The Grief Diaries No 1

The Grief Diaries No 1

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since we last felt your touch, your kisses and heard your beautiful voice, 6 months since you smiled that addictive smile .That smile that lasted until your final moments. Beautiful Human we miss you .

After one month, I searched for the words to describe how I Really felt . I guess I simply didn’t know. Numb.
After six months the words come more easily. In that time Ive learned so much about loss, grief and all that it encompasses. I wish I had known before, what I know now. Perhaps journaling my experience on this journey, this process, will somehow help others who face loss of a Life partner in the future..or who may have already . I who had warning, thought I was prepared but the truth is NOTHING can prepare for how to navigate loss this big. Soulmate.Life Partner.Lover. Part of me.

Let’s face it, we are born and we die. Nothing strange or unusual, it will happen to all of us . Death is the most natural thing in the world apart from birth. If it’s so natural why do we not talk about death and the actual act of dying ? Addressing and talking about death, dying ,loss and grief can only be positive. Since Gordons death, I’ve listened to amazing podcasts, TED talks and stories of grief and loss and although it may seem morbid, its far from and if anything its like Ive found my Grief tribe and regularly find myself nodding in agreement at what others describe . It’s like a safe space to share and feel .

Everyone’s grief is different and every grief and loss is different. Everyone’s journey will be different but with many common threads.
The Loss of a Life partner is like being amputated or losing a limb, literally part of you feels like it’s missing …and it is. Learning to find who YOU are without your “other half “ ( actually that title means so much ) is just one part of this process called grief.
Im a talker and don’t hold back and make no excuses for being honest.
How are you ?
How are you getting on ?
Can I answer that accurately ?
How am I now, in this moment ? This hour? 
This Day ? 
This Month ?
Grief hits like a thunderbolt sometimes, like a knife other times and like an ache all over when you’re least expecting it . I am very proud of myself for getting out of bed each day for the past 6 months ( and believe you me -there have been days where staying holed up in the bed was far more appealing than facing the world )

Loss can change everything , from your personality to your friendships. We’re no longer “Gordon and Lizanne “ or Lizanne and Gordon”’s just me and Im not quite sure ( yet ) who “me “ is . Ive never been an adult on my own. I am Alone. Ive spent almost 50 years in a bubble of security and love . I am so grateful for that love and security but now the bubble has burst, everyone’s life is continuing as normal and Im adrift somewhat, negotiating this new passage, this life. I Miss YOU so so much.

Folks, Please keep talking about the person who has died ( not “passed “) . They lived, they died. They contributed to the world, they worked, lived and LOVED and were and still are loved,contributed to society, made a mark, left an imprint of who they were ,somewhere but mostly in the next generations.

In 100 years noone will remember any of us so for now, keep that person alive . Ive found myself questioning Why we are born ,live and then die on many an occasion lately and was always bowled over by Gordon’s lack of any fear of dying . He regularly reminded me “we are born, we live and we’re all going to die. I knew of nothing before I was born so why should I be afraid of what comes next?"  
Perhaps Ive been empowered by his death in some ways and am no longer fearful of death. Perhaps those of us gone before know something none of us living know…what lies beyond life. There you go. Superheroes. All of them.

The Physical relationship is no more but the emotional relationship will always remain.
Grief is love turned inside out “ as Donna Ashworth writes. Her books, especially “loss” have been my go to for the past 6 months. She articulates the emotions and feelings associated with loss so eloquently and her words are reassuring that its okay to not feel ok .Its ok to cry, to wail, to shout, to roar but its ok to be happy too, to find joy in each day despite crippling sadness.

I am blessed to have amazing family who share their feelings and are often teary together, without warning, maybe sparked by a memory of a year ago or a time when Gordy was not struggling , when he ran marathons, cycled his bike or swam in the sea. We talk and share. We process together. We will continue to live and live life to the fullest, where possible. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

If I could only tell myself a year ago ….
  • Grief will hit you like a thunderbolt and rock you to your core 
  • There is NO timescale, you will grieve forever
  • Please keep talking about the person who died . I am sorry to all my friends with whom I never talked about their loved one after they died, as I was afraid of upsetting them .
  • Its ok to cry unexpectedly
  • Grief does not go away, we learn to live around it 
  • Time DOES NOT heal.
  • You can and will feel very lonely, even in a room full of friends.
  • The loneliness is indescribably hard at times .
  • Everybody’s grief is different 
  • There is joy in every day ,somewhere .
  • Get out into nature.
  • Listen to music even if it makes you cry.
  • You’ll never have enough photos and videos. 
  • Be choosy with who you spend time with .
  • It’s ok to Say NO ,even at the last minute.
  • Your life doesn’t end with loss, its just different 
  • You will cry a lot ( and think there’s no more tears left ) 
  • If you go into your “Cave “ for a while, That’s ok …just don’t forget to come out agin and have some fun.
  • You will laugh ,dance and sing again . (You may bawl after but that’s ok.)
  • Create your own adventures, scary at first but keep on living as you both did before Gordy died.
  • You will appreciate who your real friends are. 
  • There’s lots of support out there from Podcasts to SM to counselling to friends. 
  • Children are great leveller’s.You will feel so comforted by the giant squish hugs from little people.
  • The world keeps spinning and everyone gets on with their life . That’s to be expected.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Go with it. Take time out .HAVE A NOPE DAY .

And the best advice I got from a dear Friend was to invest in a really good waterproof mascara. Thank you Victoria ! Im almost done with the waterproof version but still not quite…..

I’ve done my bit. As It moves on I await my darkness, not to be feared it’s somehow familiar, it was here before and will be after.
I will not fret I soon won’t exist but will take pride with what’s left behind. Three aces left to do their thing raising the stakes with benevolent charm. A legacy packed with true validation a pinnacle reached with great satisfaction. “
Gordon Barry 2022

Love you forever gorgeous man x L