Monday, 14 September 2015

On Grief

Since my Grandma’s sudden death over the August Bank Holiday weekend the whole family have been grieving, it hurts but it’s also a lesson in the different ways people grieve. Or the different ways people have to cope with grief in order to get everything done, such as in this case the funeral arrangements, sorting out bank accounts and social services appointments in order to arrange things for my Grandad who will need to go into care. There’s a lot to do after someone dies, especially if they were primary carer for someone with advanced Alzheimer’s. My family have dealt with the loss in many different ways.

Some members of my family have done a lot of crying. This is usually the kind of grief you see on TV and in movies, it’s more obvious and visceral and much more like the traditional form of grieving. It hurts to see people so upset. Others grieve in more subtle ways, keeping busy so as not to think about their sadness. When there’s so much to do it’s much easier to do this than you might think. I fall more into this category, keeping myself as busy as I can.

There are supposedly several stages of grief, I’ve been through a couple in the time since my grandma died. At first it was shock and denial, not accepting that she was gone. I tried to carry on as normal, my appetite was gone and I felt ‘off’ but I wasn’t crying, I was just getting things done. Sitting and watching my grandad while my mum and aunt were at the hospital or the funeral parlour or wherever else they needed to be. I kept busy and I didn’t cry, maybe it was a brave face to wear so as not to upset my grandad I don’t know. Then I got back to Bolton and as soon as anyone asked me how my weekend was I started sobbing. That was the depression. That week I cried, I drank, I struggled with my own mental health and the feeling of emptiness.

Grief is hard. People cope in different ways, and just because someone doesn’t outwardly appear to be struggling – for example they’re not crying a lot – it doesn’t mean they’re not really broken up inside.

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