Written by Shae Eccleston
ON THE OUTSIDE
They ask: How are you doing?
I’m doing really well. I’m grateful to have had her in my life, to have known her, laughed with her and loved her.
The say: Cherish the memories
I am. I really am. I look back and smile on a daily basis, cherishing the ways she made us laugh or, at times, cry. Childhood memories mean so much more now. I am keeping them close.
They question: How are you feeling?
I am managing. I am back at work forging the dream she was so proud of me for. Doing my best to be my best.
They state: She loved you
I know and I’m grateful that she left me at the tail end of a pandemic. We were able to say goodbye and support each other when so many others had to do without knowing or processing. We were given a gift. I should be grateful.
I am grateful.
BUT ON THE INSIDE
How are you doing?
I am broken. When will this end? How I am meant to feel? The stages of grief in movies are linear. My grief is confusing, painful and debilitating.
Cherish the memories
I want to but I’m scared I will lose them. I can’t really remember the last thing she said to me or the last joke we shared anymore. All I remember is the trauma of seeing her lying there. Gone. At peace, but gone. I am terrified that the trauma will overpower the love and that I may never again be the same.
How are you feeling?
My mind is fuzzy and my heart is bruised. I want to escape but I must stay for those around me who are feeling what I am too. I am feeling everything, all at once.
She loved you!
It’s the tense that hurts. She ‘loved’ us all. I know the reason I hurt is because I am still using present tense: I ‘love’ her. When I reconcile the tenses, perhaps I’ll be able to process the fact that death is a way of life.
‘What is grief, if not love persevering?’ The Vision