I’ve Never Felt Grief Like This

Tamsin and Joy Header

Tamsin and JoyI’ve never experienced grief like this.

I’m lucky. The first death in my memory of someone close to me was my grandfather 2 years ago, and we weren’t that close. He was an amazing man, but not one I knew well. It pains me to say that, but it’s the truth. I was unprepared for how much his death would affect me. I thought it would barely affect me at all, given I barely knew him.

The next two would happen in quick succession while I was overseas late last year. My beloved grandmother, who helped to raise me and was always generous to a fault, and the Viking’s grandfather, Morfar, who I had met face to face for the first time only 5 days before, and who had been hanging out to meet me – the woman who wed his beloved grandson.

Last week I received a phone call advising me that my aunt had gone into hospital and probably wouldn’t come out. We all knew it was coming, it had been for a while, but she had held on for so long I’d started to believe she’d outlive us all.

I was wrong.

On the Wednesday the prognosis was bleak, 3-7 days left. So Thursday morning my mother & I drove up the coast to say goodbye to her. Up & back in one day, 4 hours each way. I slept all the way home.

I thought when I saw her I would have something profound to say. Something to show her how much she meant to me. Something meaningful, and maybe a little bit poetic. Some of the family members left the room for us to say goodbye when it was time for us to go. My mother leant over my aunt and told her about her mother’s first impression of this woman, who woman who had stolen her twin’s heart. And how much their friendship had meant to my mother. They were sisters, much more so than marriage. My uncle leant over her and said a few words. As always his words were few, but full of expression and meaning.

Then it was my turn. I went to say something, but all I got out was “I” before I dissolved into tears. So I just hugged her. She gripped me from the bed, a bear hug I have always associated with that side of my family. A hug her daughter would always refer to as a proper hug. “Give me a hug” she’d say, and you’d give her one, then she’d say, “No, a proper hug” and squeeze you until you thought you wouldn’t be able to breathe anymore. She may have been weak, she may have been dying, but she still gripped me in a proper hug. She just held me as I cried.

I’ve never felt grief like this. They say everybody grieves differently. Well it seems my body can’t decide how to grieve. One minute I want to watch dinosaur documentaries, the next I just want to sleep or cry. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to be alone. I want to keep my normal routine, change nothing, push through, but at the same time it feels wrong for the world to continue as it did before.

Why are all these people just going on with their lives? Don’t they know she’s gone?

“The stars are not wanted now, pack up every one. Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood, for nothing now can ever come to any good.”

  • Melissa Savage

    Oh T…*sends proper hug*

  • http://www.smaggle.com Smaggle

    Oh love, how awful for you. Be good to yourself this week okay? Grief takes time and the first bit is always so hard. Thinking of you. Lots of movies on the couch, walks and yummy beverages like milkshakes for you please. x

  • Maryann

    Grief does not need to make sense. Do what you need to, whatever that is at that time. In time it will pass. Just remember when you look at others you have no idea what they are going through. Take care.

  • Monique Fischle

    I don’t even know what to say. Lots of love to you, take care of yourself x

  • 26 Years & Counting

    Lots of love to you and your family Tamsin. Grief never makes sense. Take care of yourself and do what feels right to you.

  • feistyangel

    Enormous hugs to you. Grief is a funny emotion. It flows like the ocean and comes in waves. Somethimes it is bearable but other times it can hit you hard and come from nowhere.
    Be kind to yourself and let yourself grieve in the way that makes sense to you. As I have found, if you need to scream – scream, if you need to cry – cry, if you have an urg to laugh – laugh. There is no right or wrong in grief

  • Maree.Talidu

    I have been less fortunate and have suffered much loss in my life. It started young and never really stopped. There have been times where I thought I was broken inside. Too many deaths of people I dearly loved, people who have shaped me, have supported me- too much pain. As others have said, there is no right or wrong way to grieve; how you approach that is up to you and can’t be judged. You are aware of the funeral I attended this week: there simply are no words for what his family and friends are going through. Try and remember your precious aunt as a healthy, vibrant woman who loved you so dearly. Try not to dwell on your last moments with her. Thoughts are with you. XX

  • hayleybebe

    Wish there was something I could do. I hope you will be okay. X

  • http://www.kellyexeter.com.au/ Kelly Exeter

    Big xxx T. All I know is that in time (a long time) you will be able to think of her with fondness rather than feeling like there is a knife twisting in your heart.