This blog post is a little different to our usual posts. At various points in our lives, we will be faced with the loss of a loved one: a close friend, family member, pet, parent or child. The last two years, particularly, have been full of grief and loss.
Alicia, my friend and co-writer, recently lost her granny and wrote this beautiful piece as a way to help process her feelings and emotions. It’s raw. It’s heartfelt. It’s deeply personal. But, perhaps it will provide many of you who are struggling with grief and loss at present a chance to feel understood.
Frieda, Founder of Braving Boundaries
Dealing with Grief & Loss
WRITTEN BY ALICIA KOCH, FOUNDER OF THE LEGAL BELLETRIST
Death and grief are close first cousins.
Meet the one and you are sure (to one day) meet the other – they are related after all.
But it’s funny, even though you (half, kinda, but don’t wanna) expect their arrival, the wave of emotions they bring with them hits you like a brick across the forehead. Ouch!
It’s almost as if they arrived, unannounced and unwelcome, had a huge party at your expense and vacated your home staggering after all their festivities. While you were left to clean up their mess.
Death and grief are “people” we have all come across at some point in our lives. None of us are exempt and one day Death and Grief will wreak their infamous havoc on those you yourself leave behind.
And it’s in that thought that I began to wonder. As I watched my grandmother folded into the earth, I looked upon the faces of those who were family. Generations. I looked at my uncle with his daughters and grandchildren and saw the relief that they brought him. He had others.
Watching my own mother, she seemingly seemed smaller and more alone than my uncle. Or at least more alone and smaller than before. I sadly realised that it was her and I. That’s all. And that fact aches. Deep inside of me.
You see my grandmother came from a long line of women – only children (in most cases)- given the second name Rosa. My grandmother was Elizabeth Rosa. My mother (and then I) broke the tradition of a long line of Rosas (or roses depending on how you see it). Granny didn’t mind – being a breaker of tradition and societal expectation herself. Everyone forges their own paths (at least that’s what she said).
But it is this moment – while I am still spending time with Grief – that I have found the hardest to overcome.
Grief, as it happens, likes to bring along bedfellows. Friends and deviants. No wonder your home is left in such a mess once they are done. Friends like Regret, Remorse, Longing and Worry.
My lucky day – they have all arrived.
As I sit – huddled in the corner – shielding my eyes from the obscenity they are prone to creating – I feel tears roll down my face.
I have tried to hold them back – she led a life well lived after all (and all that) – but these tears have a mind of their own.
Two women with no Rosa’s in their names. Two women who have their own demons to face. And my mom who has no one writing her “thinking of you Granny” cards. My cats don’t have the best penmanship.
The circle of life, undoubtedly, brings you to these points. Not by chance. They bring you to these points to deal. And so many old wounds have been reopened.
Grief and all his mates are funny that way. Parting gifts, I suppose. Death, like Elvis, has long since left the building, having partied himself out days ago.
But he “hung around” (like seriously hung around) taking stock and taking notes. I made the same ones. I think.
And in my little corner where Grief has fixated his eyes on me – I remember. I regret. I wonder. I hurt. I want. I grieve.
But I am reminded that Grief and his friends have other homes to visit – places where they will wreak even more havoc than they have here. I was only a first stop. On borrowed time it would seem. Because, I realise this is only second hand grief. Like a pity visit. Funny, coming from Grief himself.
Belonging to my mother and my uncle more so than I. Happening to visit me instead. Or at least at first.
Like a cat, I remain in my corner licking my wounds reminding myself – that it will all be ok. In the end.
But wounds take some time to heal. Especially the infected ones. And I have so many that are.
Did I mention Loss?
She is Death and Grief’s second cousin twice removed. Again – family matters.
Loss attaches herself to many things and to many situations. Loss of a loved one – that’s obvious. But loss of so many other things too.
Grief and his pals are taking their leave – hurrying on to the next home (how do their livers cope) but Loss has made herself quite at home. It seems. Unexpectedly.
I didn’t even have time to change the sheets.
And it’s at this juncture that I wonder, quite seriously, what we shall have for tea?
About the writer, Alicia Koch, Founder of The Legal Belletrist.
Alicia, an admitted attorney with over 10 years PQE, and now a legal writer and researcher, has established The Legal Belletrist to assist companies (in different sectors) to write well-researched articles that speak to each company’s core business, enabling growth and commercialism.
Click here to visit The Legal Belletrist website.