So guess it is not surprising I will often tell people life is still ****. Every day there will be a moment or multiple moments when I feel the loss. It can be simple things such as wanting to discuss the news, or on a day out with a friend wanting to message him or send him a photo of something I have seen, or asking him in the evening what we shall have for dinner. Memories are bittersweet, as life is empty without Robert.

Fortunately though my grief is not as raw as it was, nor does the weight of it affect me as frequently physically. Increasingly I have the ability to focus and the energy to do more than one thing in a day. For example over the weekend I gardened, I walked miles in sunshine, I made jam, I made soup, I sent emails, I saw people and even chatted on the telephone. It was, dare I say it, a ‘good’ weekend.

I remain cautious though as my resilience and sense of peace can disappear in an instant. One moment I am enjoying the beauty of nature or even laughing with friends, and the next all I feel is anguish. A few weeks ago I really wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to live with grief. I was stuck in an evil combination of events – recovering from my trip away during Robert’s birthday week, experiencing the bizarreness of national mourning in the UK and living in self isolation thanks to catching Covid. Fortunately the infection itself wasn’t too bad, but mentally that combination was horrendous. It has taken me a long time to recover from it and of course just as I recover mentally I am into the next round of bereavement challenges. Our wedding anniversary in the same month as the six month anniversary. Grief is never ending, and is certainly not helped by the hideous world news and terrifying economic and energy situation. So my focus right now remains on being kind to myself.

That means for me – a goal of walking for an hour every day, an aspiration to bring back squares in November, an expectation of only completing one chore a day, a commitment to seeing friends or family every week, an acknowledgement that tears will regularly fall, a continuation of eating well and a rule of keeping to my sleep routine.

Being kind to myself is also one of the reasons I generally only meet up with family and friends with whom I feel safe. Safe friends and family are those who truly get grief or have the wisdom to be guided by me about what support works for me. Most of them also realise I want to hear Robert’s name, and I want to share memories. I am fortunate to have many such people in my life. I do though wish there were more some days.

It is noticeable how other friends and acquaintances, even those I once considered best friends have disappeared out of my life. Many seem to expect me to get in touch with them because they offered some vague support back in April, and most have not made contact since the memorial. It is almost as though memorials and funerals are the turning point when the world expects you to return to your old self, with the exception of significant dates. Yet I can never return to being that person, and intense grief doesn’t fade away with time. You cannot heal the loss as grief cannot be fixed. You simply learn how to live with it.

It takes a huge amount of resilience and energy to live well with grief, which is why I don’t have the energy to juggle what I once juggled in a day nor am I able to respond to vague offers or well intentioned but problematic messages telling me what to do or worse what I am feeling. What I actually need, as so many others do who have experienced intense grief, concrete offers of help and also proposed dates in advance for meet ups. Or as I have said in earlier posts simple and regular messages saying someone is thinking of me. Those messages help.

So on that note I thought I’d finish by mentioning that if you know of someone else who has experienced intense grief in the past two years let them know today you are thinking of them and mention their loved one’s name. If you can this week also check out the new campaign #GriefKind by the British charity Sue Ryder for more advice on how to support the bereaved.

To finish I just want to say a huge thank you to the many of you who have been in contact over the past couple of months. Your kind words have really helped, and thanks to your support I am hoping to have a squares month in November. More details will follow as and when I am confident I am definitely up for it.

61 thoughts

  1. I want you to know I have been thinking of you especially when I ‘square’ a photo – yes that’s the impact you have had on me and many others. Thanks for this update and go kindly.xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t think why it’s taken me so long to comment on your heartfelt and touching post. But I see that so many people HAVE already commented, which shows you just how much the blogging community you’ve created values you and your presence in their lives. You’ve worked hard at making these connections, and real life friendships where you live too, and I hope that knowing so many people are rooting for you is helpful. I’ve started saying some other things too, but instead I’ll email them. This public space isn’t where they should be! Sending love, M xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Becky, I agree with all the others. It’s good to know you’re taking care of yourself and doing what you need. Getting COVID and having to isolate sounds like sheer misery. Thank goodness for phones! We are all looking forward to your squares but only once you are ready and feel comfortable with the project. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Becky
    So happy to see this post and feel you are still among us. Wonderful words and I’m going to heed them today get in touch with my very dear friend who is in a similar situation. You sound like you still have some hidden strength and also supportive friends.
    Squares would be nice but no rush xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Becky. How lovely to hear from you and read this heartfelt post about your journey and how you are dealing with your grief. My thoughts often wander your way and I especially think of you when I’m ‘squaring’ an image. I have missed your square challenges, but not as much as I have missed you and our connection and interactions. 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

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