I’ve just read this quote from Jan Richardson, a fellow writer that I was introduced to (online only sadly) a few months back, on facebook.
Grief is a wild creature. Grief will resist every attempt to tame it, to control it, or to keep it tidy and well-behaved. Rather than managing it, grief asks instead that we tend it, listen to it, question it. One of the surest ways to calm it is to give it some space in which to speak—or to holler, or weep.
This really resonates with me.
Grief is a complete bastard and a close friend that really has it in for you. Before this year I thought I knew grief was, after all I am a trained psychotherapist. In the 80s and 90s friends were slipping away far too regularly as HIV and AIDS swept our community. I’d watched my mum die, outlived my dad, seen many of my extended family pass on and have lost some well-beloved pets. Just three years today we had to say goodbye to our wonderful boy, Xali, and that pain is still fresh. However, none of these are a patch on how I feel these days. The depths are so much deeper than I ever imagined. The darkness more complete. The loss total.
Grief is not one thing. It is different every time it visits. It is different for everyone each time. Grief is multi-faceted and much more than two-faced.
I know my family and friends find my anguish difficult to ‘watch’ but like many have said they cannot take it away or, most of the time, help much at all. At times I have had to shut down and retreat from a world in which I find it more and more difficult to connect, and yes I have considered ending it all on more than one occasion.
Containing others’ feelings is something else too. For me it has never been easy to hear any of the platitudes or to hear about other people’s experiences, which can never be the same. I know I have offended some with my retorts, replies and silence; some people have stepped back and now maintain their distance. I hope they’ll be there later if I get through this.