“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison
In 2009 my mum died from breast cancer. It hit my dad and my brother straight away, and straight away they started what became the recovery process. I on the other hand went back to school three days later (I’m stubborn like that) and acted as if nothing had happened. I watched them grieve and I saw how the waves hit them but somehow they managed to pull through. It took over five years for me to feel the loss, but when I felt it, I felt it hard.
There is an age old saying that grief comes and goes in waves. The first wave of grief felt more like a tsunami and it hit me in 2014. It was strong and unforgiving I don’t need to get into the specifics, but as you can imagine I suffered with depression and it easily became the hardest point of my life.
I finally had to face what I had been ignoring for so long and it was not an easy process. Over the course of the following year I slowly learned how to manage the waves and over time the grief began to subside. It was a process of good weeks, bad weeks, and weeks in between.
If there is one thing I have learned about grief; it’s not time that makes it easier, it’s practice. Grief enters your life and you soon learn how to ride with the waves instead of in spite of them.
We all go through it, every single one of us. It can take the form in the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the end of a chapter in your life. Don’t assume your story is any less important. If you need help, ask for it. There are people in your life and in this world that are there for you.
Next year marks ten years since my mums death and the waves still sweep in occasionally but after practicing my ability to handle the grief, I am now much more equipped than I was in 2009.