the teddy bear that was on the grave and gave it the biggest cuddle and I cried for the loss that she had had too, her other half. These are the moments that are my grieving time.
Grief. A small word with a whole world of weight behind it. The bottom line however is this. Your grief is your grief. I don’t think you know how you will cope until you have to or how you will react especially with baby loss. After all, grieving for your child is unnatural. And do you know what? It doesn’t matter. Strip back the expectations, the restrictions and time limits and feel what you want to feel. Really, it’s the only way.