You walk, in the direction you have to travel, knowing that every step is moving you forward and though your feet somewhat robotically lead you one step in front of the other, your heart, your head, your hopes are stalling behind.
You left them there at the point you started this journey. The day your loved one passed away.
You desperately want the rest of you to catch up so you can feel whole again but you’d also very much like to walk backwards and freeze time, to an hour when you and your loved ones were all together; laughing, happy – a family….whole.
You won’t have that picture as your reality again and that reality is utterly devastating.
You will have an empty seat at the dinner table. You’ll make plans for the future and feel sad to not have that person around to share in the joy or experiences you have.
You’ll travel to “get away” from your grief but it follows you everywhere. You don’t mind that too much as it keeps you feeling connected. You buy gifts for the family while you’re on holidays, all the while, remembering your family is now one valuable member down. It’s the way it will always be now. A happy moment countered with a sad realisation that happiness is no longer there to be taken for granted. Instead, it’s a choice that you have to keep making. It’s difficult.
Some days, naturally, are harder than others. Like the day they passed away. That grief caves in, dark and suffocatingly every Monday for me.
People will try to reintroduce normality. Some will offer walks, catch-ups, coffee, visits, lunch dates. You’re thankful they do but you’re not sure when you’ll be ready. It’s hard to find the energy to fake it in front of people who see through you. You avoid the company instead.
People offer sympathy but sympathy makes you sadder. You never wanted to be somebody people feel sorry for. “Sorry” is all anyone manages to say. You find connecting with people that don’t know this pain, a challenge. You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy… but you do wish for understanding… mainly that you’re struggling to be the person they wanted to ‘catch up’ with. You’re not sure if you ever will be again.