When my Dad died in March 2012, when I was 17 years old, I had no idea how on Earth I would cope. There was a 3 and a half week gap between my Dad dying and the funeral which were the worst few weeks of my life because of the endless family members popping up out of no where and the “understanding”, the funeral arranging and the sympathy cards. But, worst of all, were the emotions. I would cry very suddenly at pretty much everything, but there were also days when I felt numb and empty, days when I felt angry and frustrated, and also days when I felt let down by my Dad. However, after a while, I concentrated all my thoughts and efforts on my A Level work and my exams, and then when they were over, on my results and preparing for University. In December 2012, I dropped out of University and suddenly I had time to think and to feel and I was told by the Doctor that I hadn’t given myself time to grieve. After giving myself a few months to think and to let myself feel, I decided to start volunteering and in April 2013, I started volunteering in the Sue Ryder charity shop. It made me feel as though I was giving something back to the Sue Ryder community and the nurses and staff in the Duchess Of Kent Hospice who were incredibly kind and supportive to not only my Dad but my whole family. I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering, I was made to feel so welcome at the shop and really valued and I was able to take things at my own pace because I have always been very shy. Now, I like to share my experiences of volunteering through the Sue Ryder blogs because I hope to help and inspire other people.
What I have learned from my experiences and what I would like other people to take from reading this is that when you are bereaved, when you lose someone you love, it is important to let yourself grieve in your own time and don’t force yourself to feel certain emotions. I’ve learned that there is no right way to grieve because grieving is a unique and personal experience.
I hope that this helps some people through anything they may be going through, and it would also be nice to hear other people’s experiences about life after bereavement.