rambling and reading

I am grieving. That’s a personal thing- it’s emotional and physical and peculiar to me. I ramble about it here because that’s what’s in my head and you’re stuck with whatever that may be- the fun of reading a personal blog. If I were an artist, a storyteller, a joker, or an expert in food and pretty things, well then, I’d be writing something else. I’m only an expert in me, so that’s what I write about.

When the Old Man died, I cried in the car for half an hour each way to and from work and just tried to get on with things. I was much more involved with Herself’s illness and care and these days I don’t have a job to go to. The decorating will all be done soon. Everyone else will be back at school in the regular routines. Who knows how I’m going to deal with this one?

My routines will be different. My diary no longer says ‘book bus’, ‘pay cleaner’,  or ‘meet social worker’. I don’t need to talk to the nurse or the carer or the taxi driver. I don’t get stressed chatting to Herself several times a week. I even miss not being able to understand what she was saying to me: she always had something to communicate. I miss hugging and laughing and just snuggling on the sofa.

I’m interested in reading about grief. I assume it’s because I want to know I’m normal, to know something about what to expect. Last week somebody on the internet pointed me in the direction of CS Lewis. I searched, clicked and a few days later these arrived. I’ve only had the brain power to open one so far, but I like having them. Not least of all because I recognised a lot of what I read. (Apparently it’s not unusual for the recently bereaved to throw themselves into redecorating- well, I knew about Macy and about me, but it’s a relief to realise that we fall within ‘normal’.) Words of wisdom and reassurance. I hope.

It seems there is a fashion for ‘grief memoir’ these days. A whole genre of writing on ‘me and my loss’. I don’t think I could make money at it- you have to be well known in the first place. It’s a memoir after all. (Is a personal blog a sort of memoir? Or is it the raw material for one? You may look forward to the time when, years into my fame, I’m using these posts and reflecting on life then/ now.)

In an article in last Saturday’s paper ‘Too much grief’, Frances Stonor Saunders notes that writers who turn writing about their grief into a project, may actually turn their grief into a habit. (I inferred a bad habit.) Rather than something awful, but natural, something that just is, a part of everyone’s life experience, instead through force of habit, examination and reiteration, grief can become ‘unnecessarily lengthy and agonising’. Digging your nails into your arms and bleeding? I hope I’m never so numb that I can only feel by hurting myself. I’d really rather just have a good cry. Not washing your hair for 10 days? Herself would have a fit!

So, worry not. I may mumble and moan and groan a bit here and there, but I won’t go on about sadness all the time. I will get on with this. With uncut arms and clean hair.


8 thoughts on “rambling and reading

  1. You ARE normal in the way you feel. Remember, in this case it’s not just Herself (I’m calling her that, I feel as if I know her) who has gone, but your whole routine of the last number of months has gone as well, so not only do you feel grief, you feel bewildered as well.
    And you’re not making a project of your grief, you write about lots of other things too, and on the days when you feel you need to you express how you feel, and I think that can only be good for you.
    Years into your fame we will still be reading you, by the way (er, assuming that’s what you plan to be famous for – you’re not at pole-dancing classes or anything are you?).

  2. We always hear about extremes through the media: but most of us feel sad until we don’t feel sad any more, and write about our grief until it isn’t the guiding emotion in our lives. To everything there is a season and that includes a time to cry.

  3. I am a firm believer in “airing things out.” A blog is a good place to do that. Sounds like you’ve not just lost a beloved parent, but also a way of life. Besides, if memory serves, your loss was just a few months ago; it doesn’t seem like it’s time yet to be worried about still grieving.

  4. I think it’s so early days. It’s 2 & 3 years on for me and I feel like I’m still in the middle of it. It’s more manageable tho’. The tears come more safely & privately now, not eg, when I’m on the bus. And crying while driving is de rigeur. It’s a little private capsule, no-one can really see you, except when you get caught at the lights. I read the Saunder’s article last week, and thought well, she may have a point, but but we all do need to know we’re normal, and what to expect. And good writing is good writing.

    Grief is really personal and intimate and it’s something you carry all the time while apparently functioning ok. I haven’t been able to write about mine at all in terms of poetry which is weird, but I’ve written scarcely any poetry since my bereavements which obviously says something. You take it easy. It’s inevitable that you’ll miss all the routine things. I’m still not used to shopping for myself. Every time I’m out, I’m scanning for stuff for my mother.

  5. It’s very early days; I know I have years of this ahead of me. It just feels like July was a blur of bereavement and beaches, and August has been all about decorating, and I haven’t had a chance to begin to experience the reality of it all yet. I’m not looking forward to that bit.

    Kileen: nah, I’m bored with it now. Give me a few weeks of moping.
    Kate: That ecclesiastes bit is what I read at the funerals of both my parents. A few words of sanity amongst the chaos.
    Janie: I certainly use this space to ramble and rant and explore what’s going on in my head. Hopefully you all can just skip over the boring bits 🙂
    Dawnriser: I seem to be avoiding M&S clothes section since the day I nearly was sick there- luckily that doesn’t seem to applying to the food

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