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This week we bring you the second instalment of our very special blog series. Our guest blogger has been sharing their experiences with mental health with us. They have bravely offered to share their thoughts with us, with the aim of supporting others who may be in a similar situation or period of their life. This week they offer their experiences of coping with grief. Remember, you are not alone...

“That you don’t always react straight away.

When my Mum told me that my Dad had passed away I was absolutely heartbroken; I remember screaming out loud and sobbing uncontrollably all night. The initial shock just knocked me off my feet. But after the funeral I hardly cried; I was used to not seeing my dad so I thought nothing of it when it had been a few months without talking to him.
It didn’t hit me until at least a year later; it was then that I started to think of all the things that I would be missing out on. And it was then that I started to become depressed.

That you can be really angry with strangers.

I remember my first Father’s Day without my Dad…I told my Mum that I was going to go for a walk to get some fresh air. I remember seeing a young child, who was probably only 5 or 6, walking down the street with their dad. And I felt SO angry. Why did they have their Dad and I didn’t have mine?
And then I felt awful for feeling like this; I can’t be jealous of a child who has their Dad. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on anyone else. And I felt like such a horrible person and would beat myself up for it all of the time.
That you will remember the things you didn’t say rather than all of the things that you did
The last time that I spoke to my Dad I had asked him to lend me some money; his response was “I’ll see”. I knew exactly what that meant. My Mum and Dad had been using that line instead of no for the last 18 years of my life. When he said he loved me, I just said goodbye and hung up.
Yes, I know that he knew I loved him…everyone told me that…but that’s not the point. When you think about what you want your last words to your loved ones to be, you want to tell them how much you love them. How much of a difference they have made in your life, how much you will miss them and cherish all the memories you have with them. Instead I brushed it off and just hung up the phone. Great memory for my Dad and me to have.

That everything you feel is “normal”.

You will go through so many different emotions when you lose someone, and some of them you won’t even understand. But everyone grieves differently. You aren’t odd, you aren’t weak, you aren’t a burden to anyone.
And I guarantee you that person who you think is really strong is actually struggling too; they just want to put on a brave face for you.

That there really is no time limit on grief

It has been 6 years since my Dad passed away and I still haven’t really accepted it. I can’t even say that he is dead. I hate that word. Honestly, I don’t think I have dealt with everything that I need to, and that’s something that I am going to tackle with the support of a therapist. Because I need to do it. When I am by myself I think about the fact that he was only 48 years old; I’m over half way there. How is that fair?
The thing that gets me most is thinking about the rest of my life without him. He will never see me succeeding in my job, get engaged, walk me down the aisle, meet his grandchildren, see me set up home. He isn’t there to make me feel safe when I am scared. He isn’t here to protect me.
I would do anything to see him again…just to hear his voice.
Just remember that your loved one is always there with you, no matter what you are doing. Listen to their favourite songs, visit their favourite places and look through photographs. Don’t pretend that they never existed; keep their memory alive through you.
It’s going to be a longer journey than I once thought, but if I ever find out what the time limit for grief is, I will let you know.”

Keep an eye on our blog for updates from our guest blogger. If you need someone to talk to, contact us here. We’re here to help.

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