No one really prepares you for losing a family member or losing anyone for that matter. It’s a heartbreaking moment when you learn that your loved ones have left this earth to find their peace elsewhere. Being away from your loved ones at that moment is painful. Right now as I write this recalling the happiest of memories I also try to justify what gives me the right to give you advice about how to deal with said situation. In a quick second, I have managed to full circle, it’s not about having the right or being right about this whole thing, it is just my way of letting you know that’s its okay not to be okay.
I’m a bottler, I always have been. Keep your mouth shut and your feelings in kinda gal, because one would never want to feel like a burden on someone else right? WRONG. Let it out, scream about it if you have to and you know the good old fashioned saying its better out than in… Well this god damn applies right now. You may feel lost, you may want to run straight to the airport and head straight back home or you might want to pull that duvet over your head and pretend like nothing is happening. Whatever is going on in your mind right at that moment, embrace it because your mind and body need the time to process bad news. The process is unpredictable, It is important to treat yourself with compassion as you journey down this path. Time is a great healer, remember that.
My best advice, however, is to get outside. Nature is also a great healer. Spending time outdoors either walking or just sitting will do wonders to help clear your mind. If you’re lucky enough to live near water then head there, after all, your emotions will be tornado-ing around inside and you may need to listen to the power of nature to ground you. Also, as hard as it may be, talk to someone. Either ring your loved ones, no matter what the time, they are there for you, talk to a friend or even a bunkmate (if you happen to be in hostels at the time) humans are good, so are dogs but humans, they can give you a cuddle because you will most probably need that. Don’t be embarrassed, its natural and everyone will want to help you.
My initial reaction was to cry, naturally, of course. I had just lost one of my beautiful people and I was sat in bed getting ready to start my day totally unprepared for that news. But then what I did was important… I text my boss and politely said I wouldn’t make it in today and I got up. I got up, dressed and went straight to my favorite place. Lake Hayes. I walked in silence, I cried and it also took me way longer than it normally would but right at that moment it is where I needed to be. After all, the time difference in the UK meant my family was entering the early hours of their morning and I wanted them to sleep, not listen to me cry down the phone.
I sat all day thinking about her and also toying with the idea of going home that weekend. Home to you may be close; home to me is the other side of the world. I was thinking hard about the last time I saw her, I think she knew. She gave me something so precious that I will keep and cherish forever and told me, in her own way, don’t you dare come home! The boss’s wishes. So I didn’t. The funeral was a hard day but again I spent it outdoors celebrating her life and all her wonderful ways. I also talked to her; let her know I was there. Maybe I looked crazy but it brought me peace. Where I am going with this? Apart from just needing to blub into a blog post, is that there no right or wrong. No one will be mad if you don’t go home, no one will be mad if you do. You have to do what is right for YOU even if that goes against what your family wishes.
I chose to stay here in New Zealand because of her wish for me to not return. I had said my goodbyes in my own way and my heart was happy knowing that she finally will be reunited with the man she missed so much.
Rest peacefully my sweet Grandma,
I know Grandad kept that bench seat warm for you in the sky.
2 thoughts on “Healing time”
A lovely blog. Pete anD I have discussed this many times since January and as you say we all grieve in our own way. My mum passed away on 4th January but had Alzheimer’s so to me I lost her at that point not when she died.
Your article summarises beautifully your thoughts and is completely different to my own experience.
It was also nice t read as I have known you all for a very long time now and it has been a privilege to see how you all have matured
Thank you Martin, I really appreciate it.