Coping with Grief, Loss & Disappointment (Reflecting on 2018)

For a long time, the title of the post was saved in draft as ‘Fuck 2018’. Not very original. But it pretty much summed up my 2018. Or how I felt through most of it. Every year usually has its fair share of challenges, trials and triumphant moments. But this year took the cake. My morale has experienced an all-time low. Never have I been told ‘no’; had applications declined, requests denied, plans failed, payments rejected…as much as I have this year.

Losing my Dad at the start of this year set a sad tone which I couldn’t shake through the year. My absolute worst fear is the inevitability of losing my loved ones. I’ve always lived in total gratuity knowing that I was blessed to have all of my siblings and parents alive. So it hit me harder than I ever could have imagined. There’s this cliché everyone takes for granted that I saw in a completely new light after my Dad passed. Life goes on. Life goes on and it hurts like hell. Life goes on especially when you’re a mum to a then 1-year-old. I wasn’t with my Dad when he passed. In fact, I had not seen him for 8 years so I felt like poo when it happened. The morning I received the call, I was in complete shambles and prayed for hours hoping I was still asleep and everything was a nightmare. 

What actually is grieving? Who sets the standards? What is defined as grieving?

Is it when you have to pull yourself together because seeing you in constant pain and tears was having an adverse effect on your child? Is it talking to yourself and everything else around you because they have taken the form of your lost one? Is it having to decide how many days off you can actually afford as opposed to how many days off you ACTUALLY NEED because you are a freelancer and do not get paid holidays?

I found it was easier to actually get back in the flow of things than to take time off. Going back to work took my mind of the constant daydreaming, endless questioning and crying. There’s no manual. People grieve differently. I’ve learned to never question that.

I’ve found grieving so hard. Because I don’t understand it. How can it be a process when it doesn’t have an end? How do you know when you’ve finished grieving? Because I’ll always miss his laughs. Listening to his favourite songs will always bring a tear to my eyes. I’ll always have his number on speed-dial.

I see grieving as a state of mind. It doesn’t end. We just make our peace with living with it and find ways to treasure each memory. People usually think the sting of death is worse when it’s fresh. It definitely is. It’s the unexpectedness of it that hard to swallow. 

But what I find shockingly harder (because no one talks about this) is the fact that it definitely does NOT get easier as time passes. In fact, I felt worse months later. Time made me face the hard and harsh reality. He was never coming back. I would never see him again. And THAT is what made me question everything. In the first weeks you’d go to sleep, forget and wake up the next morning and it would dawn on you. But these days I go to sleep knowing and wake up KNOWING. And it still hurts. 

I’ve been on the fence about publishing this. Then I checked my emails and saw this petition on Change.org started by Professor Green about being more open about grieving. It really spoke to me and made me confident about sharing. 

Grief is a topic that is seldom discussed. Which doesn’t make sense as it is the ONE thing that each of us is guaranteed to have in common. Everyone is grieving or will grieve at some point in their life. If you know someone who is grieving, reach out to them. If you ARE grieving, talk about it. And there are many ways of talking about it. I stumbled upon a podcast called Griefcast a few weeks after my father died. At first, I was so skeptical about listening to it. Would it make me feel me worse? Would it bring back emotions that I wasn’t prepared to go through especially in a public place?

Of course, I balled my eyes out at my first listen. But it got easier afterward. I LOVED it. I was listening to all of these funny people talking about death and it made me feel more at peace. 

And everyone is grieving a loss but sometimes it’s not always the loss of a loved one. People lose moments, valuable things and opportunities that sometimes make them feel like they need to take some time off to grieve that loss.

I’ve had other losses this year that combined with the death of my Dad have made me feel like I’ve had the shittiest year. We lost out on a house. My husband lost his mum. I lost out on so opportunities because of my general lack of drive and enthusiasm this year. I just wanted a win so badly this year and every No felt like a slap in the face. 

It’s hard to see the silver lining when everything is so cloudy but I’m ready to go into 2019. With no resolutions but with a new energy.  I am grateful for my family and I know this new year is going to be exceptional. My disappointment has shown in my lack of commitment to blogging which I used to love.I appreciate the little blessings throughout the year. Just found it really hard to motivate myself whilst grieving, working full time and being a mum. I’ve had all this pent up in me all year and I didn’t want 2018 to end without letting it out. I’m speaking LIFE, POSIVITY & ENERGY into 2019.

It’s been cathartic writing this out and I’m glad I did.

HAPPY NEW YEAR & BLESSINGS FOR 2019,

xx

Lydia

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5 Comments
  • carol clifford
    January 3, 2019

    Beautifully written. Grief is the worst thing we will all have in common but your right it’s hardly ever spoken about. From someone who went through it at an early age I can say it does get easier but you never forget, but life does get easier. Wishing you are fantastic new year!!

  • Dana @ IveGotCake
    January 6, 2019

    Damn girl…….damn.
    There’s probably not much I can say here to make you feel better other than your pain is tangible and I hurt with and for you.
    I really appreciate reading this summary of your year and I honor and thank you for sharing it with us.
    It’s one thing to say take time to heal but life and bills doesn’t allow that, and no one teaches us how to ‘handle’ things like this in the meantime so my darling, beautiful, beloved Lydia – I salute you (and your hubby) for just exiting through this process.
    And I love you for making it through each day since.

    Sending warm rays of love to you, I’m here for you boo if you wanna talk or video chat <3

  • Shun P. Writes
    January 10, 2019

    You are speaking to the choir, I lost my Dad last year as well and the cornucopia of emotions has brought me to my knees more times than I care to admit.

    But.

    I love my Dad.

    Love is energy and energy can be neither created or destroyed, it only changes form.

    I try to remind myself of this every day.

    Be well sister.

    Great piece.

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