Grief does funny things to us.
We lose people to tragic situations, we lose them unexpectedly and we lose them peacefully. We lose people we love and people we said we hated. We lose grandparents, mums, dads, sons, daughters, friends and lovers.
Sometimes the sadness attacks our body like a thousand sword-fights in our stomach. Sometimes we feel rage, resentment or regret. Sometimes we feel numbness lift and harmony restore.
We talk about our grief like it’s about them, the person who’s gone. We say they were too young to die, or shouldn’t have gone that way. We say how much more of a life they had left to live.
But underneath our words are subtleties of the ego-obsessed and totally deluded human mind shines through.
My loss, my pain, my grief. Oh woe is me. My life won’t be the same. I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say to them before they left this mortal coil. I wish I’d told them this, or I wish I’d never said that.
We somehow always finds a way to bring everything, even this – the death of another human, back to being
I Will Not Die Today
However, while there are many negative character traits that surface when humans, and even animals, grieve the loss of a loved one, there are also some positive ones that start to shine.
The first is that grief awakens our sense of denial from its peaceful slumber and forces it to look in the mirror to face reality.
We realise, that one day – sooner or later – we too are going to die. Every single one of us is going to die. I’m going to die, you’re going to die, your cat’s going to die, your dog’s going to die, your mum, dad, brother and sister are going to die.
Everybody is going to die.
That may not sound like the most positive paragraph you’ve ever read in your life, but if you accept it as truth, then maybe it is.
Grief forces us into a head-on collision with the one single thing that is certain, yet the one thing we, quite bizarrely, choose to deny:
Impermanence is all we know of truth.
Doing Good Stuff To Be A Better You
The second thing grief does to us is it rocket launches us into a combined state of assessment and ambition. It puts ‘doing good stuff to be a better you’ at the top of our agendas.
It makes us evaluate life so far, who we were, who we are and who we want to be. It makes us stand back and take stock of our current situation. It makes us ask – is this making us happy, is it serving a purpose or do you need out?
It makes us appreciate what we’ve got and more importantly, who we’ve got. It makes us want to repair damaged relationships, remove all dramas and say we’re sorry to anybody we need to. It makes us want to say I love you to those we don’t tell enough, or those we’ve never truly told before.
It makes us appreciate life – all the memories we’ve made and every single second we have to make more.
It’s been two days since I lost my Grandma, The Idol, who was without a shadow of the doubt the one person on this planet I am, or I guess was, the most connected to. And thankfully, my ego has stayed well out.
I’m heartbroken for us but I’m happy for her and whenever I schedule in time to think, my mind is flooded with nothing but happy memories.
We shared a spirit somehow.
She was all the resilience , all the creativity and all the gregariousness I ever wanted to be and more. She saw the positive in everything. She lit up a room. She cheered people up. And her phone never stopped ringing.
She was my storyteller and I was hers. When I was little she encouraged me to write poems and tiny tales. We’d visit museums and art galleries and I’d write projects on everything I’d learned; from the volcanoes of Italy, to the ancient Egyptians, to how Lord Leverhulme had created the magically Utopian Port Sunlight Village that I promised myself one day I’d live in.
When I passed, ungraciously, through my turbulent teens and into my earth-wandering twenties, she became my pen-pal.
We have hundreds of letters in our memory boxes and I’ll hold onto them for the rest of my forever. Hers were all addressed To Pudding, my Granddad’s nickname for me, and mine were all signed “Your Favourite”.
Write a book, write a poem, write anything, she said. Just write.
So here I am – almost 200 blog posts deep, setting up some sort of online magazine and writing a book about the world’s most romantic love story. I’m Wordsmithing and Wanderlusting my way around the planet and all I will ever think of is her.
Lots of Love