Why we need to talk about loss
It has been a tense and emotional few months. You see I have just lost a member of the family after an illness.
They were admitted into hospital in March and passed away in April. Everything is finished now. The funeral has taken place and we can all get “back to normal”.
During these last couple of months it got me thinking how we as a society do not really talk about grief, but especially we don’t talk about us – the ones who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
It doesn’t seem to be something that anyone is comfortable to talk about. Although that is totally understandable, I wonder, would it be easier for us all if we did talk about it?
When this particular member of the family passed away it was left to me to sort out the practical things, liaising with the bereavement team at the hospital, the death certificate, the funeral, the wake etc. And I am going to be completely honest, I started every conversation with everyone I had to meet with, “Hello, I’m afraid I haven’t a clue what I am doing.”
Thankfully, everyone I needed to see were fantastic and so supportive. But, had grief have been more of an open topic, would this have been more easier to do?
Unfortunately, it is true – that death is just another part of life. Yet grief is almost hidden from being talked about. It is almost something we are scared to talk about because we are so scared to say the wrong thing and upset anyone. But maybe saying nothing is just as upsetting. By not acknowledging loss it makes it so much harder for those who are grieving. It can make you feel so much more lonelier and not understood.
This is not the first loss of a close relative I have had.
My first loss is probably going to be one of the biggest as she was my mum. My best friend, my rock. And then, just like now, nobody talked, and within weeks after the funeral nobody mentioned her. And it was a lonely time, a very confusing, world turned upside down time.
But I have learned that all those feelings of loss, like being on the world’s worst emotional rollercoaster are completely normal and I had so wished somebody had told me that.
So, if anyone is going through any kind of loss or grief, remember you are not alone.
There are so many of us who “get it” and understand how you are feeling right now. And most importantly, there is help out there for all of us who need it.
It’s OK to talk and we should, for all of us.