THE BUSYNESS OF GRIEF

Image result for white poppies

The funeral was beautiful in as far as a funeral can be thought of as ‘beautiful’. White poppies adorned the wicker casket which was interwoven with daisies and wildflowers and not the sombre, traditional dark wooden coffin that many people have. Mum was a great lover of flowers and plants, and she tended her little patch of garden so carefully over her 86 years. It’s sad to think of it being so neglected now as is the old and empty house which was my home for many decades.

It’s been six weeks since my precious Mum passed away. The sadness and loss will never leave us all, but it’s strange how people differ so much in their ways of dealing with grief. My youngest sister is very tearful and is deeply mourning the loss of my Mum. She’s unable to concentrate on her studies, nor cope with her part-time job. My other sister has travelled home again and has thrown herself into her work. However, she is frequently prone to breaking down in racking sobs and is in need of much consolation from her colleagues.

As for me, it’s as if nothing has happened. I think, if anything, I only feel numb and apart from weeping briefly at the first news of my Mum’s death (and I haven’t cried since that day), I am carrying on with life much as usual. I’m keeping myself very occupied and haven’t really stopped since the funeral. My life is as busy as ever and with assistance, I’ve been concentrating on sorting my house out as much as I physically can.

In fact, over the last two weeks, the whole of the downstairs of my house has been decorated. The builders have only just left and there is a huge mountain of mess to clear up. The smell of paint is lingering and I haven’t quite got used the new colour scheme yet. The new curtains are being put up tomorrow along with the new ceiling lights. It’s been ‘all go’ for a few weeks now and I’ve felt quite excited by it all but somehow, also exhausted in equal measure.

I know in my heart that my frantic busyness is just a way of coping, or perhaps, rather a way of not coping or not wanting to face reality because it is all too painful. However, reality has a way of kicking us in the ribs when we try to avoid it. There are Mum’s possessions to deal with and the house to sell. There is so much of everything to be sorted into heaps of ‘deal with now’ or ‘deal with later’.

There are so many practical issues to deal with that I haven’t had time for emotions. Emotions are something of which I’ve had far too many of in my life and I’m not welcoming these new and painful feeling that are threatening to engulf me. I have been fighting them off for weeks but I know, or at least I think I know that as soon as I stop rushing around, those emotions will not only wash over me but quite possibly drown me.

Frighteningly, this seems a distinct possibility and I find myself desperately looking for the person that can ‘save’ me. But then, I realise that very person is the one no longer with me other than in spirit and spirit doesn’t seem enough now. I’m not a child anymore and yet right now, I need my Mum more than ever and she isn’t there, and I have to face the painful fact that she will never be here again. Rest in Peace, Mum. Rest in Peace.

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “THE BUSYNESS OF GRIEF

  1. Yes, you are coping by the sound of it, Ellie. You’re coping in your own way. We are all different, and there is no ‘text book’ way of grieving or coping. each of us has to find our own way. I hope you manage to work through it okay, and if you need someone to sound out with, you have my email. sending you as much strength as possible.

    1. Thank you so much, Mick. As you guessed, I am really struggling to cope right now so I truly appreciate your comforting words and reassurances. Hope you are well. I will catch up with your blog soon and those of others too, hopefully. Ellie x

  2. When my grandmother passed away, my mother threw herself into handling her estate, sorting through letters and photographs, dealing with family squabbles, and the like. The two had always been extremely close – they’d seen each other every few days and spoken on the phone constantly – but when my grandmother left her, my mother didn’t respond with floods of tears but instead with relentless activity. I think it was just her way of coping. This all happened thirty years ago, but I know that my mother still misses my grandmother very deeply even today.

    I think your reaction to your mother’s passing is completely understandable, Ellie. Just as Mick says, there is no one correct way to respond to such a loss. I wish you the strength and comfort you need to get through this time of great pain.

    1. Thank you so much, Bun, for your kindness and understanding. I think, to a certain extent, I am still in the denial stage as even after the few weeks that have passed since I last wrote, I am still continuing with my life almost as if nothing had happened. I’m hardly feeling anything at all currently apart from the occasional deep hurt in my heart. However, this does seem to pass almost fleetingly at the moment accompanied by feelings of guilt because, like your mother, I’ve hardly cried at all. It’s good to catch up with you again, my friend, Ellie x

      1. People react to loss in all sorts of different ways. Some people cry, but others feel remorseful or angry or numb. They’re all just ways of trying to cope with the underlying sadness. I don’t think you should feel guilty, Ellie. It’s clear to anyone who has ever read your blog that cared deeply for your mother.

  3. I’m so sorry, Ellie. For what it’s worth, I think you’re possibly giving yourself some distance, trying to grieve only in snippets, so you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s the sort of thing I do at least. If you truly loved your mother, there’s no reason for guilt.

    As Bum and Mick pointed out, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to grieving. I’ll pray for you and your Mom today, and hope that you work your way through your sorrow as best you can.

    1. Thank you so much, Cathleen, for your kind words and your thoughts. Yes, I did truly love my Mum – I have no doubt about that. I think you may be right about grieving in snippets – it’s a very good way of describing my experience. Thank you, also, very much, for your prayers for both my Mum and myself, today x

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