Grief is a strange thing, and it’s very much a personal thing. One person’s grief is not the same as another persons.
I know grief. I know it well. I have loved and lost. I have been slapped in the face, personally and bruisingly hard by grief. A fair bit of my life has been defined by grief and grief has grown me and taught me much.
I have traveled the grief road, from excruciatingly painful as it hits, to the slow healing as time eases some of the pain, to the being able to manage every day life without feeling numb. I have done the days where you wonder how everyone else can get on with life whilst I felt that I couldn’t go on another day and life didn’t ever seem like it would be the same again. I have felt the guilt when I have laughed and enjoyed something, then remembered “she should be here laughing with me”. I have watched my life change and grow without the people I would have wanted to be with me, here to enjoy it and be proud of me and support me. I have talked about the people I have lost with those that know them, and I have a reality that they are gone.
I choose not to share my grief much. I don’t find it helpful. It’s not because I don’t care. It’s not because I don’t feel. It’s not because I don’t remember. Most days I don’t need to be reminded. I see my grief as a badge that I wear under my jacket, I know it’s there, but I don’t feel the need for other people to always see it. It’s there and sometimes the pin gives me a sharp reminder that pokes me, and sometimes it goes unnoticed. I am fine with that.
I have loved and lost. I look in the mirror each day and see the face of grief, looking back at me, because my face is startlingly familiar and reminds me daily of those who are not here. As I walk through motherhood, I am reminded of what I have lost.
Grief is a mantle I carry, but I choose not to let it cloak my life and cover everything. I did that, and it wasn’t healthy, and it is also not what those I have lost would have wanted me to do.
How others choose to grieve is their own. I know I am seen as cold and unfeeling because I choose not to talk about it much anymore, share photos, and poems about my loss. I don’t remind people of special days and i don’t ask to be reminded. I won’t ever forget. I have my grief, and others have theirs. I am ok with how I live this path of grief.
I rarely write about my mother. I choose not to. It hurts a lot to talk about her death, and the fact that she isn’t here to see her children and the grandchildren she would have adored. Today is her birthday. Those well meaning people who have reminded me, I thank, but I don’t need to be reminded, she was my mum, I am not likely to forget this day or other significant days.
I don’t need to be reminded to grieve.