Containing grief

Hi all.
Don’t mean this to be patronizing in anyway at all.
But I feel this will be more understood by people who are 3/4 years down the line.
When you first loose a child or anyone for that matter. Nothing can prepare you for the deep pain and heartache that lies ahead for you.

Your whole world collapses. You feel nothing but pain and confusion. Fear and loneliness. You feel totally surrounded by despair. Nothing seems to work the way it should, your thought process, your mood swings, your sleep pattern, your appetite. How you interact with people are all haywire. Some days you get up out of bed and just feel glued to the spot. Nothing has any purpose anymore. You just can’t get past the thought your loved one has gone. You mind won’t allow you to accept that they are gone. You are trying to function but can’t get past this massive chasm that follows you round. You basically turn into a former shadow of yourself.
When it first happened to me for weeks and months probably for the first couple of years I felt totally lost, like I didn’t fit in anywhere. It felt like everytime I stepped foot out of the house everyday passers by could see all of these things following me around. Like all my pain and emotions were there for everyone to see. Whenever I went anywhere were there were people around. I could feel them looking at me as if I was a walking catastrophe.
None of this true , it was all just in my head. Even if I was being served in a shop or somewhere by a complete stranger it felt like they could see in to my soul.

It takes a long time before you can start to join the merry go round again. Were you feel that people aren’t looking at you. I would say for the first 6 months I felt totally isolated from reality.
Once you are able to gain control. You still feel all of the above but you get a sense that you are not on show like you were in the beginning.
As time passes you can condense all of these feelings and compartmentalize them in a box in the back of your mind. Eventually the box gets smaller and smaller. It’s still full of all these emotions and every now and then the lid opens and they seep out. You might catch a glimpse of a photograph or hear a record or drive past an area that triggers a memory. Suddenly you feel all of these emotions and it brings you to tears. But you are able to squeeze them all back in the box and close the lid again. I feel it will be like this (for me anyway) for the rest of my life. My son and all those thoughts and fears and pain are locked away in a little box in the back of my head. It can open at anytime. I can’t stop that from happening but I can manage to eventually contain it again. I think when you reach that point. That’s when you can take up your place in society again. You will always feel different. It’s just not as crippling as it was in the beginning.
Ok thanks for listening
Take care


Thank you for your comments. They are not at all patronising and I find them helpful.

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Thanks Jim for those words they all ring so true 1 year next month since our only child our son died .My hubby passed 12 years this Saturday maybe it would have been easier if he were still here because we are the two people that loved our boy in the same way.I was coming to terms with loss of hubby with my boys help after all he was grieving too.I have reread your words Jim and totally took them on board I will take each day at a time so bloody hard though it really is.My love to you and keep posting your wonderful inspirational texts xxxx


So beautifully described, Jim and you have captured exactly how I feel. I will always live with an undercurrent of grief. When I post on here sometimes it hits me that I am actually writing all this stuff. How did it happen? How did I get here? It just feels unbelievable. But here we are and we have to make the best of our time to honour our children’s lives xxx