You know that episode of Gilmore Girls after Rory breaks up with Dean and Lorelai is begging her to wallow but Rory just wants to stay super busy and then at the end she decides she needs to wallow?
That’s how I feel about grief right now.
For a while everyone says ‘well it’s so soon’ and ‘you’re still experiencing the first of everything’ and ‘you’ve bounced back quickly’ and stuff like that and then grief just settles into this sort of monotony and everyone (including me!) goes on with their lives not forgetting but not really remembering either in quite the same way.
It almost feels as though for a year everyone’s been telling me to slow down/step back/be sad/whatever but all I’ve wanted to do is to get on/move forward/learn how to live again without the unpredictableness of cancer (because however unpredictable grief can be I can guarantee it’s still more predictable than terminal cancer).
It’s been working, too. There have been moments/days/the occasional weekend when I’ve cried more than others. It’s definitely not all been an upwards trajectory of ‘feeling better’, more a steady meander into ‘okayish’ via a few potholes and the odd massive dip… but on the whole I have been slowly beginning to feel a bit more ‘me’ again – dipping my toe into old hobbies, finally meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in yonks, allowing myself to smile and laugh again.
At the moment, it feels as though things are sliding. In truth, things began to slide and I didn’t realise, then I ignored them, then I pretended to ignore them, and it’s only been the past few weeks that I’ve been a little more forced to stop ignoring them.
Right now there is so much in the world that is making me so sad (and occasionally angry). Every day I seem to see or hear something that makes me feel as though I’m breaking all over again. Often it’s things in the news, or on my social media feeds, but sometimes it’s a song or a smell or a memory. All of a sudden I’m wanting to cry all of the time (again), and finding it harder to leave the house than I have done in months (except for work… the majority of the time work seems to break that particular spell), and I’m struggling to come up for air.
I want to be doing projects and organising things. I want to want to go out and do stuff. I want to want to get dressed. I want to want to jump in the car and go to places… but I don’t. I’m permanently exhausted.
I’m trying to limit my use of some social media sites/apps right now. I’m trying to be kinder and softer towards myself – surrounding myself with blankets/teddies/heat packs. I’m trying to get to bed on time, trying to let myself wear my new fluffy PJs (my old ones were at least 6/7 years old and it’s only taken a few months of almost flashing every time I stand for me to force myself to buy some new ones with some elastic that works…) and let myself sleep in the new bedding I finally persuaded myself to buy. I’m trying to give myself the hug that Mum would have given me.
I will get the me of a few months ago back again, I hope. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know I have some amazingly lovely and wonderful people by my side to help me get there. For now, until I get there, I might just need to let myself ‘be’.
(PS. If you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls then I don’t even know what to say other than please go and get yourself a Netflix subscription and watch every episode ever made back to back. It’s important, I promise).
We’re currently fundraising in memory of Mum, one year on.
Here is where you can donate to Mum’s ‘one year on’fundraising page online.
If you’d like to donate via your phone, please text ‘FOYO53’ followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.