Breathe in…

You hear no sound as his last words keep repeating.
You feel numb though you can still feel the warmth of his skin.
You can’t breathe because you’re afraid of the abyss.

Breathe out…

Welcome to your new reality.

Exactly 8765 hours, 525948 minutes ago I sat in a hospital room holding my dad’s giant paw like hand. The same hand that held me and gave comfort as I entered the world. I sat there crying silently as I told him it was ok to let go.

You can never truly prepare for loss. Nobody can go through the process on your behalf and there are no simple steps to evade the clutches of Grief…It will find you.

Grief is like a shadow that changes shape with each person it visits. It’s that unwanted guest that sits in your favourite chair and kills conversations. Nobody wants to invite Grief in because they never know how long it will stay.

During my lifetime, I have lost the majority of people I love. When they were taken, I genuinely felt as though parts of me died along side them.

Each visit with Grief has been different. Sometimes it held me close and was my only companion during the weeks I refused to leave the house or speak. Other times, Grief has been distant, only coming close during the twilight of sleep.

I know for some this has been difficult to read so far, maybe you’re going through it yourself or maybe you are afraid to read on?

But this isn’t a story of sadness, this is a tale of fire and rebirth. It was through Grief, I was forced to grow into the passionate person I am today.

Maya Angelou once said in a famous interview

  ‘There is an African-American song, from the 19th century, which is so great. It says, “When it look like the sun weren’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” Imagine, and I’ve had so many rainbows in my clouds. I had a lot of clouds. But I have had so many rainbows. And one of the things I do when I step up on the stage, when I stand up to translate, when I go to teach my classes, when I go to direct a movie, I bring everyone who has ever been kind to me with me. Black, White, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native-American, gay, straight, everybody. I say, “Come with me, I’m going on the stage. Come with me, I need you now.” Long dead, you see, so I don’t ever feel I have no help. I’ve had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.’

Right now as I type away, messages are coming through from my friends. All messages of support and commending me on my strength. The thing is, I wasn’t always strong. Once I was a sensitive little girl that couldn’t understand the ways of the world or why people couldn’t get on. It was the strength of those that I loved best that taught me to be kind, to think for myself and to fight for what I believe is right. It is the memory of their love that steadies my hand stops me from faltering when I’m unsure what to do next.

Grief is not a disease to be cured. It’s more than the cold emptiness that spreads to your heart. It’s the part of your soul asking you to remember that you’re still alive. That you are still loved despite the loss and though you might not believe it, you are the rainbow in someone else’s clouds.

There are many advise posts and websites that offer support to those struggling with their Grief, and though this will probably help the majority, there are those that will feel the words are empty and will not want to talk about it.

To those that are sat in the darkness with their Grief, I want you to know that eventually you will be ok. Take as much time as you need to reconnect with yourself, but instead of trying to piece together your old life, take the broken pieces to create something spectacular. Let the fallen live on through your actions, love as though as it’s your last day and always, no matter what, stay true to yourself. 

Wishing you nothing but light on your journey