Am I grieving? What is grief? Am I doing it right? How do I know if I’m doing it right? How long will it last? These are questions I continue to ask myself, and I don’t think I’m alone! As a father to a child who died I have wanted to try and “fix the problem”, but I cant. I have been on a journey of grief since our boy Lenny died on the 18th December 2021. But to be honest, from all that I have read and the people I have spoken to, no one knows the answer to these questions. Everyone says that grief is different for everyone and we all experience it differently and it affects us differently, but all I know is that I’m sad….. f**king sad!
I have asked my counsellor and doctor whether I am grieving and everyone keeps saying to me that you are and you are doing it right and time will help and it happens in waves, but I’m still not sure! Some days are palatable, some are barely worth living, but as time goes on there is some happiness and light, of all the things I have done in my life this is without a doubt the hardest. For me I could really do with a list of instructions on how to grieve, with a simple step by step guide and then I can see an end and work towards this, but I’m so aware that grief is just not like this, there is no end there is no easy way. I think seeing people and allowing people to help was my biggest help and talking to friends about Lenny, which I’m actually shit at! I’m a Physics teacher, words are really not my thing (as you can probably tell). A friend said to me early on, “if you don’t talk about it, it’ll f**k ya in head”, this I now realise is totally true.
Also, I’m really tired!
I have read about 3 books in my life, Construction textbook – so I could self build an extension, The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of a Window and Disappeared, and a Sands grief book. Everything you read about grief never has any hope. All I read about is that people have a shit time and suffer with mental health problems, this is probably a massive misrepresentation but its all my griefy brain remembers. I found it difficult to see a “new normal” which had joy and fun and adventure in. Then I received a card from a colleague to offer her thoughts and condolences but she also shared that her baby died at 40 weeks too, I thought (and still think) a lot about her, and how she seems happy and lives a rich, fulfilled life – this gave me hope. and this is what was missing for me in the early days of grief. hopefully this website will give some hope to others.
So, to answer my questions…… wtf is grief?….. Don’t know. but I’m doing it apparently.