Grief Is Fear In Disguise

26/06/17

``No one ever told me..

..that grief felt so like fear.``
A couple of years ago a friend of mine lost her Father. As much as I could be, when I felt she needed me I was there for her, but I was left feeling as though there was nothing I could really do to help her. I didn’t understand the circumstances that lead to the loss, I didn’t understand her inability to accept his death and I didn’t understand why her grief was magnified at what seemed to me, to be completely random moments in time. Then it hit me. Grief is so unique that although you want to help and understand that person’s heartbreak, grief is so personal that all you can do is offer support when they need it the most, in whatever way they ask of you.

The reason this post has come pouring out of me today is because our family recently suffered it’s own loss. I lost my Grandad. I don’t want to delve into detail abut the circumstances but I really find myself wanting to share some of my thoughts and emotions so that anyone else struggling or feeling alone in their pain, can possibly find some comfort in them.

The above quote ‘No one ever told me, that grief felt so like fear’ is by C.S. Lewis and inspired the title of this post. I think anyone who has suffered through a loss will resonate with the words just as I did. Fear is often really the fear of the unknown: whether that be fearing someone else’s fate, fearing someone’s pain before they pass or even fearing your own unexpected reactions to the loss you must grieve.

No matter what your beliefs or religion may be, we are all the same in having to deal with loss and love. Take as much time as you need, surround yourself with people who are strong in their love for you and if things ever get too much for you to handle on your own, then please make sure you speak to someone who can offer you some tips to cope with your loss in a healthier way.

Grief Is Unique

Grief is a path you must define yourself. Don’t ever let anyone tell you your grief is not relevant or that you are grieving in the ‘wrong’ way. I don’t know two people who have dealt with their losses in the exact same way because no loss is ever the same for any two people. You loved the person you lost in your own unique way and you will also cope with their passing in your own unique way. Your feelings are yours alone and however long it takes you and on whichever path you travel, you will always reach a stage where you remember, most importantly, your love for the person you lost.

Grief Feels Like Fear 

When I think about feeling fearful of something, the similarities to the way I personally recognise my own grief are uncanny. The feeling of heartbreak, of anxiety, of sadness and most of all of the unknown. No one quite knows how they will handle a loss, expected or otherwise, and this feeling of the unknown is why the quote from C.S. Lewis is so apt. Life will always be a little hard or sad at times, but you will always have the loving memories of the person you lost to subdue your fears and to remember the sunshine that individual brought into your world.

Grief Can Be Lonely 

I can see from both sides of this, as a person who has lost someone and also being the person supporting another. When I felt as though I had failed my friend because I couldn’t understand the process she was going through, my fear was that she was alone in her sorrow. I was terrified that me trying to understand and sympathise but not empathising with her heartbreak was leaving her lonely when I felt she most needed to be enveloped by love. When I realised that I couldn’t force myself to understand a situation I had no experience of, I finally saw that I was there for her and she would never be alone if she didn’t want to be. Similarly through our own ways of personally coping, we feel on some days that ‘no one will ever grasp my loss’ but on others that loneliness can be a choice and we can choose to surround ourselves with a routine of normality and love, as yet another way to get by.

Grief Can Warrant Help

Some days it feels like life may never quite be the same again when you experience a loss in your life, but there are ways to get through and cope with your grief. We will all struggle when we lose someone, it is inevitable. From struggling to understand, to finding it hard to accept, we will spend non negotiable amounts of time in each phase and some of us will find it hard to function at all. If this is the case there are people out there who will help, listen and offer you that comforting hand you need to work through your pain at a pace you find comfortable. Help is always out there for those who need it.

‘Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love.
It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give.
The more you loved someone, the more you grieve.
All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes
and in that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling.
The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent.
Grief is just love with no place to go.’

– A friend sent me these beautiful words recently and
I believe they come from a blogger named Jamie W Anderson.

 

I hope my shared words are of some comfort.
Thank you, as always for your love and support through both the good and bad x