Have you seen the film 13 going on 30? It’s not my type of film but basically a 13-year old girl goes to bed and wakes up the next day 30 years old, and a similar thing happened to me recently.
On Sunday night, I went to bed and woke up 23 again, in 2018. I woke up with all of the fresh pain and the memories of my mum passing away. I felt frantic and only wanted to speak to the people who were around me then.
When my mum was really ill there was almost a procedure; have I given her all her tablets? Does she need something stronger? Is this a 111 situation or a 999 phone call? And then we’d wait for whatever service to come to our house.
And since learning to live without her and with my grief a similar kind of thing has developed; okay, this is hurts really bad, get your headphones, let’s go for a walk. Still hurting? Run yourself a bath, make a hot water bottle. If I’m still hurting, I’ll sift through my memory box and sit with my grief. Normally, after a really good cry there is a sense of relief where I am empty of tears and able to go to bed knowing tomorrow is a new day.
That feeling never came this time. I continued to cry for 3 days, desperate to speak with my old support network. I was so desperate to just curl up on the sofa with my cat. I was horrified to think that she too has passed away just 9 months ago.
On the 3rd day, I phoned Evee and we decided it was best to phone a couple of wellbeing services as this was not normal. I didn’t know why this was happening to me, but I thought I might end up in hospital. Didn’t I just write a post expressing my happiness?
Thankfully, on the Wednesday evening, I was back in present day, unsure as to where the previous 3 had melted away to but relieved to finally welcome that tired peace that comes after a good cry, and I slept.
It is impossible to know the why or the what all of the time. But I do know that grief is a lifelong journey that I’ll never stop learning about. I do know what I need and when I need it, which is a great achievement. And after this 3 day episode, I do know that I need a little extra help right now, and that is more than okay to admit.
Grief is neither linear nor straightforward. This has not been a step backward, just another step along this weird grief journey. Anyone who knows grief knows it ebbs and flows. This wave ebbed and flowed me right back to a cold winter after Mum passed away, somewhere I haven’t visited for a while. And, it just so happens that this was a particularly large ebb or flow (i’m not sure which), and I just need a little help manoeuvring through this.
A few positive things to come from this experience:
1 – Evee and I now have an emergency emoji code, so we know when either of us is suffering particularly badly. It’s the green circle emoji because it resembles the frozen peas I have to put on my eyelids after crying for quite a while (haha).
2 – When I cried down the phone to a really kind new transition worker that “I just missed my mum so much” she asked, “Well have you tried phoning her?” (!!!). I can’t be angry at all, she just simply didn’t know. But Evee and I did have a good laugh and we’ve added it to the list of funny things people have said to us while we are grieving.
3 – Obviously, there are some things I need to work through and it’s time that your girl went back to counselling! Definitely a positive note in my book – knowing you need help and asking for it is not a weakness. I sincerely hope you are never made to feel that it is.
4 – Also, yes, I did just write a post about being happy. And even after this experience, I am still a happy person 🙂
5 – And finally, I know that people are so good. I have so much love and support around me from so many people who care, and for them I am forever thankful.
Evee and I have been a little less active on our blog recently, as we are focusing a little more energy to get our monthly grief cafes off of the ground. I know I say it all of the time, but we are so proud to have built such a positive resource from such a dark period in our lives. If you’d like to learn more about, or book your ticket, for our next cafe, please click this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-grief-cafe-tickets-124990059633?ref=estw
It would be lovely to see you there!
We hope to resume normal blogging soon! Thank you for your support
As we head back into another national lockdown, I hope you feel safe. I hope you take time with yourself and I hope you go gently. You are doing so well.