I was a professional life coach, in what now feels like a previous lifetime. I used to write very uplifting, feel good blogs. The happy, woo-hoo variety, “you can do it” high-five!
It seems ironic that my book that’s recently been published, is a warts and all “I failed, and it turns out I couldn’t do it”
My book is about my son's long struggle with child cancer, his untimely death and our subsequent grief.
The worst part of a non-fiction book is telling your truth, not some shiny Instagram version of yourself that you can put a filter on. I have released my deepest dark thoughts and the feelings that are my everyday normal, pushed my pain out into the open for the world to see and of course, judge.
What if I’m the only one who feels this way? What if I make myself look a complete and utter fool? It was a risk I was willing to take because my view of grief seemed so different to societies, as in, I don’t want my grief to ever end.
“Time heals”, no it doesn’t, well not for me anyway, it might for you. There seems to be this belief that grieving has a time limit and must come to an end, be solved, or cured somehow. We are eagerly encouraged to seek a grief counsellor if we haven’t moved on. Moved on from what exactly? I feel so very differently.
The moment Brett died it was as if a tall, dark shadow came and stood next to me. A cold and chilling entity whose sole purpose was to ensure I would never again feel, act, or behave as before, or view the world the same. Happy events, celebrations and any normal day, all contain a constant tinge of sadness. The shadow energy puts a cold hand on my shoulder as I whisper for the millionth time ‘Brett should be here; he would have loved this.’
Brett’s death has invaded every part of my life and my very being, but its ok and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The shadow of grief is welcome to stay by my side forever and we are now friends, as it exists only because of Brett. The power of my love for Brett and the loss I feel, is an eternal black hole that I will carry until my death.
Death of a loved one is like have a huge open sore on your body that people around you often press, callously and/or accidentally.
But in societies defence we have no lessons on grief or grieving. Society uses a handful of silly useless clichés and then runs, pushing away grieving people until they report to feel (or possibly behave) better. For me though, I now no longer want to come back to ‘normal’ world.
I feel the biggest secret to life, hides in and around death, and that is this false belief that one size fits all. It's nonsense to think that there is only one way to feel and behave. There’s real power in acknowledging individuality.
My Brett, my son, my love and therefore my loss, my hurt, my pain. Every relationship is inherently unique and subsequently, so will the loss be, and everyone will deal with that pain differently.
‘Because of Brett’ is out now from www.bookguild.co.uk and all good bookshops.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it’s hard to deny that this time of year signifies re-birth and new life for many. This year however, almost a month on from the UK’s National Day of Reflection, where we all took time to think of everyone and everything we have lost to the pandemic, it may be unthinkable to buy into the Springtime festivities. Sometimes we wonder if we will ever get over our loss, or if the loss we are grieving is even justifiable; here are some things to try remembering when the wave hits. Everyone experiences loss in their own way. There is no definitive timeline, structure or formula for grief. There are some great theories, such as the ‘Fried Egg’ analogy, which articulates how the loss stays with us but our lives become full again over time. Although how you move through, around, over, under and any which other way you navigate this emotion is unique to you and your frame of reference...