We are now well and truly into Spring, the season of New Beginnings, reminding us that life is constantly moving forwards, on an endless Coddiwomple. I just love to see carpets of Bluebells and bouncing lambs in the fields.
It’s both harsh and sad but Grief and Loss are part of the Cycle of Life, whether it be the loss of a loved one, pet, job, a life-changing event causing upheaval; any number of things.
So, what does Grief mean for you?
I know from my own experiences how much of a shock it is to the physiological systems of the body. My stomach was constantly knotted, I lost weight (which, to be honest, I didn’t mind!), my heart would race and I felt generally lost and purpose-less (if that is a real term.)
Grieving is such an intensely personal journey, unique to each individual. It can be such an energy sapping process and we can feel overwhelmed by a range of difficult emotions, thoughts, physical feelings and behavioural changes. Symptoms can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- A roller-coaster of emotions such as despair, anxiety, intense sadness
- Aches and pains
- Other stress related issues
Oh, and then there are the Leaky Eye Moments! They’re sneaky as they creep up unawares. One minute we can be OK going about our daily routines and then all of a sudden something triggers a memory; the throat tightens up and the eyes silently leak. It doesn’t seem like it will stop, but it does of course – the moment soon passes and we go back to whatever it was we were doing. They don’t catch me out as frequently as they used to, however when they do they get me good & proper! Normally it’s first thing in the morning or if I unexpectedly hear the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (it always reminds me of a conversation I had with Mum after Dad died and she knew she wouldn’t be far behind – that’s another story in itself.)
But it is NORMAL and NATURAL. It’s okay and healthy to let go and release those emotions; it’s part of the healing process. Don’t get me wrong, it never goes away completely but it is possible to learn to live with it and allow it to make positive changes to our lives. Sometimes it’s those gut-wrenching changes and upheavals that catapult us, kicking and screaming to something wonderful.
In time we learn a new way of being, a new “normal” as we adjust to life without those we’ve lost.
For me, grief also encompassed a loss of identity; I was no longer a daughter in the physical sense so not only was I mourning the loss of my parents but I also had to figure out who Wendy was. I don’t have siblings and at that time I wasn’t in a relationship either.
It was this question that set me off on this incredible journey that led me to write “From Cancer To Coddiwomple”. I believe my purpose in life is to help inspire others that it is possible to enjoy Life After Loss. Others find their new path by getting a new pet (something to fill the void perhaps.) There is no right or wrong way to move forwards but it is important to do what’s right for YOU and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support to help you through. Grief can lead to feelings of isolation; everyone else’s life seems to chug along as though nothing has happened while we are dealing with tidal waves of emotions and it’s easy to cut ourselves off from others.
Until next time, thank you for reading.