Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Grief - What's it all about? #stlukes #lymphoma


What’s it all about?

“Funny” how grief can bring up a whole host of emotions that you didn’t know you had, they range from anxiety to strength with just about every other feeling in between and you are never quite sure which one is coming when.

You also find out who the people are in the world that really understand. When you first lose someone close, in my case my mum, you become a bit of a circus act, people come from far and wide to see how good you are at grieving and have a whole range of opinions as to how you’re coping and to see if you are dealing with it as they think you should be. It’s incredible how many people feel they have a right to an opinion on this, as how could they possibly know? You don’t know yourself! Once the initial flurry of onlookers have moved on, it’s who remain that you really lean on. There are people that show up once and there are those that you know will show up forever, the ones that will sit with you in the dark, and the ones that just want to judge you on how you’re getting on to report back to others in some sort of macabre way. You certainly find out who your friends are!

Some people have contacted me to say how forthcoming I am in speaking about my grief, how I am coping, and how I will have to cope going forwards, some people have reached out to me when they too have lost someone to find some comfort in their own emotions, and some have chosen to watch from the side lines, expecting me to implode or to self-destruct. They may wish to continue to watch this space, as who knows!?

I have read some interesting blogs, articles, books on grief and on loss and have joined some communities online to feel assured by my own feelings and insecurities, and it is incredibly interesting to research how different cultures, communities, and religions deal with the feelings of loss. The British way seems to be one of a stiff upper lip, that we shouldn’t really continue to talk about grief, that we should in some way move on and get over our loss, whereas other cultures have a much more open and interesting way of continuing to keep those you love in your life and to keep talking about the dead, without having to “get over it” as a process.

Watching the Queen at Prince Philip’s funeral filled me with strength and confidence in the way that the Queen seemingly wanted to appear. She wasn’t alone, in my opinion, she didn’t appear weak, she showed that she could be alone, and that no one was going to replace him by her side, an incredible show of strength and resilience but also an open and honest aloneness that so many people would be able to relate to.

I don’t want to get over the loss of my mum, I am choosing to keep talking about her all the time, and I will continue to do so, I am sorry if that makes you feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t me. A huge thank you to all those that are choosing to sit with me in the dark, who continue to speak about my mum and who she was openly and frankly, I love people talking about her and keeping her memory alive, she was the most incredible woman.

As you may know, we, at Spencer and including many of my friends around the world, undertook a challenge in February to run 125km within the month which we all did with gusto. The time each day gave me some alone time to have her in my thoughts and gave me the impetus to get up each day and get out and carry on, a message to myself that I needed to drill in that I had no choice but to get on with life without her. We raised around £15,000 for St Luke’s where mum died and are so proud that we were able to do something for them, as they were so incredibly kind to us when she was dying at Christmas. We have decided that we will close down the Just Giving page this month, so that we can move forwards and can continue our journey through this awful time.

Thank you so much to everyone that has donated to this incredible cause, we are unbelievably thankful for all your strength, your kindness, your continued support, and for keeping mum’s memory alive.

To my friends, you were so loved by my mum, and I am quite sure she died knowing that you would all continue to look out for me and to love me no matter where I am at through this time and always. Thank you for being there.

If you still wish to donate to St Luke’s, the link is JUST GIVING , we will continue to support this charity over the coming years in her memory.

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