When I first started my new job in April I worked with a lady who had lost her husband the year before. She was so lovely but she would have days where she was sad or angry. She would say things like “I just can’t face doing that task” or that she was struggling with getting on trains alone etc etc. Now I didn’t judge her but I also didn’t really understand. I didn’t think that this was all caused by grief. Until it happened to me. Once I lost my Dad and had been through the motions of the funeral and coming back to work, I felt it. I felt the fact that I couldn’t face the tasks I once could do. I would wind myself up to the point of tears because I didn’t feel confident enough to do part of my job properly. I mean my job is to stand up and run kids sessions, and that takes a lot of energy and positivity to do effectively. Well when you feel like your life’s falling apart it’s hard to be positive to paying guests..I mean it’s hard enough pretending you’re okay to your co workers. I found myself having to contact my managers and asking them to not put me on certain sessions because I just felt like I couldn’t face them. When I thought about how my grief would effect my job, this is not how I thought it would transpire. I thought I would feel some sort of bitterness towards my work place because that is where I got the phone call. I thought I would be kinda sad and mopey all of the time. That’s not how it is. I have found myself trying to be how I was before so that I felt normal and everyone else did too. I found myself coming home exhausted and going to bed at 5:30 because of having to put up a front. I’ve had to crack in front of my work friends because I couldn’t quite hold it in enough to not. I’ve found myself crying in store cupboards because I had a moment alone and it all came flooding back. I’ve had back to work training and meetings all about my feelings. It has been frustration that people don’t understand how I’m feeling whilst I’ve been avoiding being honest about my feelings. That is how I’ve found grief affecting my work.
The dynamics of all of the the different relationships in my life have also now completely changed. Me and my mum are closer than ever. Me and my dads family are more distant than we’ve ever been. My step mum and I are incredibly strained. My cousin and I FaceTime every day. My godparents take me out for dinner every week. I’ve moved out from my boyfriends. This influx of extreme emotions can cause things to change between you and the other person, it changes who you are so it inevitably changes the dynamics of your relationships. It changes the availability you have for your loved ones. It changes the capacity in which you have interactions with people without being exhausted. It changes how considerate you can be for that other person. That’s all due to your body being in shock and trying to protect itself from the trauma. It’s your brains natural instinct to process all of the emotions which come along with a loss. The person that you are will have changed even if it’s just slightly and so it’s hard to navigate relationships and friendships when you’re trying to find yourself again.
You will find yourself being hit with the emotions at the weirdest times, you’ll find that it’ll catch you off guard and you’ll end up being overwhelmed in the strangest of places. I’ve found myself upset in supermarkets because of seeings dads favourites foods there. I’ve found myself just walking past his favourite cafes or places we’d always planned to go to and it makes my heart heavy. I cried when the book I preordered for his birthday arrived. I got angry when I found his car on my drive for me to now drive instead of him. It will always catch you when you least expect it and that’s one of the worst things. You’ll see something and want to send it to them or get a spare minute to give them a call and it’ll never happen again. You’ll wake up and remember that they’re gone and your heart will break again.
When it comes to special occasions they become tainted by your loss. It was dads birthday a few weeks ago and it broke my heart that he didn’t make it. That I couldn’t have gone and surprised him at hospital. That he never got to see another year. Soon it’ll be Christmas, my first without him, and that will be tough. My cousin and I have planned to go up to see him but it’ll be even harder leaving him there. When it gets to be my wedding he will not walk me down the aisle. When I have children they will never meet their granddad. In 21 years time I will officially have had more years of life without him than with him. My 21st. My first Father’s Day. My first Valentine’s Day without a card. It’s all going to be overrided by the feeling of loss. I will notice the absence much much more than usual.
That my friends is how I’ve found grief everywhere I turn at the moment, that’s how I’m feeling. I want people who are dealing with this to see this and know it’s okay to let it be a huge part of your life. Know that it’s okay to feel all of the emotions and have it affect you.
So to summarise I have seen grief take over these aspects of my life:
- Relationships and friendships
- Happy/special occasions.
Thank you so much for reading today and also for all of your support. I hope this helps somebody today. If you’re enjoying my content at the moment then please follow, comment and like this post so I can get your feedback.