Search
A simple black background with some red roses.

Bereavement One Year On

In just over a week it will be a year since my Dad died. I talked about it in the post Dealing with Loss. I don’t know about you, but I find as a spoonie my whole sense of time is altered. Blogging wise this has been a very sporadic year too, well in the sense of publishing posts. So I thought I would take this opportunity to reconnect and share some of my recent experiences.

My bereavement journey

Bereavement is one of those exceptionally personal experiences. I have also learnt that it is a journey, it is impossible to time block the process and move on. The best way I can describe it for me is likening it to drowning.

Simple Grief

On the day I learnt he had died, when I saw him in his coffin and again at the funeral, the flood waters were high. I was completely in the moment of loss without even having the chance to understand what I had lost, other than literally him.

The tide has come in and out throughout the year since. Very early on in the process we were in a supermarket. I approached an elderly man, we were both holding on to out trolleys as much for our support as to contain groceries. As we came together he held back, smiled, and said after you. Inexplicably I found myself in floods of tears in the middle of the shop.

In my mind I think it was the gentle manners of many of his generation, who in my own experience, were passing away. Luckily Michael was there to reassure me and we were about ready to head for the checkout. Looking back it was curious that not a single person batted an eye that I was crying, there wasn’t as much as a curious side glance.

Perhaps in some ways I am of a previous generation. I don’t think I could stop myself asking the person if they were alright. As well as not judging other people are we also learning to not care. Has it become safer to ignore all but those in our established circles.

Who Am I Missing?

I’m not sure if this is common or a me and my experiences thing. But every time I have had a wobble and got upset. I am noticing two patterns. First, that it is always the Dad who he was thirty years that I think about, when I was a child. Yes, I had already worked out that my parents didn’t have the answer to everything. But, he was a doting Dad in his own way (even though in many ways he felt more like a Grandad compared to friends Dads who were nearly twenty years younger).

Also, I hate to say this, because I loved my Dad. But, like all humans he had his flaws and in some areas they shone. So often I will be watching a film or television program and see dynamics and conversations between fathers and daughters and feel a hollow. Is that what Dad’s were meant to be like?

Frustrations

As you may know I am a genealogist, although I haven’t blogged about the topic as much as I would like to. In the last year or two I have begun scouring an online vault of past newspapers for family stories. Naturally I started with my maiden surname. Although looking for ancestors I discovered stories about my Dad. Thankfully the most surprising came to light before he died so I was able to discuss it. But I have many questions that have come to light since.

Altered Memories

This one isn’t me directly but my Mum. I have to caveat this by saying she is nearly ninety and she has dementia. I couldn’t comprehend losing Michael and we have been together for ten years. She was married for over sixty years.

However, whenever she is having a wobble she always says, if your Dad was still here he would fix this… I am glad she only has the good memories left. But, the things he would fix are usually things where he did the opposite. For instance she want’s to be living somewhere else in a smaller house. He refused to move to a shoebox.

Bereavement and Fibro

This is the hardest thing to quantify. But, when I look back at this year through tangible things like my photo library. The blog posts I have written, the cards or diamond painting I have made. There is far less than previous years.

In fairness I have done behind the scenes work, like updating this blog, and creating the new blogs. I have also made progress with my Genealogy, but less than the previous year. The PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) movement has also entered my life, but again outputs of this would include blog posts…

Halloween came and we didn’t carve a pumpkin, Christmas brought the tree and trimming, the abundance of food and gifts under the tree. Unfortunately Boxing Day gifted us with Covid which wiped out a couple of months… The year passed I was there, I saw it all, but didn’t fully feel an awful lot of it.

Depression?

I can only describe it as feeling like I have been missing more spoons than usual. I’ve spent more time losing myself in box sets and blog posts. I have talked about Fibromyalgia and Depression before, and also how I feel that I fight it. But, add into that Bereavement and I think the reality is that I have been through a period of depression. Frustratingly, two months before Dad died I had began taking serious steps to improve my diet and gut health. That all went out of the window and it is only now, a year later, that I feel the need to get back on track.

So, here I am sharing a blog post with you and potentially beginning to get back some of my post Fibromyalgia and Covid but pre bereavement normal. I hope this may in some way have resonated with you, perhaps your experience has been completely different. Why not drop a comment below and join the conversation.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *