I would be lying if I said this hasn’t been a difficult week for me.
Every plan I made, and every good intention fizzled away under a dark blanket that reached every corner of my life. I’ve never grieved as an adult and it’s an altogether different experience to grieving when you’re a child. When I was younger, grief meant being sad a lot for a long time but when you’re that age, the whole world is a lot more confusing and feeling out of control is just part of the every-day package.
So now, at a time when I am thoroughly independent and feel as though my fate is in my own hands, the helplessness of losing someone I love is a nugget of nostalgia I would gladly leave in the past. If I had the choice.
My nan and me used to talk a lot. She struggled with her mental health and even with the support of a loving husband still sometimes questioned whether her place was on this earth. People used to tell me that she didn’t try hard enough, that if she really wanted to break out of her depression then she would. Those people might have talked to her but as I got older, it became abundantly clear that they didn’t listen to a thing she said. If they had, then maybe they would have realised that she was desperate to break free and live her happiest life.
At first sight, my nan would have looked frail to anyone. But in truth, she was one of the strongest people I knew. She battled the pain of arthritis from as early as her twenties and the last fifteen years of her life she suffered from depression. Unsympathetic doctors and a support system full of holes made some days an ultimate struggle. To say she did well is an understatement.
I guess I’m talking about this now because in the last few days since she died, I’ve really struggled to talk about her. Writing is just that much easier.
I don’t want to make this Sunday Thoughts all about grief, but there’s little else I can say other than I am proud of her and anyone battling through mental health issues. Even in your weakest moments you are strong and that is a fact whether or not you feel it. Let nobody tell you that you’re not trying hard enough if this day you managed to get out of bed when the world feels like too much. There’s a fine line between support and toxicity and your greatest defence is knowing which is which. Sometimes this is a lesson learned after a lot of dismissal or abuse. For that, you’re strong, too.
Thank you for letting me take a moment to remember my nan, as I’ve tried too hard to stuff the grief away this last few days just so I can put a brave face on for work. This has been healing for me.
This is the last Sunday Thoughts post before Christmas and I’m sorry it’s super melancholy but thank you for bearing with me.
I hope you have an amazing Christmas full of happiness and that you will be able to celebrate the people who aren’t with you this year with a full heart.
Thank you for reading.