Why Are The Weekends so Much Harder Than the Weekdays When You Have Lost Someone?
I can’t answer this question for everyone, I am not even sure I can answer it for me but I am going to put some of my thoughts on grief and dealing with it down in black and white and how I feel today.
For those of you that know the face behind Little Bite Of you will know that seven weeks ago my mum passed away after almost 2 and a half years in a state of limbo after a severe, completely demobilising, brain haemorrhage. I took two weeks off work – 1 for going home to Shetland for the funeral and 1 for a week at home really thinking about mum and accepting that she was now really gone and it was time to grieve.
When the phone call had come in to let me know that mum had passed away, the initial outburst of hysterical tears were quickly followed by the thoughts and the words ‘it is a relief’. After so long of not actually having mum ‘here’, but her still being ‘there’ it was an initial feeling relief as I really thought ‘now we can all grieve’ and start to remember mum for who she was and tell the stories of who she was.
I hadn’t actually thought what this meant. What does it mean to grieve? What does it feel like? How do you get through the days? How do you sleep at night? When can you tell the stories without the eyes prickling and the little tell tale constriction at the back of the throat that hits just briefly before you pull it emotionally back together?
I have lost friends before but no-one that has been a critical part of my life. I have felt sad for losing someone before. I have mourned and I have cried for a lost one but I have never fully grieved the loss of one of the few special individuals that really impact on your life – your parents, your best friends and your partner – the ones who shape who you are – your specials, your people, your ones.
A couple of weeks after mum passed away, Dave’s parents came to visit and Ali took me out for a spin in her new convertible (very swanky by the way) and she told me two quotes that will be two sentences that will stay with me forever as they rang so true and always will and I want to pass them on and to say ‘thank you Ali’ for sharing as they are really helping me understand the feelings.
1. No-one ever told me that grief felt so like fear – C.S. Lewis
2. Grief is not something you get over, it is something you have to go through
The C.S Lewis quote about the fact that grief feels like fear is completely right, the feeling that hits in the middle of the night or on a Saturday morning can only really be described as fear. It is the feeling of not being able to get my breath, its the feeling of loneliness, the physical ball type mass at the top of my stomach which moves into my throat between my collar bones and the different heart rate that hits for the brief second before I pull myself back to the here and now and shake off the feeling.
I can get up easily on a Monday through to a Friday morning and I can go to work and I can do my job well and be totally professionally and not let any of the fear type feeling hit me. I can come home through the week and make dinner and write my posts but for some reason Saturday morning hits and I feel deflated, I feel sad and I just want to stay in bed. Do you know what I mean?
Work helps me on a day to day basis as I have control there. I feel flashes of irritation more regularly than I did before but I can do the work days quite easily. I read somewhere about people finding their work a place to hide when they lose a loved one as it is a place that you have no memories of that person so there are no triggers to pull you into the feeling of fear. Maybe that is correct, I am not sure.
People are funny around you once you a lose one of the specials in your life unless they know the feeling on a first hand basis. The people with the first hand experience will ask the questions like ‘what was your mum like?’ or ‘tell me something about your mum’ they won’t avoid the chat. Others will either avoid the conversation all together or ask something like ‘are you ok?’ Sure this is showing they care but it just requires a yes or no answer.
I can speak about mum without breaking down and I quite like too, yes it makes me sad but I want to think about her and talk about here. The people who have lost one of their specials will not try to comfort you – they will say things like ‘It is fucking shit’ and that is so so so so true – there is not really anything anyone can say except that is shit.
I find the weekends are harder because the daily routine is gone. I want to socialise, but only with close friends. I only want to see people that I like and I have no patience for people that I am not so keen on or meeting new people just now. I don’t want to put myself into a situation where the panic and fear could hit and I can’t get home. I don’t want to have one too many G&Ts and start blubbing in the pub. I am sure this will pass but at the moment I am keeping myself safe and wrapped up in my comfort blanket of home and my nearest and dearest – this is ok and if you are feeling the same – it is ok.
So as I sit at home after writing this I feel better than I did at the start, I have cried and I have felt the fear that I speak about. I sit here knowing that I am working through it and as the quote above says, I will never get over it but I will work through it.
I really hope that this writing does not upset anyone as it is my feelings and I know that even on the bad days I know it will be ok and is ok to cry. I do home that someone will read it and relate to it and it helps them.
Love S Xx