*First appeared in APN newspapers
THE thing about grief is that it doesn’t just go away. You don’t wake up one morning and go ‘well, thank fuck, I can get on with my life now’.
It’s just there. Right behind you. A ghost. A memory. A blemish. A bruise.
I promised myself I’d write one post about mum’s cancer. And I did. ( http://www.petajo.com/our-truth/ )
And then I decided to write one post on the awkward position I found myself in – caring for mum while pregnant. And I did. ( https://www.mslexia.co.uk/blog/2014/02/writing-motherhood-rediscovering-daughterhood/ )
But the grief is still there, weighted to me. And if I can’t write about it, then I can do nothing. And it’ll fester until I lash out at a dog that won’t stop barking, or kids that won’t brush their teeth and then I’ll hate myself for letting grief win.
So here I am.
I fear I’m tripping into some wasteland of overshared emotions. I’m surely embarrassing myself. But I have to do something….
My days are harder now. I’ve moved into the amount of time where I’d have paid mum a visit, rung her up, sent her a picture of the kids…
More often than not now, I want to touch base with her and have to endure realising that I can’t. And I never can. And where do I send all this everyday love?
This is where my family and friends will tell me they’re here for me, and I appreciate that. I really do. But the thing is, it’s not the same. Because the way I send a photo to mum of the kids, or call her up, is as natural as breathing to me. It’s instantaneous. It’s completely without thought. It’s what I’ve always done. What I’d taken for granted I would always have. Anything else is unnatural and I need more time to grow into that new normal.
My head pounds with thoughts, my brain desperately trying to make sense of it. Trying to find ‘the good’ that comes from this. Because writing is most natural to me, I sense it must lie there. The answer. Buried inside my skull. If only I can find it.
So every thought I have, I examine closely for magic. A gem of an idea. A kernel of a story that will exonerate me from this part of my life. I crave something amazing, some giddying idea that propels me forward and past this murkiness. I have my eyes peeled. My brain recording all it can. “Don’t forget this, it could be important,” I tell myself.
It’s exhausting and confusing. I have gone cross-eyed trying to see the details in high-definition and headachey from the noise of my own thought process.
I am so tired. What I wouldn’t give for five minutes of ‘before’.