THE UNSPOKEN | Normalizing grief is so important and that I why today I am calling upon those who feel brave enough to speak about the nitty gritty side of grief. Share something about your grief journey that you might feel is strange or not common. It might be something you do to remember your children by or maybe it is something you fear about the future. Often while grieving we have feelings of isolation because we fear judgement that what we are feeling isn’t normal. But it is amazing to see just how many people feel the same way. When others stand up and express how they feel through sharing their experiences, it allows us to say “Hey, I feel that way too!” and the fear of feeling like we are crazy is lifted and in some cases embraced!
I have written before of my fear that my grief over the loss of my sons has overwhelmed my capacity for grief for others. I can find it hard to offer empathy when confronted with death. I can also feel irrationally jealous of the ability of people to talk freely about their losses without fear of people seeking to minimise that loss or rationalise it away.
It disturbs me that it can be this way. Has grief made me so selfish? Am I guilty of the same weighing up of grief that I criticise in others? I’m wary of a creeping tendency to think ‘at leasts’ even if I know that to the bereaved ‘at least’ offers no comfort, no consolation. I squash those thoughts as soon as I have them but they are there.
My loss is no better nor worse than any other, it is different though. The loss of a future is different from a loss of a past, a shared set of memories that others can join in. We can talk more freely of the loss of a family member or friend as these are common shared experiences. We heard their voices, talked of all manner of nonsense and wisdom and spent time in their company. There are photos that you can openly share without caution. It can be more difficult to talk of children that only you and a handful of others had met and held. For this reason they can feel more insubstantial, closer to a dream than a memory.
I feel ashamed of these feelings.