Grief affects everyone in different ways. It is a storm that we must each weather in our own way and on our time. There is only so much support and understanding that others can provide, even if they are going through the grieving process themselves. It is a very personal and deeply transformative process.
I have lost people before but my most recent loss has caused the most pain and turmoil. On June 4, 2016 my grandmother ( I called her Nan or Nannie) passed from this world. The process for me has been long and hard, I have dealt with a double edge blade of grief and guilt. Before my Nan passed, we had not been on speaking terms for some time. I had to make a decision for myself to step away from our relationship due to a high level of toxicity. I know that she loved me, but she was unable to step away from her own toxic spiral of financial issue’s and a need to control others actions and lives. It was becoming tenuous for me to walk the line of living my life and being there for her because I simply could not be there the way she wanted me to.
I drift between memories of my childhood and all the ways she supported and nurtured parts of who I am today and the more negative aspects of what she required from me to maintain the relationship as I got older and more independent. I wonder at how things could have been different and if there were things that I could have or should have done to maintain our relationship knowing how ill she was becoming. My Nan had chronic illnesses- COPD and Scleroderma. In the end, she was on oxygen and becoming frail but I did not know until a couple weeks before she passed just how severe it had become.
This process has given me a new perspective, particularly when it comes to my self care.
I was temporarily broken, lost in the sea’s of tumultuous emotions. I have learned to ride the waves and embrace them for what they are- healing. They say there are 5 stages to grief- I think this is over simplifying the experience. There no true stages to grief it is simply a process with winding curves that circle back and around through sadness, anger, guilt, denial and so much more. It is a process that you will go through completely alone because it is unique to you. Sometimes you need to just stand alone in the centre of the storm and allow it to wash through you. Today is a good day, tomorrow may not be and that is okay. I have learned to allow myself the space and time that I need to go through this journey.
No matter what storm has come into your life, you can stand and weather it. No matter how lonely and isolated you feel, you are supported and loved. You can weather the storm and stand tall and proud, because it may seem to break you but it can only ever make you stronger.