Death, the passing of a loved one! The passing of anyone. It’s a funny thing really, and it happens all day, all around the world, but I think that we only tap into it when it happens in our world!
I have found myself in surreal positions a few times, some when I was younger but mostly as I grew older. I had my first experience of heart break when my grandad passed away, I was 15, I remember feeling empty! Just totally empty, like everything inside was gone, before that I felt an overwhelming pain! A pain in my chest that my heart was breaking! I spent a lot of time with this gentleman and he treated me like a queen. I was so sad at his death, I wanted him to leave every belonging he owned to me! (of course that was impossible but my 15 year old heart wanted everything, clothes, shoes, just everything associated with him and his world, and I wasn’t prepared to let him go!) He always sent me Valentine’s Day cards, and I would walk into his local pub, and strangers knew who I was because my grandad always told them about me. We both shared the same passion for horses and tending to his garden full with fruit and vegetables, I would always come home laden with goodies. (Maybe why I have an allotment now!)
He was also the 1st person I saw in the chapel of rest. I remember sobbing my heart out but feeling relief and mainly pride at how smart he looked as my mum and myself had chosen these smart clothes. I remember not wanting his shoes on him as they were new and might ache his feet but knowing that he needed to take them with him. I talked to him all the time and I carried his picture around with me in my purse for years! I suppose eventually I grew older and his memory faded when other family members joined him, but I still get sad and wonder if he sees me (I’m crying writing this) but he would almost be in heaven now had I kept him for a few more years, as he is very old. I still have his ornaments, and they are wrapped up so tightly that when I unwrap them I can smell him, (maybe I believe I smell him.) I still get a smell sometimes in the house that reminds me of him and I hope that it is him, showing me he is there.
The one thing that struck me though was why the world didn’t stop! Why did the world keep on spinning? Why was everyone not mourning? I passed a boy that lived near us on the way to the church and he was laughing! (Of course he was totally oblivious to my situation.) I just wanted to scream from the rooftops that didn’t they know! My grandad had left us! Stop!!!!
That really was one crucial life changing moment! I knew then that things would be different forever! I learned a valuable life lesson in that moment!
But this wasn’t my first experience of death, we had the usual pets like hamsters and goldfish from the fair. But I had a friend from school who first introduced me to my best childhood friend, she sadly took an overdose which subsequently ended her life! She was too young! I went to the church service, funeral and all, I can’t remember if I was 13 or 14. I remember the whole day and how incredibly sad I felt and the night before the funeral feeling so desperately upset.
The hardest death I have dealt with is my darling younger brother! I was in Portugal at the time, my mum was on a dream holiday to Las Vegas and my older brother was on his way home from Spain. I had to call my mum and tell her. Who else could tell her? We were a team, we had stuck together through thick and thin, all 4 of us when times got hard, and we were very close, we had each other’s backs, it was up to me and my brother but I knew it would be hard for him so I called. Without a shadow of a doubt this is up there with the list of hard things! Totally up there!
I had to endure a flight alone in the morning to get home to the rest of my family! I could not stop crying! I can honestly say it was the worst time of my life! He was 26! And his passing was totally unexpected, this was never in the script!
Why! Why! Why? If there is a god, why does he take them so young? Why do they not get to live their life? Why are they too special to stay? Why do their parents not get to see them married and have children? I cannot understand that part of how life works! It’s the wrong order! Totally the wrong order! It shouldn’t happen! But it does time and time again! How do you go on? I suppose you wake up in the morning! Night becomes day and you are still here!
I walked into our family home and my whole extended family were there. (There are many of us, and we do all stick together!)
Upstairs my mum and brother were sobbing on her bed, hugging tightly, and in the next room was his girlfriend sobbing too! The time moved in slow motion, like I was watching on television. I was clutching onto my little baby girl. My heart was breaking but I could also see 3 broken hearts in front of me! We hugged, and hugged and hugged.
I was a new mum and had a 3 month old who needed me! I constantly flitted between guilt, happiness, sadness and more guilt! I’d smile to my baby and feel guilty and sad that my brother wasn’t here, yet I felt guilty for being sad as my daughter needed me here with her! It was difficult! I’d cry at the times we fought as children. I hated that at 10 or whatever age we had a fight. I couldn’t get over that! I would cry and cry until the early hours into my pillow so nobody would hear me, (I didn’t want to add to anybody else’s grief.)
I was so mad that I had no photos of him with my daughter (although now I am glad as none of my children have photos!) and I understand that this was just grief! I had to be strong for my mum and older brother but inside I was breaking. I was broken, everyone around me was grieving, it was an extremely sad chapter of my life, it still is, and the same for everyone who knew him.
I get so sad about it still now at his zest and love for life that I feel cheated! Cheated that he isn’t here living life to the full!
After I went back to work I would cry everyday on the journey there! As soon as I was on the motorway I was a sobbing wreck! I suppose it was the only place I was truly alone to grieve!
I always thought that time is a great healer and it probably is, when tragedy doesn’t happen, when it’s grandparents who have lived a life, when it’s in the right order, but it’s not true to losing someone in your inner circle, that closeness is just too raw! There are times when I feel my eyes leaking at the thought of him or when I see his photo, it breaks me inside all over again.
I visited his resting place on the day of his burial but that was it! I used to find it so difficult, that I couldn’t go. But now I do, around a year or so I went and felt peace, I now go whenever I can and that’s fine.
I never understood the grief at losing someone from your inner circle, that closeness and bond! I just didn’t get it as I hadn’t experienced it! I suppose we never really know what someone is going through unless we have experienced it ourselves and damn I have experienced it!
I used to think that others who hadn’t experienced death were the lucky ones but I believe that I am, the death of my relatives has taught me so much, about life and feelings!
Nothing bothers me, nobodies actions bother me, I suppose I’m tough on the inside, I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I try to always look at the bigger picture! My heart has been broken so badly by losing family members that no other person comes close, and when a potentially sad situation happens I am sad for about 10 minutes, and thats it! I think that my empathy, sympathy or what ever you call it has gone. I find it so hard now when people tell me about difficult situations that they find themselves in, as I cannot remotely feel any kind of empathy with them, the joining in of the drama just passes me by! (Sorry guys!🙈🙊) Inside I am more than likely thinking ‘get a grip’ and ‘get over yourself!’ Maybe wrong, maybe right but that’s how it is!
I loved and love you all dearly!
These are my words and my thoughts, possibly deepest memories. There is not a single living soul in this world who has heard these words, or knew my feelings, they are honest, true and from the heart.
We grieve so bad because we loved so hard! Nothing touches the sides in comparison!
Upon death a husband or wife is called a widower or widow, a child who loses their parents is an orphan, but when a parent loses their child, this has no name! This is because the loss is too great, immeasurable, it just cannot be described.
And, to my wonderful friends and family who are living with heart break daily, you know who you are! 😘😘💪 We can all do this! ❤️