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Is there such a thing as Good Grief?

1
When I got up this morning I felt it, a familiar sensation, a sense of change, the beginning of the seasons turning. The dry heat of the summer sun has been hastily replaced by a crisp light not quite so bright but proudly boasting a golden edge. The atmosphere holds moisture in place of the static stillness of the previous months.

The breeze, free and liberated flows freely bringing a slight chill. Jackets, overcoats and boots look neat and proper compared to the free and floaty summer fashions. People look purposeful, ready to embrace the unofficial

SelfishMother.com
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new year as the start of school approaches.

My heart aches, my eyes feel full of tears I cannot shed, my soul knows, and it shapes the formless grief into something I can manage, for today anyway.

It’s been 21 years since I lost my mum, my wonderful, funny, amazing, talented mum, Maria who died aged only 43.  At 38 now myself, this completely floors me. Back then I had no concept of how young that was, now if I’m honest, it terrifies me.

21 years of grief feels like an awfully long time, and I’ve realised that it’s not a process, or

SelfishMother.com
3
something to go through, it’s something you learn to live with, something that grows up and evolves with you.

It’s true that my grief is no longer driven by the raw, primal, devastatingly all consuming response to the loss of losing a loved one, but it still packs a pretty powerful punch. One that more often than not I’m completely unprepared for, one that floors me frequently, and without warning.

21 years of reflection, 21 years of reminiscing, 21 years of wishing, wishing more than anything, that it could have been different.

I’ve

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carried this grief with me, in its many forms from being a teenager of just 17, to mother nearing her forties. It was with me when I got my A level results, it joined me when I left for University, it attended my Graduation. It observed me as I disregarded it in my twenties, when I hoped that by refusing to acknowledge it it would stop hurting so much. It didn’t.

When I got engaged and then married it edged itself forward and I couldn’t quite ignore the loss any longer. When I became a mother, well, the doors were flung wide open ready for it to

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rush back in, claim its space and make itself heard.

My grief, simply refused to be hushed any longer. I soon realised it was not only my mum I had lost, but that my children had lost their grandma, and now I’m not only grieving for myself, but for them too.

Every year I brace myself for September and the melancholy it brings, I gather my courage and strength and wear it like armour. I have spent 21 years fighting it when what I should have been doing was embracing it.

It has taken me a really long time to come to terms with, and accept that

SelfishMother.com
6
grief is not something to be ashamed of, or something we need to ‘get over’. It’s simply another layer of who we are and it’s bound tightly into the very fabric of our being.

This year I hope to welcome it, allow it to breathe and share it with my siblings, family, and her friends. The ones that carry this grief with them too. All the threads that connect us, the ones who loved her, somehow weave into a beautiful tapestry of her life, a collection of stories, anecdotes, and precious memories, they help us remember.

I’m thankful to be in a

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place now, 21 years later where I can accept my grief in all of its brutal glory, and understand that grief is not only about loss, but about love and life too.
SelfishMother.com
Lou

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- 30 Aug 18

When I got up this morning I felt it, a familiar sensation, a sense of change, the beginning of the seasons turning. The dry heat of the summer sun has been hastily replaced by a crisp light not quite so bright but proudly boasting a golden edge. The atmosphere holds moisture in place of the static stillness of the previous months.

The breeze, free and liberated flows freely bringing a slight chill. Jackets, overcoats and boots look neat and proper compared to the free and floaty summer fashions. People look purposeful, ready to embrace the unofficial new year as the start of school approaches.

My heart aches, my eyes feel full of tears I cannot shed, my soul knows, and it shapes the formless grief into something I can manage, for today anyway.

It’s been 21 years since I lost my mum, my wonderful, funny, amazing, talented mum, Maria who died aged only 43.  At 38 now myself, this completely floors me. Back then I had no concept of how young that was, now if I’m honest, it terrifies me.

21 years of grief feels like an awfully long time, and I’ve realised that it’s not a process, or something to go through, it’s something you learn to live with, something that grows up and evolves with you.

It’s true that my grief is no longer driven by the raw, primal, devastatingly all consuming response to the loss of losing a loved one, but it still packs a pretty powerful punch. One that more often than not I’m completely unprepared for, one that floors me frequently, and without warning.

21 years of reflection, 21 years of reminiscing, 21 years of wishing, wishing more than anything, that it could have been different.

I’ve carried this grief with me, in its many forms from being a teenager of just 17, to mother nearing her forties. It was with me when I got my A level results, it joined me when I left for University, it attended my Graduation. It observed me as I disregarded it in my twenties, when I hoped that by refusing to acknowledge it it would stop hurting so much. It didn’t.

When I got engaged and then married it edged itself forward and I couldn’t quite ignore the loss any longer. When I became a mother, well, the doors were flung wide open ready for it to rush back in, claim its space and make itself heard.

My grief, simply refused to be hushed any longer. I soon realised it was not only my mum I had lost, but that my children had lost their grandma, and now I’m not only grieving for myself, but for them too.

Every year I brace myself for September and the melancholy it brings, I gather my courage and strength and wear it like armour. I have spent 21 years fighting it when what I should have been doing was embracing it.

It has taken me a really long time to come to terms with, and accept that grief is not something to be ashamed of, or something we need to ‘get over’. It’s simply another layer of who we are and it’s bound tightly into the very fabric of our being.

This year I hope to welcome it, allow it to breathe and share it with my siblings, family, and her friends. The ones that carry this grief with them too. All the threads that connect us, the ones who loved her, somehow weave into a beautiful tapestry of her life, a collection of stories, anecdotes, and precious memories, they help us remember.

I’m thankful to be in a place now, 21 years later where I can accept my grief in all of its brutal glory, and understand that grief is not only about loss, but about love and life too.

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Lou

Mum of two, wife to one, friend to all.

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