My beloved Stepmum, Karen, passed away on July 15th, with just a 12 week warning prior to her death of the cancer that was taking over her body. I’ve been on a wobbly grieving road before, when a friend aged 24 committed suicide. This time seems completely different. My family are, and always have been, very close. We are lucky enough that throughout my parents divorce/my dad remarrying we were able to still celebrate graduations/milestone birthdays without anybody having a bad taste in their mouth.
Whilst I wouldn’t change anything about my family, now that we are one less, I feel like every member is walking on egg shells. We are all at completely different stages in the grieving process (if there even is a process? I still cry all the time whilst my sister refuses to believe what has happened). There is one less person to buy and wrap for and the usual suspect playing jive bunny at a ridiculous volume won’t be around our Christmas dinner table this year.
I attempted to buy a few self help books to try and get out of the rut I seem to be stuck in. I seem to be in a downward spiral of self hatred where I find myself complaining about the simplest things in life, instantly shadowed by an awful feeling of knowing that Karen would do anything to still be with us, as would the rest of my family. One of the books this morning had me in tears, it speaks of recalling a traumatic memory, and speaks of what you have learnt and if I think really hard I can turn it into a positive and find the silver lining .
I constantly find myself comparing my journey to other people’s in my family. For example, if I’m having an awful day where my mind generates “what’s the point?” as an answer to everything, I think ‘well, if I think this is bad, imagine what my Dad is going through!’. Nothing seems to help. Then I have an overwhelming feeling of grief and guilt.
Christmas is a time where the pressure to be happy an ecstatic is amplified, but for those who don’t feel the ‘festive spirit’, the weight on your shoulders triples. I feel stuck in a circle of grief and tears and the looming Christmas Day is doing nothing to help this.