I kind of jokingly tweeted that I’d come up with a set of ‘grief tips’ a few days (week/weeks?) ago. I haven’t got any yet. Antony and the Johnsons, who sat so well in the very early days, soon became a bit irritating. I’ve been randomly selecting music since, none of which I want to listen to. The only thing I have noticed, is the importance of space/s. Sam, ‘little sis’, alerted me to the dangers of being in a car alone early on. Yep. Best avoided. An intense space in which the full horror/distress/misery/nightmare dominates.
We’ve been lucky enough not to have had a lot of time alone so far. With other people around I can forget, or avoid, temporarily. And being outside is marginally better for me. Indoors, pacing is the thing. This new space, of non work, non anything, is so empty, it screams to me to do something. The trouble is, I’m too tired to really do anything. I’ve been dog tired but unable to sleep. Yesterday afternoon I gave the settee a whirl. I was asleep instantly, and slept for a good hour or so. But then it’s waking, thinking, remembering, screaming (internally) and crying.
At the moment, I’m really trying not to remember LB though he keeps crashing into my thoughts/movements (at home, out and about, visiting mates) because of dense layers of memories, both expected and unexpected. Rich and I had breakfast in a local cafe yesterday morning. Baby steps with pain. An undercover police operation was happening at the end of our road, and in the London Road. The road that now incorporates LB’s love of London trips, buses, discussions with a funeral director, and his do procession. The intense interest LB would have gained from these activities is physically winding. We all chuckle about how he would have made sense of the past couple of weeks. How, in the couple of minutes silence during the do, he would have repeatedly asked ‘Is he dead Mum?’
‘Pat Butcher’ walked past us, as we sat outside the cafe. And smiled. Yes. Really. Pat Cabs Pat. In our peculiar suburb which I’ve always loved for its diversity. And local characters. A space now framed with the continual scream – ‘HE WAS LEFT ALONE TO DIE IN THE BATH… IN HOSPITAL’. What do we do with this? Where do we go with it? Where will we ever go with it? I don’t know. But we’re off to London to meet the solicitor on Wednesday. New spaces interacting with familiar ones. Some action to fill the emptiness.
People stand in solidarity with you Sara people you know and people you don’t know like me, we all walk with you in your quest for justice for your LB…….. xx
Keep knocking on those closed doors Sara…..you will make a difference! Thank you for finding the strength! LB lives on! xx
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My only real grief tip is – alcohol helps. Not only does it block the pain out, it helps you sleep. But then you have to wake up and realise all over again, which is so much worse when you have been briefly unconscious enough to forget.
Alcohol also makes you get fat, which brings another angle to the misery and self-deprication. Which, at times of grief, is perversely comforting.
Other than that, nothing really makes any difference. You have the choice of thinking about it constantly, or forgetting then having to remember. Neither are any good. Sorry, that’s not really much use is it.
On a different note – my partner and step-son have Aspergers. When our dog died, we had to keep her in the garage for a week to make sure she was dead, and then they both kept wanting to dig her up just to make sure.
You’re spot on. Gosh I remember that so well. For some reason sitting at a desk for work was the thing that always undid me. I think as that was always my cue for having intellectual ‘space’ to think about work, etc. Except it just became the space when I relived hearing about Dad dying (as I was called at work) and all the shite that came with it. The tiredness and sleeplessness is normal. One thing that gets me snoring is going to sleep with a mindfulness meditation (bodyscan) CD. It worked in my run up for surgery. It’s another voice to concentrate on other than your own upset one. When I get everything unpacked shall send you a copy x
I suppose most of us have to deal with grief at some time, and it is never easy. But not like this, not the horror of such an unexpected, unnecessary death. I don’t know how you deal with that. My daughter has epilepsy, and I have rehearsed it, feared it, but you are having to live through this horror. I don’t know how you deal with being an ex-carer, either, or how you cope with the rage. I don’t remember who it was who said “You must live through the time when everything hurts” but I wish you the strength to hang on.