One year on

My last post raised quite a few questions for me and also generated a response I was not expecting.

Last week has come and gone, the day I was dreading has also come and gone, but what impact has it had on my life?

It is crazy how much reflection I have done in the last week. Most people reflect on there year on the 31st of December and write down their new goals for the year around then too. I did of course reflect at this time, but the reflection that I did on Friday seemed to be much deeper.

As most of my friends know, the last year has been a lot of growth for me, in all aspects of my life. And the conversations that I have had in the past week have really cemented down what others have observed in me in the past year.

Last week I received a beautiful bunch of flowers delivered to my house from my best friend in Melbourne. She is so very thoughtful, and even used all the flowers that were on that wreath I mentioned in my last post. They are stunning, and everyday I see them they light up my day. I received another bunch of stunning flowers from a very special someone too, with a note, “hopefully this brings you a smile today.”

As I had mentioned in my last post, I was dreading Friday, partly because it was a day of unknown emotions. I did allow myself just to be whatever I felt that day, and gave myself permission. I did end up going to the cemetery on Friday, but on reflection, it was what I really wanted to do that day. I was surrounded by people that loved Mike very much, and we went together. We shared experiences, stories, memories, and listened to the music he loved, all it felt was in the presence of him. I can’t say I like cemeteries, I am pretty sure most people don’t. But on Friday, I felt like I was in the right place, with the right people and it felt right for me. We had a lot of laughs and at some points it actually felt like Mike was there at times, or you could imagine him there giving his very strong opinion on a topic we were discussing. That evening was spent with a very good friend, someone that has known me the whole time I have lived in Australia. She knows me very well, and knows what the past years have been like too. She even told me how much I had changed in the past year, into someone that has a ‘ripple-like"‘ effect on people around.

The weekend felt exhausting, and not because of the activities I was doing, but because I felt I was emotionally drained. The last week had taken a lot out of me, and until last year I had not realised that grief is such a rollercoaster. I mentioned the rip in the ocean and relating it to emotions of grief in my last post. And this is very true, but it is also true that the ocean can keep pulling you out when you least expect it. There are times when everything feels relatively normal, then occasions when a memory is triggered, or there is a moment of sadness. These ups and downs, whether they happen everyday, every week or every month take their toll on you. If you think of your change of emotions on a daily basis (even things like being angry because you can not find a parking space), imagine those as you standing up when you are happy and laying down when you are sad/ angry/ upset/ frustrated. Imagine how many times you would be standing up and laying down each day based on these emotions now. This is what your brain is constantly doing during grief, and this is what makes you exhausted even when you are not physically exerting yourself.

How many times do you think that when someone you know has a family member, friend or a close family pet pass away, “well, its been a few months now, they will be back to their normal selves.” Or you could be wondering why you are extremely exhausted when you have had a life trauma but you feel you have been having sufficient rest. It could be, that next time, someone you know is in this situation or you are, take a step back, remind yourself this is a trauma and show your understanding as to why they could not be functioning at full capacity, this may be the time to help them with some of those daily or weekly tasks. When some of my friends did this for me during the last year, it helped more than I think they will ever know.