One day 23 years ago, I was in Derby with my then BF having a great Friday night at work and in town. It was a new, thrilling, lustful, happy, young relationship and we were living ‘Love’s young dream’.. chatting away excitedly about our new future together.. Me at uni, and him planning his take over of the world. I was 21 and he was 22.. I had a younger brother and sister and always envisaged us growing old together, throwing family parties, having kids with our parents as grandparents. It was a strong vision I held and took it for granted thats that what life would be like. My life with my then BF Rich.. and his lovely family. My little brother had been driving up to see me and we had many happy times in Derby, before that night 23 years ago..
I was so content at this time.. never questioning life really.. My questions merely came into my head about “Is this the right college course for me?” or “Which purple dress shall I wear out clubbing this eve”, or “I hope my little mini makes it to town and back”… Mind blowing stuff eh!? 😉
On the 3rd July 1993 my world came crashing down with one phone call.. One call from my little sister telling me our brother had died and Dad was seriously ill in ITC. The call that changed all our lives.. Visions smashed into a million pieces. I have previously written about this here.. (Although the pics are missing from that blog, you get the general idea.)
At that point in my life, everything that had been important in my life no longer felt important.. I looked after my Dad intensely in hospital for those first 9 or so months post the accident so when I went back to Uni it felt like I was supposed to pick up where I left off, but everything was different for me.. I was empty, bereft, I just didn’t know what I was doing there.
This is how I feel again now.. Empty, lost, just not ‘quite right’.. And having just received a message from my sister to say “Can I just not adult anymore?” I know I am not alone in experiencing these feelings. I should probably explain (If you are new to reading these blogs) That my lovely Dad died on the 2nd October this year.. Exactly 23 years and 3 months to the day we lost our brother, and the Dad that we knew.
I have been here before.. And if you have ever lost ANYONE in your life you too will know that GRIEF CHANGES YOUR BELIEFS AND VALUES. The way we view the world becomes fundamentally different. This unimaginable moment comes in which we lose someone and the floor falls out. You look around and suddenly the things you loved, that seemed so important before, mean nothing. An existential cloud sets in and soon you are looking at the people around you, judging them. They keep striving for fitness goals, work priorities, planning parties and events, buying new clothes, houses and cars. And you? You suddenly feel that all of those things mean nothing in this fragile life we live. You feel at best, isolated, at worst, resentful. You definitely feel like you are going crazy.
I appreciate this is still really early days for my family.. and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about feeling so floored.. I just wanted to share these experiences and thoughts with you in case you can relate.. So many of us ladies carry so much shit around trying to pretend to be ok, and I, want to reinforce that its OK… TO NOT BE OK!
It’s ok to be SAD, especially if you are letting go of something you love… Not that I want to let go at all.. and thats ok too.. I am sad. I am happy to share here that I am very very sad. Sadness is important for us to express and feel so that we don’t carry everything around like a ton of bricks weighing us down, and potentially others down with you. I have to accept and acknowledge my sadness and grief so that a). I don’t punch people for no apparent reason, and b). I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did 23 years ago… I ran and ran from my sadness until 11 years ago it came and bit me so hard I had a break down… Thinking on that though.. The break down happening FORCED me to look at my sadness.. Forced me to acknowledge that it is OK, and normal to react in pain. And it made me brave enough to leave the job I was in to start this business (which has been growing for 10 years now)
Hopefully now it will remind me that I can and have survived.. what I feel about myself and my survival is one thing but I am here. I am inspired daily by my amazing clients, and have a very charmed life work wise because of the break down I suffered.
Two things to take away from this blog I guess is.. Keep in mind I (you) may be in the ‘nothing matters at all’ category for a little while, and that’s okay. It is just important that once a few months pass you are finding value again in the world around you, even if it is valuing different things. I know this from experience.
Secondly.. Maybe reframe the way you look at sadness and grief.. See it as a bridge from the person you were before the loss, and the new person you can/ will be after the loss. You will always miss the person, and that person will ALWAYS be a part of you.. But you will become a new person.. One who has experienced severe loss and terrible pain, and you can either let that make or break you. I don’t want to let it break me again.. But I am also hear to tell you that IT WILL BE OK. Whatever you’re going through you are not alone.. And you will survive.